When it comes to your smile, your dentist can play an important part in keeping it going, including addressing any dental-related issues that may affect its vibrance. An essential element of this is maintaining a healthy mouth and, when necessary, seeking solutions for missing or damaged teeth, with one such solution being a dental bridge.
A dental bridge can closely match the color and functioning of the surrounding teeth and provide you with both comfort and confidence. The lifespan of a dental bridge, however, isn’t forever. While it will most likely need replacement at some point, how soon that replacement is required will depend on a variety of factors.
What is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is a device that serves as a replacement for one or more teeth and is secured to crowns, implants, or your natural teeth on each end. Essentially, they consist of artificial teeth anchored to adjacent teeth, allowing you to chew, speak, and smile normally and with confidence. You may have a fixed or removable dental bridge depending upon your circumstances and the recommendations made by your dentist.
Some fixed bridges consist of a capping of a natural tooth, crown, or an implant at each end of the bridge, then are cemented into place. Another type of fixed bridge requires metal fixtures to be fastened to the jawbone, with the bridge attached to corresponding dental implants.
Removable dental bridges are fitted and snapped into place instead of being cemented. This allows you to remove them for better cleaning.
How Long Does a Dental Bridge Last?
A dental bridge, whether a removable or fixed type, will at some point weaken or suffer damage due to everyday wear. You can also experience decay developing under or around the bridge or the occurrence of an infection here, both leading to the need for a replacement sooner rather than later.
While problems can also result due to an injury or impact, which are out of your control in most instances, many times dental bridges simply wear out, or the cementation that holds fixed bridges in place begins to fail.
There is no specific or exact timeframe for how long a dental bridge will last, but they typically need replacing at around 5-7 years after placement. In some cases, however, they can last longer, possibly up to ten years or more. This is particularly possible for the fixed versions.
Much will depend on your diet, lifestyle, and dental hygiene routine, so understanding what you can do to increase the lifespan of your dental bridge can make all the difference.
Best Ways to Care for a Dental Bridge
To maximize how long your dental bridge will last, you will need to focus on providing the proper care, including the things to avoid. The essential thing to always keep in mind, though, is that you need to treat your dental bridge much like your natural teeth.
For your dental bridge to last longer, take the following actions.
- Maintain a good oral hygiene routine.
- For removable ones, remove the dental bridge and brush gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Avoid using toothpastes that contain abrasive ingredients which can scratch its surface. Always rinse the dental bridge with cool water, not hot.
- Rinse your mouth every day with an antiseptic mouthwash to prevent gum disease and tooth decay from forming.
- Avoid letting your dental bridge soak for long periods to avoid potentially rusting the metal attachments if they have these.
- Schedule regular dental visits to evaluate the dental bridge and its continued usefulness and also for professional cleanings.
- Avoid or limit eating nuts or other hard items using the area where the bridge is located.
- Keep sticky or chewy foods away from your dental bridge. These foods include caramel, chewing gum, and various meats, such as steak.
- Discontinue any nail biting, using teeth to open packaging, and chewing on pencils or pens, which can chip or fracture the bridge as well as surrounding teeth.
- Extend the lifespan of your dental bridge by keeping your remaining natural teeth and gums healthy.
- Ask your dentist for more recommendations for improving the lifespan of your dental bridge.
Essentially, it all boils down to this. How long your dental bridge will last depends largely upon how you care for it and for the teeth that surround it.
With the help of the best oral hygiene practices and paying attention to what you eat on a regular basis, you can successfully extend and maximize the lifespan of your dental bridge.
Contact Stiles Dental Care for More Information Today
To learn more about dental bridges or find out if yours needs replacing, contact Stiles Dental Care today. Dr. Stiles and his team will provide a thorough evaluation of your dental bridge and offer a plan to maintain or replace it as necessary, along with providing support for all your other dental health needs.