When it comes to dental bridges, many people wonder how long they can expect them to last. After all, investing in a dental bridge is a significant decision that requires both time and money.
While dental bridges are an excellent option for replacing missing teeth, there are several factors that can affect their longevity. Factors such as oral hygiene, diet, and regular dental check-ups can all play a role in determining how long your dental bridge will last.
So, what is the truth about dental bridges, and how long can you expect them to last? In this article, we'll explore everything you need to know about dental bridges, including their lifespan, maintenance, and when you should consider replacing them. Whether you're considering a dental bridge or you already have one, this article will provide valuable insights into the world of dental bridges and their long-term durability.
What are dental bridges made of?
Dental bridges are prosthetic devices that are designed to replace one or more missing teeth. They are typically made up of two or more crowns that are placed on either side of the gap where the missing tooth used to be. These crowns are then connected by a false tooth, or pontic, which fills in the gap.
Dental bridges can be made from a variety of materials, including porcelain, ceramic, gold, and metal alloys. Porcelain and ceramic bridges are popular because they can be matched to the color of your natural teeth, making them virtually indistinguishable from your real teeth. Gold and metal alloy bridges are stronger and more durable than porcelain and ceramic bridges, but they are more noticeable.
The type of material used to make your dental bridge will depend on several factors, including the location of the missing tooth, your budget, and your personal preferences. Your dentist will discuss your options with you and help you choose the best material for your individual needs.
Factors that affect the lifespan of dental bridges
While dental bridges are designed to be durable and long-lasting, their lifespan can be affected by several factors. The most common factors that can affect the lifespan of your dental bridge include:
Maintaining good oral hygiene is essential for the longevity of your dental bridge. If you don't brush and floss regularly, plaque and bacteria can build up around the bridge, leading to decay and gum disease. Over time, this can cause the bridge to become loose or even fall out.
What you eat can also affect the lifespan of your dental bridge. Hard, sticky, or chewy foods can put a lot of stress on the bridge, causing it to crack or break. To prolong the lifespan of your bridge, it's best to avoid these types of foods and stick to a soft diet.
Regular dental check-ups
Regular dental check-ups are essential for the maintenance and longevity of your dental bridge. During these appointments, your dentist will check the fit and stability of your bridge and make any necessary adjustments. They will also clean the bridge and surrounding teeth to remove any plaque or bacteria that could cause damage.
Average lifespan of dental bridges
The average lifespan of a dental bridge can vary depending on several factors, including the materials used to make the bridge, the location of the missing tooth, and how well the bridge is maintained. On average, dental bridges can last anywhere from 5 to 15 years or longer.
Porcelain and ceramic bridges tend to have a shorter lifespan than gold and metal alloy bridges, with an average lifespan of around 5 to 7 years. Gold and metal alloy bridges, on the other hand, can last upwards of 15 years or longer with proper care and maintenance.
Signs that your dental bridge needs to be replaced
Knowing when to replace your dental bridge is essential for maintaining good oral health and preventing further damage. Some of the most common signs that your dental bridge needs to be replaced include:
Damage to the bridge
If your dental bridge is cracked, chipped, or broken, it will need to be replaced. This type of damage can occur over time due to wear and tear or as a result of trauma.
Loose or shifting bridge
If your dental bridge feels loose or shifts around when you eat or talk, it may need to be replaced. This can signal that the bridge is no longer properly fitted to your teeth or that the supporting teeth are weak.
Pain or discomfort
If you experience pain or discomfort around your dental bridge, it may be a sign that the bridge is damaged or ill-fitting. This can lead to further complications, such as gum disease or tooth decay.
How to care for your dental bridge to prolong its lifespan
Proper care and maintenance are essential for prolonging the lifespan of your dental bridge. Here are some tips to help you care for your dental bridge:
Brush and floss regularly
Brushing and flossing regularly is essential for maintaining good oral hygiene and preventing decay and gum disease. Make sure to brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day.
Use a fluoride toothpaste
Using fluoride toothpaste can help strengthen your teeth and prevent decay. Make sure to choose a toothpaste that is approved by the American Dental Association.
Avoid hard, sticky, or chewy foods
Hard, sticky, or chewy foods can put a lot of stress on your dental bridge, causing it to crack or break. To avoid this, stick to a soft diet and avoid these types of foods.
Visit your dentist regularly
Regular dental check-ups are essential for maintaining the longevity of your dental bridge. Make sure to visit your dentist at least twice a year for cleanings and check-ups.
Common problems with dental bridges and how to avoid them
While dental bridges are designed to be durable and long-lasting, they can still encounter problems over time. Here are some of the most common problems with dental bridges and how to avoid them:
Decay can occur around the supporting teeth of your dental bridge if you don't maintain good oral hygiene. To avoid decay, make sure to brush and floss regularly and visit your dentist for check-ups and cleanings.
Gum disease is a common problem that can occur around dental bridges. This can lead to further complications, such as bone loss and tooth decay. To avoid gum disease, make sure to maintain good oral hygiene and visit your dentist regularly.
Fractures can occur in the bridge itself or in the supporting teeth. This can be caused by trauma or by biting down on hard objects. To avoid fractures, avoid hard, sticky, or chewy foods, and wear a mouthguard if you engage in contact sports.
Dental Bridges in Aliso Viejo
Dental bridges are an excellent option for replacing missing teeth and restoring your smile. While their lifespan can vary depending on several factors, they can last anywhere from 5 to 15 years or longer with proper care and maintenance.
If you're considering a dental bridge, make sure to discuss your options with your dentist and choose the best material for your individual needs. And if you already have a dental bridge, make sure to care for it properly to prolong its lifespan and prevent further complications. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact us at 949-916-7800.