How Long Does A Dental Bridge Last?

How Long Does A Dental Bridge Last?

Losing a tooth can be more than just a cosmetic issue; it can lead to a series of dental complications. This is where dental bridges come into play. They offer a seamless solution for replacing missing teeth and restoring your smile. In this blog, we'll explore what dental bridges are, their longevity, and essential aftercare tips to maximize their lifespan. 

Plus, we'll discuss the telltale signs indicating when it's time to replace your dental bridge. Whether you're considering getting a dental bridge or already have one, this guide will provide valuable insights to help you maintain your oral health.

How Long Does A Dental Bridge Last?

What Is A Dental Bridge?

A dental bridge is a custom-made replacement for one or more missing teeth that literally "bridges" the gap. When you lose a tooth, the neighboring teeth may shift, leading to a misaligned bite, gum disease, or TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders. A dental bridge is an effective solution to prevent these problems.

There are different types of dental bridges: traditional, cantilever, Maryland, and implant-supported. The traditional bridge involves creating a crown for the tooth or implant on either side of the missing tooth, with a pontic (a false tooth) in between. Cantilever bridges are used when there are adjacent teeth on only one side of the missing tooth. Maryland bridges typically involve a false tooth supported by a metal or porcelain framework. Implant-supported bridges are mounted on dental implants.

How Long Do Dental Bridges Last?

The lifespan of a dental bridge depends on several factors, including the type of bridge, the materials used, and how well it’s cared for. Generally, dental bridges last between 5 to 15 years. With good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups, some bridges can last over 15 years. However, the durability also depends on the strength and health of the surrounding teeth and gums.

Traditional and cantilever bridges usually last 5 to 15 years, while Maryland bridges might have a slightly shorter lifespan due to their less invasive nature. Implant-supported bridges tend to last the longest, as they are anchored directly into the jawbone, providing a stable and long-lasting solution.

The material of the bridge also plays a crucial role in its longevity. Porcelain or ceramic bridges tend to be the most popular due to their natural appearance, but they may not be as durable as metal or porcelain-fused-to-metal bridges.

Aftercare Tips To Help Them Last Longer

To maximize the lifespan of your dental bridge, proper care is absolutely essential. Here are some aftercare tips:

  • Maintain Good Oral Hygiene: Brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily. Using a floss threader can help clean under the pontic. Additionally, rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash to reduce plaque buildup.
  • Regular Dental Checkups And Cleanings: Visit your dentist regularly for checkups and professional cleanings. This helps in identifying any issues early on and ensures that your bridge and natural teeth remain in good condition.
  • Eat A Balanced Diet: Eating a balanced diet helps maintain overall oral health. Avoid hard, sticky, and sugary foods that can damage the bridge or increase the risk of cavities in the adjoining teeth.
  • Avoid Bad Habits: Chewing on hard objects like ice, pens, or fingernails can damage your bridge. If you grind your teeth at night, ask your dentist about a night guard to protect your bridge and natural teeth.
  • Use Protective Gear: If you play contact sports, wear a mouthguard to protect your bridge from impact.
  • Avoid Using Teeth As Tools: Refrain from using your teeth to open packaging, cut thread, or perform other tasks that are not intended for teeth. This can put undue stress on your dental bridge and lead to damage.
  • Manage Stress-Related Oral Habits: If you have habits like clenching or grinding your teeth, particularly during stressful periods, it's important to address these issues. Stress can contribute to bruxism, which can damage both your natural teeth and your dental bridge. Consider relaxation techniques or consult with your dentist for solutions like a custom mouthguard.

Signs You Need New Dental Bridges

Just like any dental restoration, bridges can deteriorate over time. If you notice any of these symptoms, it's important to schedule a dental appointment as soon as possible to prevent further complications.

  • Pain Or Sensitivity: If you experience pain or sensitivity around the bridge, it may indicate decay or damage.
  • Loose Bridge: A bridge that feels loose or moves when you chew or talk needs immediate attention.
  • Change In Bite: Changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite can indicate that the bridge is worn out.
  • Visible Damage: Cracks, chips, or fractures in the bridge are signs that it needs to be replaced.
  • Gum Disease: If the gums around your bridge become swollen, bleed, or recede, it could compromise the bridge’s fit and stability.
  • Bad Breath Or Bad Taste: Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth, especially around the area of the bridge, can be a sign of trapped food particles or decay, indicating that the bridge might need attention.
  • Difficulty Chewing: If you find it increasingly difficult to chew food comfortably, or if you experience pain during chewing, this could be a sign that the bridge is no longer fitting correctly or is damaged.
  • Discoloration Or Staining: Noticeable discoloration or staining on the bridge, especially at the junction with the natural teeth, can be an indicator of deterioration or decay underneath the bridge.
  • Increased Sensitivity To Temperature: If you start experiencing sensitivity to hot or cold foods and beverages in the area around your bridge, it might be a sign of an underlying issue such as exposed roots or dental decay.
  • Swelling Or Redness In Surrounding Tissue: Any unusual swelling, redness, or tenderness in the gums or cheek around the dental bridge could indicate an infection or inflammation requiring immediate dental evaluation.

Schedule Your Dental Bridge Consultation In Spartanburg Today

At Skylyn Dental Associates, we understand the importance of a healthy, complete smile. If you're considering a dental bridge in Spartanburg or think your existing one might need replacement, don't hesitate to reach out to us. Dr. Paul Gibas and his dedicated team are committed to providing the highest quality dental care in Spartanburg, SC. Call us today at (864) 573-9255 to schedule your consultation and take the first step towards a healthier, more confident smile.