How Long Do Dental Bridges Last?

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If you’ve ever had a dental bridge or are considering one, you may wonder how long it will last. While the lifespan of a dental bridge varies from person to person, there are some ways to keep them in good shape. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some essential details and what you can do to help your dental bridge last as long as possible. Keep reading to learn more about them.

What Are Dental Bridges?

Dental bridges are artificial teeth that are often recommended to fill a gap left by one or more missing teeth. They are composed of three parts, abutment, crown, and pontic. The abutments are the two existing teeth on either side of the empty socket. The crowns are pieces that sit on top of an abutment and hold the pontic. The pontic is the false tooth that sits above the empty gap. 

These replacement teeth are usually bonded permanently, although other forms can be removed. The type of bridge you need will depend on the number of teeth you have missing and where they are located in your mouth. They can be a great option if you are looking for long-term restorative treatment.

How Long Do Dental Bridges Last?

Dental bridges can be a long-lasting dental restoration. They are typically designed to survive for many years. On average, they can remain functional for 5 to 7 years. Some claim that permanent bridges can stay in good condition for more than ten years.

Of course, the answer depends on many factors. Including the type of dental bridge, the material used, the condition of the gums and nearby teeth, and how well you take care of your oral health. Dental bridges can last only a few years if they are not taken care of. It’s essential to follow your dentist’s recommendations and properly maintain them to get the most out of your restorative treatment.

How Can I Make My Bridge Last Longer?

The lifespan of dental bridges typically depends on a few factors and individual circumstances. But caring for them may help you increase their longevity. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Practise good oral hygiene. Generally, brushing your teeth at least twice a day is highly advised. Be sure to brush all surfaces, including around the base of the restoration. Use an interdental brush or dental floss threader to clean the area under your bridge. Doing so can eliminate unwanted food debris and plaque, which prolongs the lifespan of your dental bridge.
  • Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush. Hard bristles can be too harsh on your bridge, leaving scratches that can make them look dull. Instead, use a toothbrush with soft bristles to avoid damaging your restoration.
  • Regular visits to your dentist. We suggest seeing a dentist regularly for checkups and professional cleanings of your teeth and bridge.
  • Avoid habits that can damage your teeth. Using your teeth as tools can damage both your natural and artificial teeth.
  • Use a towel or a clean basin. To avoid breaking your removable bridge, clean it over a sink filled with water or a folded towel. So that if you accidentally drop it, it will not break.
  • Don’t soak the bridge overnight. The metal portion of your removable bridge could rust if you leave them in water or a denture-soaking solution for 24 hours.

If you follow these simple tips, you can maximise the advantages of getting dental bridges as your tooth replacement.

What Benefits Do Dental Bridges Offer?

By taking proper care of your dental bridges, you’re most likely to enjoy the following advantages:

  • Restore your smile. Perhaps this is the most significant benefit of dental bridges. If you have gaps in your teeth, you may feel self-conscious about your appearance. Dental bridges can fill in those gaps and give you a beautiful smile.
  • Promotes good oral health. When you have gaps between your teeth, food and bacteria are more likely to become trapped in those spaces. If they are not removed and allowed to build up, they can cause tooth decay and gum disease. Dental bridges can help prevent these problems by replacing missing teeth.
  • Improved chewing function. By restoring the missing tooth, dental bridges enhance chewing, making it easier to eat your favourite foods. Chewing can be difficult and uncomfortable without teeth. When a tooth is removed, the adjacent teeth can also shift into the empty space, which can lead to an improper or misaligned bite.
  • Address speech impediments. Your teeth play a crucial role in how you articulate words in your mouth. If you’ve lost some teeth, you may be speaking with a lisp or have difficulty pronouncing certain sounds. By placing artificial teeth in the gaps left by missing teeth, dental bridges can help restore your speaking ability.

What Risks Come With Getting Dental Bridges?

We mentioned that proper care could increase the survival of bridges and reduce complications. But like all dental prosthetics, they come with some risks:

  • Risk of bridge failure. The most common reasons for failure are broken abutments or corrosion of the metal framework. In some cases, the bridge may slip out of place. If a bridge does fail, it is important to seek dental treatment immediately.
  • Painful chewing. One potential risk of getting dental bridges is that you may experience discomfort or pain when chewing. Some people struggle to adjust to eating with a bridge, especially weeks after the procedure. If the bite does not feel right, return to the dentist for an adjustment.
  • Dental caries and gum disease. Tooth decay can continue on the abutments supporting the dental bridge when it is not controlled. Placing bridges on those with advanced gum disease may only worsen their condition and cause bridge failure. It’s essential to manage these conditions prior to your treatment.

