Will I feel pain?

Your comfort and relaxation are important to you and your care team. You may feel brief sharp pinches when your dentist injects your gums with local anesthetic. Ask your dentist if your gums can be partially numbed with a painless topical anesthetic before the injections. 

You may also feel pressure as your dentist prepares your teeth to receive a bridge. Take a few long, deep breaths to help yourself relax. Tell your dentist if any discomfort does not pass quickly.

What are the risks and potential complications of a dental bridge?  

Complications of a dental bridge are uncommon, but any dental procedure involves risks and the potential complications.  Complications may become serious in some cases. Complications can develop during the procedure or your recovery. 

Risks and potential complications of a dental bridge include:

  • Allergic reaction to the materials used in the false tooth or crown
  • Anesthetic complications, such as allergic reaction and nerve or blood vessel injury
  • Chipping, loosening, and loss of the bridge
  • Infection in the teeth that are crowned and support the bridge
  • Mouth or tooth injury 
  • Sensitivity to heat and cold in the crowned teeth

Reducing your risk of complications

You can reduce the risk of certain complications by:

  • Following activity, dietary and lifestyle restrictions and recommendations before your bridge procedure and during recovery
  • Informing your dentist if you are nursing or if there is any possibility of pregnancy
  • Notifying your dentist immediately of any concerns after the procedure such as pain, fever, and difficulty chewing 
  • Taking your medications exactly as directed 
  • Telling all members of your care team if you have any allergies, especially any metal allergies if your dentist is using metal bridge material
  • Wearing your temporary bridge at all times until the permanent bridge is placed

How do I prepare for my dental bridge procedure? 

You are an important member of your dental care team. The steps you take before your dental bridge procedure can improve your comfort and outcome. 

You can prepare for a dental bridge procedure by:

  • Answering all questions about your medical history and medications. This includes prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs, herbal treatments, and vitamins. It is a good idea to carry a current list of your medical conditions, medications, and allergies at all times.
  • Taking or stopping medications exactly as directed
  • Telling your dentist if there is any possibility of pregnancy

Questions to ask your dentist

Having a dental bridge procedure can be stressful. It is common for patients to forget some of their questions during a dentist’s office visit. You may also think of other questions after your appointment. Contact your dentist with concerns and questions before your dental bridge procedure and between appointments. 

It is also a good idea to bring a list of questions to your appointments. Questions can include:

  • How long will the procedure take? When will I go home?
  • What are my options for the types of bridges and bridge materials? 
  • What restrictions will I have after the procedure? When can I expect to return to eating, work, and other activities?
  • How do I take my medications? 
  • How will you treat my pain?
  • How long should my bridge last?
  • When should I follow up with you?
  • How should I contact you? Ask for numbers to call during and after regular hours.

What can I expect after my dental bridge procedure?

Knowing what to expect can help you get back to your everyday life as soon as possible.

How will I feel after the dental bridge procedure?

Your mouth, gums and tongue may feel numb for a few hours after your dental bridge procedure. This is because the local anesthetic will take time to wear off. 

You may also feel some tenderness and your affected teeth may be more sensitive than usual to cold and heat for a few days or weeks after your procedure. Tell your dentist if these symptoms worsen or continue longer than a couple weeks because they can be a sign of a complication.

When can I go home?