138 Bridge – How Long does a Dental Bridge Last? (5 of 5)
With proper care, dental bridges can often last ten years or more. Bridges are a replacement option for missing teeth. They aid in preventing dental issues from impacting the surrounding teeth, which can shift as a result of the missing tooth. Bridges play a critical role as a dental treatment option for many patients. As with many dental procedures, there are many variables which can affect the lifespan of a bridge. For example, the oral hygiene regimen and diet of the patient both play an important role and make it challenging to answer how long dental bridges are expected to last.
Lifespan of a Dental Bridge
There are some differing opinions regarding the expected lifespan of a dental bridge. Based on information from the Cleveland Clinic, dental bridges typically last for about five to seven years. In some cases, bridges can last for 10 years. With good oral hygiene practices, dental bridges can last far longer than 10 years, even a lifetime for some patients.
Dental Bridge Failure
The process for fitting a dental bridge often includes filing down the teeth which are adjacent to the missing tooth. This is necessary in order to prepare them for the crown which supports the replacement false tooth. However, according to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, this also increases the risk for decay, gum disease and infection. Filing the tooth down can also increase the patient’s risk for a root canal. In the event one of the supporting teeth fails, it is possible for the entire dental bridge to fail.
Dental Bridge Failure Prevention
Eating a balanced and tooth-friendly diet, in addition to avoiding foods which place a strain on the dental bridge, aids in preventing failure and extending the lifespan of the bridge. For good oral health and to help protect the bridge, patients should eat more fruit, vegetables and fiber than meat. In addition, patients with a dental bridge should work to avoid sugary and starchy foods as they can cause decay. It can also be helpful to avoid eating hard and sticky snacks such as nuts, caramel, popcorn, and candy. These types of foods can place too much chewing pressure on the dental bridge.
Dental Bridge Care
Caring for a dental bridge involves many of the things associated with caring for natural teeth such as good oral hygiene, regular professional cleanings and dental examinations. Practicing these habits can help increase the lifespan of the bridge. Patients should brush with a special strengthening toothpaste with fluoride and cavity-fighting properties. Flossing each day helps to ensure the bridge and surround gums stay healthy as food can easily become trapped below and be challenging to remove. These trapped food particles can cause decay in the adjacent teeth over time. Dentists recommend using a floss threader in order to thoroughly floss below the bridge and remove any trapped food. Dental professionals also suggest patients have a professional cleaning of the dental bridge every six months or as recommended by your dentist.
While it is common for patients to want to know how long dental bridges are expected to last, the answer is that the lifespan mostly depends on their oral hygiene and diet. When patients are careful and take care of their dental bridges, they are an excellent option for replacing missing teeth. When a bridge is properly cared for and the patient maintains good oral health, it can last for 10 years or more.