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How Long Does A Dental Bridge Last

by Lyndon Langley
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How Long Does A Dental Bridge Last

How Long Does A Dental Bridge Last

If you’ve been missing teeth for a while, or if you’re just getting ready to get some permanent replacements in, it’s time to start thinking about your smile again — and what that means for your dental health. The first thing most people think of when they consider replacing their lost pearly whites is implants, which are becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to traditional dentures. But there’s another option out there, one that involves using crowns and bridges made from porcelain or composite materials. And although this procedure isn’t quite as expensive as implanting titanium fixtures into your jawbone, it still costs hundreds of dollars per tooth.
Because these types of prosthetics have long lifespans (at least five to seven) and require little maintenance on the part of the patient, they’re often considered by many experts to be better options than traditional dentures. They also tend to look like real teeth, making them less noticeable and potentially leading to fewer instances of social anxiety. That said, not everyone needs a fixed bridge to replace their lost pearly whites; if you’re simply looking to improve the function of your current set of teeth rather than completely replace them, then you might want to consider having some false ones inserted instead. And even though these kinds of bridges can cost thousands of dollars each, depending on how many teeth need to be replaced, they typically aren’t much more expensive than other kinds of fixed bridgework.

So how long do these bridges actually last? If you take care of them properly, they should keep you well-spaced for several years. This will depend greatly on your overall state of oral health, but with proper brushing and flossing habits, you could end up saving yourself money in the long run.
The average life span of a dental bridge varies widely based on its design — specifically, the number of teeth that need to be supported. Most bridges only support two or three teeth apiece, so they usually last anywhere from four to six years. Some bridges, however, support multiple teeth across different archwires, and these bridges can last longer because their longevity depends largely on how healthy the supporting teeth remain over time.
For example, if all of the teeth that anchor a bridge fall victim to decay after just a few months, the bridge itself won’t stay in place for very long. In contrast, if one of those anchoring teeth remains sound through the process, it’ll help strengthen the structure and add stability to the whole assembly.
In addition to taking great care of the bridge material itself, wearing the right kind of protective gear can play a big role in extending the lifespan of your new fix. For instance, patients who wear removable partial denture liners are advised against doing so because the liners themselves will eventually fail. Once they become worn down, the liners begin to lose their ability to protect the underlying gum tissue from bacteria. Similarly, bridges should always be kept free of stains and food particles, since any of these things can speed up the deterioration process.
Lastly, if you haven’t visited your dentist recently, now would be a great time to schedule an appointment. Good oral hygiene goes hand in hand with maintaining a strong, healthy mouth, and keeping your gums and teeth free of plaque and tartar helps ensure that you don’t develop cavities.
Learn more about your dental health in our next section.
Your dentist may recommend a fixed bridge if he or she determines that replacing your natural teeth with artificial ones wouldn’t provide enough support for a full set of replacement teeth. Or perhaps you’d prefer to go with a fixed bridge because you already have metal fillings in some of your back molars — a situation where implants just won’t work. Regardless of why you opted for a fixed bridge, make sure you discuss your decision with your doctor before moving forward with anything. He or she can give you a better idea of whether this type of bridge is going to work best for you.
When You Should Get a Dental Bridge Instead of Implants
A lot of people opt to receive dental bridges in lieu of implants, especially if they don’t have the cash available to cover both procedures. Although implants are certainly superior to bridges when it comes to aesthetics, they can sometimes cause problems with speech, and they’re generally seen as being a bit more invasive.
Other factors that influence this decision include the condition of surrounding teeth and bone, the location of missing teeth, and how badly the gap between the upper and lower sets of teeth has separated. Bridges, on the other hand, can help restore your bite as well as your appearance, and they can be installed much quicker than implants can. Also, bridges are relatively inexpensive compared to implants, so they work great for those whose finances prevent them from undergoing the latter procedure.
It’s important to note, however, that no matter what kind of bridging device you choose, you should consult with your dentist prior to receiving any treatment. Your physician will be able to determine whether or not you’re a candidate for this particular procedure, and he or she can also offer advice regarding potential side effects and complications that may arise during the course of treatment.
Next up we’ll talk about how to maintain a dental bridge so that it lasts as long as possible.
Tooth loss can affect anyone at anytime, regardless of age. It’s estimated that 20 percent of Americans over the age of 70 experience some form of tooth loss every year.
Maintaining Your Fixed Bridge
Although fixing bridges takes a lot of specialized knowledge, the basic principles behind caring for your new teeth are pretty similar to those involved in caring for natural teeth. After all, both sets of teeth belong to the same family of hard, durable objects, and both must be taken care of properly to avoid degeneration. To keep your bridge functioning properly, you need to brush and floss regularly, refrain from chewing tobacco products, and see your dentist twice yearly for checkups. Like other types of bridges, fixed bridges can break down over time due to neglect and poor dental care.
One of the biggest issues that leads to the failure of fixed bridges can be traced directly back to the way they were initially constructed. When bridges are attached to neighboring teeth, especially if they’re anchored with silver soldered pins, there’s a risk that the pins will weaken over time. As such, it’s recommended that the bridge be removed once the damaged pin becomes visible. Then, the area around the tooth socket can be filled with a resinous substance called gutta percha, along with a zinc oxide eugenol paste. Over time, the repaired area will harden and solidify, creating a stronger bond between the bridge and neighboring tooth.
Another problem commonly associated with fixed bridges is misalignment. Because they’re anchored to neighboring teeth, bridges can shift slightly over time, which can lead to discomfort and pain. If the bridge shifts too far, however, it can cause damage to the soft tissues inside the mouth, including the gums, which can ultimately result in premature destruction of the bridge itself. To prevent this from happening, bridges should be checked annually by a qualified dental professional.
Finally, bridges can also become loose over time because of improper cleaning techniques. Because bridges are designed to fit snugly within the space created by gaps left behind by missing teeth, they can easily slip out of position without you realizing it. Loose-fitting bridges can also lead to serious tooth alignment problems, causing unnecessary strain on surrounding teeth and bones. If you notice any sign of slippage, contact your dentist immediately to find out what caused the bridge to loosen and to correct the issue.
Now that you know how long fixed bridges typically last, read on to learn about some common ways to extend their useful lives.
There are many types of dental bridges, but most are comprised mainly of ceramic material. Of these, the most popular is known as a cantilever bridge, thanks to its sturdy yet lightweight construction. Cantilevered bridges connect neighboring teeth at either end of the gap. These bridges rely heavily on the strength of the neighboring teeth to hold them in place, so if those teeth weaken or deteriorate, the bridge may become unstable.
Extending the Lifespan of Your Dental Bridge
Fixed bridges come in all shapes and sizes, but they all share certain qualities that can impact their longevity. For example, the size of the gap that separates the bridge from the adjacent teeth plays a significant role in determining how well the bridge holds up over time. If the gap is small, the bridge can slip out of position more easily, meaning that it probably won’t last as long. Conversely, larger gaps create more room for the bridge to move around freely, allowing it to retain its original position for longer periods of time.
The shape of the bridge can also affect its durability. Straight bridges allow food to pass right through them, whereas curves help slow down the movement of food particles. More importantly, curved bridges have greater surface areas, meaning that they’re better equipped to handle the constant friction caused by contact with food particles.
As mentioned previously, proper cleaning methods can help prolong the lifespan of your bridge. Ideally, you should use a special soft bristled brush to scrub away any gunk that accumulates along the sides and underneath the bridge, as well as beneath the neighboring teeth. This will reduce the

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