Solid, well-cemented crowns or bridges rarely loosen. Occasionally, a crown can become uncemented from a healthy underlying tooth, especially if the tooth is short or small. If the tooth is has no decay, the crown can be cleaned and recemented. Otherwise, we will talk about a new crown. If the decay is extensive, root canal treatment may be needed, followed by a new crown. In very advanced cases, the tooth may be so weak that replacing it with an bridge or implant may make more sense.
Bridges are anchored front and back by two or more teeth. If the bridge loosens on one end and not the other, it can be difficult to remove without damaging the cemented tooth. We use an air-driven instrument to gently try to dislodge a bridge that is loose on one end but not the other. If the bridge does not loosen easily, we stop, to avoid damage to the underlying teeth. In that case, we will talk about options of a new bridge or dental implants to replace the missing teeth.
Teeth restored with crowns or bridges sometimes become sensitive to biting, temperature, or sweets. This is a sign of a problem, we need to evaluate it for you. There could be decay, a beginning root canal problem, or gum recession causing exposed and sensitive roots. Treatment options may include a desensitizer for exposed roots, or a new crown if decay is present. Root canal treatment often can be completed by an endodontist through the top of the existing crown, followed by a filling.