If you have concerns about any of these risks, talk to your dentist before getting a dental bridge.

Can Dental Bridges Fall Out?

Dental bridges are a common and efficient method to replace missing teeth. As discussed, they are durable restorations that generally last ten years or even longer before replacement becomes necessary. Plus, they are custom-made to fit your mouth and look natural. While they are usually successful, there are some situations where a dental bridge can fail and fall out, especially when the permanent cementation is not done correctly.

If you think your bridge may have fallen out or gotten loose, you must see your dentist immediately. They will be able to determine the cause of the problem and recommend the best course of action.

Why Do Dental Bridges Fail?

Some of the most common causes of dental bridge failure are listed below. Be sure to inform your dentist about any symptoms that arise so they can check them out.

  • Lack of support. The natural teeth that support dental bridges on either side of the gap are called abutment teeth. However, if one of the abutments is not strong enough to provide adequate support, it may cause the dental bridge to fail.
  • Poor dental hygiene leading to tooth decay. If diligent oral hygiene habits are not maintained, bacteria can form underneath the crowns on the abutment teeth. When this happens, cavities and decay can weaken them to the point where they can no longer support the replacement tooth. As a result, the bridge may fall out.
  • The material isn’t strong enough. It’s crucial to choose a material that can withstand the force of chewing and biting. Otherwise, it can break or chip, which can then cause the bridge to fall out. To avoid this, make sure to ask your dentist about what material they plan on using for your bridge and do your own research.
  • Bad oral habits. As discussed earlier, certain bad habits can harm your dental health. Chewing on pens, nail-biting, eating tough or sticky foods, crunching on ice, and teeth grinding can all contribute to dental bridge failure.
  • Skips routine dental appointments. At each visit, your dentist will check the condition of your bridge and ensure it’s still in good shape. Skipping dental visits will keep your dentist from taking steps to prevent potential problems from worsening.
  • Ill-fitting dental bridge. When the dental bridge is fabricated or cemented poorly, it may lead to loosening or falling out in a short amount of time. Your dentist should make sure that your bridge fits the prepared teeth properly and snugly to avoid this problem.

What Should I Do If My Dental Bridge Falls Out?

If your dental bridge falls out, you must get in touch with your dentist immediately. They can assess the condition of your teeth and make sure that everything is still in good condition. They can also reattach your dental bridge if possible. In some cases, however, you might need a new dental bridge. Either way, getting treatment as soon as possible is important to avoid further damage to your teeth.

In the meantime, you can store them in a clean Ziploc bag or container. That way, it won’t get lost or misplaced while you are waiting for your appointment.

Can Dental Bridges Be Replaced?

As we mentioned, dental bridges may need replacing because of a structural problem or when the abutment teeth need treatment or become unstable. There is no set amount of time in which a dental bridge should be replaced; it all depends on how well you look after it.

A few signs indicate when a dental bridge needs to be replaced. First and foremost, if you notice any chips or cracks in the bridge, it’s time to consult with your dentist. Additionally, pain or sensitivity when chewing or brushing can also indicate that the artificial tooth is no longer functioning properly. In general, it’s essential to attend regular checkups so your dentist can determine if and when it needs to be replaced.

Is A Dental Bridge Worth It?

When it comes to dental bridges, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. The decision to get them depends on many factors, including the health of your teeth, gums, and jawbone. However, there are some pros and cons that you may want to consider before making a choice.
Most people who get dental bridges are content with the results. As we’ve discussed, they can restore your smile and make it easier to eat and speak. They can also prevent your teeth from shifting out of place. However, they come without possible drawbacks. The procedure requires some removal of tooth structure from teeth that will serve as abutments. There is also a small risk of infection.

It is essential to weigh the pros and cons carefully before getting a traditional bridge. If you have any concerns, discuss them with your dentist.

Final Thoughts

Dental bridges, though not a permanent treatment for missing teeth, can provide a long-lasting replacement with proper oral hygiene. Their average lifespan is about ten years, or even more, if the patient is not at risk of complications. Otherwise, permanent bridges can fall out, and the typical culprits are abutment (natural) teeth issues. Overall, they can ease chewing and problems with speaking.

If you need a dental bridge or have questions about it, book an appointment or call Byford Smiles at (08) 9532 0247 today!

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