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Problem with Bridge

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Posted by: dmvprof  (9 years ago)
About 5 months ago I had a bridge installed on 30,31,32. The next day, I called the dentist back and told him that there was a gap between the lower and upper teeth. The dentist told me that he left a bit of a gap because I had to have a root canal on #32 prep and he didn't want to irritate it. He said that the teeth would naturally come together over time and my bite would be normal. This sounded strange to me, I didn't know how teeth would get longer, but I didn't pursue it further.

In the last few days, I have noticed that I have bad breath even minutes after cleaning my teeth and rinsing. I'm also having some very slight pain on my #3 tooth, directly above my new bridge. Could this be a result of the occlusion not being right and the tooth extending down too far to meet the bridge on the bottom and exposing too much of the tooth. I suspect that I have an abscess that is draining in my mouth and causing bad breath. But is isn't painful because it is draining. If this is the result of a poorly fitted bridge, then I think this dentist should be responsible.

I have not had this examined yet because it only became noticeable yesterday. But if there is some potential liability, I would like to have another dentist examine me first so I can establish this independently.

Thanks for any advice.

User Level:
Posted by: Manchy  (9 years ago)
I'll repeat what u said according to my understanding.
So you had a 3-unit bridge on teeth #30, #31 and #32. The bridge replaces tooth #31 and uses teeth #30 and #32 for support?
By teeth #30, #31 and #32 you mean the last three big (molar) teeth in the bottom (lower) right side of your jaw, with tooth #32 being the wisdom tooth?
Your dentist left a gap between the upper teeth and lower bridge because tooth #32 which is your lower wisdom teeth -that is covered with part of the bridge- needs a root canal treatment.
I'll clarify some terms first:
- Teeth do not elongate. Upper teeth, if not on occlusion (not contacting lower teeth) will usually undergo over-eruption process until this is stopped by occluding with lower teeth.which means they still keep their dimensions but come down a bit.
- A root canal treatment is a dental treatment that involves opening up the tooth (having access to the nerves), removing the nerve, disinfecting the place of the nerve and then if everything is satisfactory your dentist can go ahead and fill the root and the tooth.
In the case of your #32 tooth, this means the bridge should either be removed or a hole is made on the bridge (the bit covering tooth#32) for the root canal therapy to be done. If your dentist knew in advance that this tooth needs a root canal treatment, why a bridge was placed in the first place without resolving the nerve problem first?
- Tooth #32 is a wisdom tooth. Your dentist said it will need a root canal treatment but did he mention anything about it being suitable for a root canal treatment, as many wisdom teeth have weird root shapes or difficult positions and locations (i.e COULD be close to the ID nerve which supplies teeth, cheek, lower lip to the corresponding side ( right or left).
I am not saying your dentist is wrong because he probably knows more as he he has looked at your teeth and the related x-rays.

The question is, before 5 months your tooth needed a root canal treatment but nothing has been done to the tooth yet?

An abscess could cause bad breath if it was draining into the mouth and yes you might not feel pressure pain in that case. Do you feel bad taste in your mouth?
Another possibility for bad breath is not cleaning underneath the bridge. You did mention cleaning your teeth and rinsing your mouth. Patient with bridges are usually advised to use super-floss ( a floss with a pointy edge at one side of it) insert it through the gap underneath the bridge (where the tooth is missing), pull it from the other side and clean that area removing any food debri .