Common Complications with Dental Crowns and Bridges
If you have a dental crown or bridge, they ideally will look and act just like your real teeth. Once in a while, however, your dental implant, crown, or bridge might experience a complication such as a loose crown or a chipped false tooth.
Fortunately, if you live in Whittier, California, getting these issues resolved quickly and painlessly is possible when you visit Dentists of Whittier. We are experts in dental implants, crowns, and bridges, and we have a lot of experience fixing and repairing them when complications happen.
What Is the Difference Between a Dental Implant, Crown, or Dental Bridge?
In order to understand what common complications might occur, it can be helpful to understand the difference between dental implants, crowns, and bridges. In many ways, they are intertwined. You will often have a combination of dental implants, crowns, and bridges depending on the type of dental restoration you need.
For example, while some crowns may sit on top of existing teeth, others may require an implant. Bridges may use crowns to be secured into place, and/or they may also use implants. So let’s get clear on what these dental terms mean.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are a revolutionary technology enabling dentists to create a permanent replacement for a lost tooth as opposed to removable dentures. A dental implant is a small metal screw that is placed into the jawbone that a replacement tooth aka crown can be secured to.
In some cases, bridges instead of individual crowns are secured to dental implants. This can be used for a few teeth or a lot of teeth. For example, an all-on-4 dental bridge is a way to replace an entire arch of teeth using just 4 dental implants.
Thus, many common complications of dental crowns and bridges will involve dental implants.
What Are Dental Crowns?
A dental implant does not work on its own, it needs “replacement teeth” to be useful. A dental crown is one option, which is a single replacement tooth, made of composite resin or ceramic (porcelain) that works just like a real tooth.
A partial crown (also called a cap) is a crown that is not a full replacement tooth and doesn’t require an implant. It simply replaces a portion of the tooth and can be an inlay (sitting inside the tooth, such as when there has been a cavity) or an onlay (which covers the tooth).
What Are Dental Bridges?
Dental bridges are kind of like dentures, only they are more permanent or at least semi-permanent. Instead of a singular crown, bridges are a series of artificial teeth. These false teeth usually come in a set and are secured to your mouth either by connecting to a dental implant or through two crowns that secure to the teeth on either side of the gap (where the missing tooth/teeth are).
What Are Common Complications of Dental Implants?
In many restorative dental cases, the dental implant is the foundation upon which a crown or bridge is secured. Sure, the vast majority of dental implants won’t cause any problems and complications are quite rare. If they do occur, complications may be more likely to happen soon after surgery. Therefore, being aware of potential dental implant problems is important. Therefore, be on the lookout for the following:
- Excess pain that doesn’t go away should be checked out by your dentist in Whittier.
- Movement of the implant is not a good thing. Your implant should not be loose. If it is, you should come in to have it looked at immediately.
- Some swelling right after your implant surgery is normal. If it gets significantly worse, doesn’t let up, or returns, your implant could be infected.
- Persistent bleeding or white/yellow discharge after the initial healing period is over could also be a sign of an infection or an abscess.
- A high temperature (fever) may also be a sign that the site of the implant has become infected.
As you can see, one of the biggest dangers after getting a dental implant is a bacterial infection. This can be more likely if you have a pre-existing condition such as diabetes or are on medications like steroids that dampen the immune system. Don’t ignore the potential infection but call Dentists of Whitter right away at (562) 414-5025 if these symptoms occur. An untreated bacterial infection can spread to the rest of the body and become quite serious.
What Are Common Complications of Dental Crowns?
Because dental crowns sit on top of teeth or implants, the most common complications are when they get chipped, cracked, or broken. You’ll probably know if you have a loose crown – it will be moving and perhaps dislocate when you try to speak or chew. This can cause irritation in the mouth and gums so should not be ignored but fixed as soon as possible.
What Are Common Complications of Dental Bridges?
Dental bridges should last for many years if properly taken care of. Be sure to brush and floss regularly to maintain your dental bridge(s). Getting regular checkups from your dentist in Whittier will also help keep your bridges working well for years to come.
So what can happen if dental bridges are not well-maintained?
If you experience some pain or tooth sensitivity when your dental bridge is first installed, this is normal. But if your pain persists for more than a week you need to contact us right away. A bridge that isn’t fitted properly can cause problems ranging from gum irritation to tooth loss in severe cases.
One of the most common problems that can occur with dental bridges is food that catches underneath the bridge. This can occur if bone resorption changes the fit of your bridge(s). This can lead to bacteria buildup that can cause gum disease that can weaken the teeth that secure the bridge.
General tartar and plaque from poor dental hygiene can also cause a similar problem with bacteria and gingivitis.
Additionally, be careful when chewing hard foods such as brittle candies. Avoid chewing ice, as it can damage your bridge.
If the artificial teeth or crowns in your bridge become chipped or broken, you’ll also want to call Dentists of Whitter right away at (562) 414-5025. Leaving this unattended can cause stress in other areas of the mouth, which can weaken your natural teeth or cause other issues with your bite or jaw.
How Can I Avoid Complications from Dental Implants, Crowns, and Bridges?
Proper dental hygiene can go a long way in avoiding complications of crowns, bridges, and implants. Also try to avoid eating foods that could dislodge your crowns or bridges, such as sticky toffee, hard candies, and other hard to chew foods. See your Dentist in Whitter regularly for checkups.
If you notice any pain, swelling, or discomfort with your dental implants, crowns, and bridges, contact us right away because the earlier we catch the problem, the better the outcome will be.
If you have dental implants, crowns, or bridges and want the best dentist in Southern California, contact us at Dentists of Whittier. We are experts in resolving any complications of restorative dentistry and are always happy to accept new patients. Contact us today for a consultation.