Ask a doctor

What are all the ways to remove a dental bridge?

I would like to know what is the legal ways to remove a dental bridge. My dentist took a tool and just pulled the bridge out like an extraction with a tooth. Before the appointment he told he will drill the bridge, but he did not.

Doctor Answers (1)

What are all the ways to remove a dental bridge?

+1
There are a number of techniques and tools that your dentist could use to remove your bridge.  Your dentist probably would have used the drill to remove the bridge if he hadn't been able to remove it with one of his instruments.  However, that would have resulted in the bridge being destroyed. 
My first choice in removing would depend on whether the crown or bridge was loose at all.  If so, I would try to pull it off with a dental instrument with little force.  If that didn't work, I would use the Richwil Crown and Bridge Remover, which is a wafer that is headed up making it soft, the patient bites into it (effectively temporarily gluing the upper and lower teeth together), the dentist then cools it with water, and finally instructs the patient to open quickly without moving the teeth side to side as in chewing.  This often achieves good results, pulling the crown or bridge off of the underlying tooth.
Your dentist was correct in telling you that he might have to drill the bridge off, as if it hadn't come off, then that would have been the safest next alternative way of removing the bridge.
Another last ditch technique, before drilling the bridge off, would be to use an instrument called a "bridge tapper", which is relatively uncomfortable, and can result in damaging the underlying tooth.  It is used effectively by many dentists, and certainly is an accepted technique, but I have inadvertently fractured several teeth over the 35 years that I have been practicing dentistry, thus only use the crown and bridge tapper in selective cases, and only with light tapping pressure.
By the way, pulling the bridge is NOT like extracting a tooth.  The classic technique of tooth extraction is that of using dental forcepts, and wiggling the tooth back and forth, NOT PULLING the tooth.
Sounds to me like your dentist did what he wanted to accomplish, removing the bridge, not having to drill the bridge off, and not breaking the underlying teeth.


Laguna Niguel Cosmetic Dentist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.