Flagstaff Smiles

Can Your Porcelain Bridge Be Repaired if Damaged?

December 23, 2020
6 Min Read
Can Your Porcelain Bridge Be Repaired if Damaged?

Porcelain is an ideal material for crafting dental restorations such as dental bridges for several reasons. Porcelain is long-lasting, durable, and strong. Those characteristics make it a versatile option for various dental restorations in different locations throughout your mouth, including crowns and fillings in addition to bridges.  Once shaped and finished by a dental professional, it closely resembles healthy and clean natural teeth. Well-crafted porcelain and maintained porcelain bridge is stain resistant and maintains its luster and appearance despite the passage of time. In the best-case scenario, a porcelain bridge can last for 10 or 15 years.

Ideal as porcelain is for crafting dental bridges near you, no material is entirely immune from damage. Accidents happen, and porcelain fixed bridges in Flagstaff can be damaged in, for example, falls, motor vehicle accidents, or assaults. If your bridge is damaged, can it be repaired? Or is replacing the entire bridge your only option?

Damage to porcelain fixed bridges in Flagstaff can be fixed without the need to remove and replace the entire restoration within narrow limits. Porcelain is a ceramic material made by heating clay materials to extremely high temperatures — temperatures as high as 1000 degrees Fahrenheit. Since heating, the material that makes up your dental bridge to over 1000 degrees while the bridge remains in your mouth is, well, impractical to say the least.

Your well-equipped dentist in Flagstaff can make small repairs to non-structural elements of a porcelain dental bridge without having to remove and replace the bridge using specialized repair kits. Porcelain repair kits are available to dentist’s offices, but are not usually part of their standard inventory unless they have a well-stocked restorative dentistry practice. To find out if porcelain repairs are possible at a particular dentist near you, you should call ahead of time and not assume anything.

Porcelain repair kits contain composite bonding materials similar to those used in fillings and dental bonding. Using those compounds, your dentist in Flagstaff may be able to replace a chip or chunk broken from a porcelain bridge. The material can be shaped and polished to match the other teeth in your bridge without any noticeable difference. As strong as the replacement material is, even the most professional application will leave a somewhat vulnerable end result. The bond formed between the composite repair material and the porcelain original bridge structure will never be as strong as the original.

Is repairing your damaged bridge feasible, economical, and reasonable? Making that decision depends on a lot of factors, including the results of a careful assessment of your entire bridge to identify any and all damage. If the damage is minor and relatively superficial (as opposed to significant and sufficient to undermine the structural integrity of the bridge) a repair using a repair kit may be appropriate — especially if it is located in a position where it will withstand the stress placed upon the bond and the lifespan of the bridge otherwise has lots of time to go.

Having said that, if the damage is significant enough to undermine the function or integrity of the bridge — or if the repair will be vulnerable depending on its location — and your bridge is nearing the end of its lifespan anyway, your dentist may recommend that the bridge be replaced rather than repaired.

Can your dental bridge be replaced? The fairest and most honest answer to that question is: “It depends.” To get the most precise and informed answer to whether the particular damage to your particular bridge in all of your specific circumstances can be replaced, contact a dentist near you to arrange an appointment to take a close look.

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