What is an acceptable range for a gap under the pontic on a bridge?

I recently had a bridge placed on my upper jaw and the gap under the pontic is large enough to pass a toothpick through easily(food constantly gets trapped there), it seems excessive to me, what is the normal range of gap under the bridge? Another concern that I have is that the dental assistant, and then later the dentist grinded down my teeth in several places on the lower jaw (healthy teeth) to adjust the bite with their resoning being that the porclin had gotten too thin on the bridge to remove any more material from it. Is this a common practice? The bridge is only on with temporary sealent now due to pain issues from the temp that I wanted to make sure were resolved before the bridge was attached permantly. I do not know if this is all normal or if i should seek out another dentist to complete/repair the bridge before it is attached with permanent sealent. Thank you, ~Chris

Answer: Food collecting under bridge

By Sarah h

If you are constantly packing food, this will lead to a periodontal issue as well as the possibility of recurrent decay around the bridge. It is a very good idea to express this to the dentist prior to cementing the bridge permanently. Sometimes after a tooth is removed, the tissue and bone shrinks more than expected, which creates a gap between the tissue and the pontic, or false tooth, on the bridge. Floss threaders and a waterpik will be ideal to remove the food and debris from between and under the bridge after eating. It is concerning that the bite had to be adjusted several times and then your teeth, not because this is uncommon, but rather the bite in combination with the gap could mean the bridge is not properly seating onto the teeth. An easy way to determine if it is in fact completely seated onto the abutment teeth, is to take a dental radiograph of the bridge in place. If the bridge is completely seating properly in the mouth, the dentist may decide to take a new impression for the lab in order to add porcelain to the space where you are collecting food. As far as the adjustment of your natural teeth, it most likely was very minimal and still well within the enamel. This should not cause any harm or further damage to the teeth.