Bridge Post-Op

A dental bridge is a dental prosthesis used to restore missing teeth and is made from an artificial tooth connected to dental crowns on either side. To place a dental bridge, you will undergo two dental appointments. The first is to prepare the tooth and the second is to cement the permanent restoration. Each procedure will have its own set of post-op protocols for you to follow.

Post-Op Protocols for Your Tooth Preparation Appointment:

What should I expect after my tooth preparation appointment?

During your tooth preparation appointment, you will have a temporary bridge placed. You can expect to leave our dental office with this temporary bridge cemented into your mouth. This temporary bridge protects the teeth from damage and ensures that there is enough space for the permanent bridge by preventing the adjacent teeth from shifting. It is imperative that the temporary bridge remains in place until the permanent bridge can be placed. If your temporary bridge becomes lost or damaged in any way, call our office immediately.

It is important to note that your temporary bridge is not made from the same materials as your permanent bridge. Because of this, your temporary bridge may feel rough and may not be the exact color or shape that you would like. Although your temporary may not be perfect, you can be sure that your permanent bridge is being custom fabricated to your individual smile.

However, if your bite feels off with your temporary bridge, you will need to notify our office immediately. Sometimes, the dental anesthetics can make it hard to determine if your bite is even. If the anesthetic wears off and your bite feels uneven, we will need to make adjustments to the temporary bridge to keep your bite even.

When can I eat?

You can eat as soon as your mouth regains feeling. During your procedure, a local anesthetic will be used to numb your mouth and keep you comfortable. This will cause your lips, teeth, and tongue to remain numb for up to five hours after your procedure. The amount of time you will remain numb depends upon how much anesthetic was used, where it was used, and how fast your body metabolizes it. Because you can do damage to your mouth trying to eat when numb, we recommend waiting to eat until you have feeling in your mouth.

How can I manage my pain?

Before your anesthetic wears off completely, we recommend taking either 1-2 tablets of ibuprofen or Tylenol every 4-6 hours as needed. This will help manage your pain when the anesthetic wears off. Once the anesthetic wears off, you can continue this routine to manage your pain.

In addition to general tooth pain, you may also experience some tooth sensitivity to temperature, sweets, or biting. This is completely normal and will usually dissipate within a few days following your procedure. If it continues beyond a few days, you will want to call our office for further instruction.

Finally, your gums may also be sore or irritated following your tooth preparation procedure. To help alleviate this discomfort, we recommend a warm salt water rinse. A warm salt water rinse is composed of one teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water. You will want to swish this mixture around inside your mouth, over your gums, then spit.

How do I take care of my temporary bridge?

Because temporary bridges are not intended for permanent use, they are made from a lightweight material and are not as durable as a permanent bridge. As such, you will need to avoid foods that are sticky, chewy, or hard. You will also need to exercise caution when brushing or flossing around the temporary bridge. Once your permanent bridge is placed, you can resume normal brushing and flossing.

Post-Op Protocols for Your Permanent Restoration:

What should I expect after my permanent bridge is cemented in place?

Once your permanent bridge has been cemented in place, you will need to allow the cement to completely harden in the first 24 hours. Because of this, you must avoid chewing hard or sticky foods, as well as avoid using a rotary toothbrush or flossing around your permanent bridge for the first 24 hours. In addition, you may also notice small pieces of excess bonding material around your new bridge. Most of these pieces will eventually fall off while brushing, however if you feel anything sharp, come into our office and we can remove it.

When can I eat?

You can eat as soon as your mouth regains feeling. During your procedure, a local anesthetic will be used to numb your mouth and keep you comfortable. This will cause your lips, teeth, and tongue to remain numb for up to five hours after your procedure. The amount of time you will remain numb depends upon how much anesthetic was used, where it was used, and how fast your body metabolizes it. Because you can do damage to your mouth trying to eat when numb, we recommend waiting to eat until you have feeling in your mouth. Also, be sure to avoid eating chewing or hard foods in the first 24 hours following your bridge placement.

How can I manage my pain?

Before your anesthetic wears off completely, we recommend taking either 1-2 tablets of ibuprofen or Tylenol every 4-6 hours as needed. This will help manage your pain when the anesthetic wears off. Once the anesthetic wears off, you can continue this routine to manage your pain.

In addition to general tooth pain, you may also experience some tooth sensitivity to temperature, sweets, or biting. This is completely normal and will usually dissipate within a few days following your procedure. If it continues beyond a few days, you will want to call our office for further instruction.

Finally, your gums may also be sore or irritated following your tooth preparation procedure. To help alleviate this discomfort, we recommend a warm salt water rinse. A warm salt water rinse is composed of one teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water. You will want to swish this mixture around inside your mouth, over your gums, then spit.

How do I take care of my permanent bridge?

To care for your permanent bridge, you will need to brush your teeth twice daily for two minutes at a time, floss once daily, and have regular dental checkups and professional teeth cleanings every six months. These checkups are essential to identify possible problems with your restoration early on before they have a chance to escalate, requiring a restoration replacement. Additionally, you will need to take special care to floss around the bottom edge of the crown because this is a common area for tooth decay.

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