A bridge (also known as Partial Dentures) is a fixed dental restoration mainly used to replace one or more missing teeth by joining an artificial tooth to next teeth or dental implants. Dental bridges are usually supported by natural teeth or implants. A bridge is usually made up of two or more crowns for the teeth on the either side of the gaps. These anchoring teeth are called as abutment teeth which also have a False Tooth in-between called as Pontics. These are usually made from porcelain, gold, or alloy, or a combination of these materials. Dental bridges have many advantages to restore the smile, shape of the face, maintain chewing and speaking etc. However, it might also have various disadvantages like loosening of the surrounding teeth etc. Depending on the condition, the dentist will suggest whether dental bridge is the best suited option for a particular person or not. One thing which needs to be kept in mind is how long a dental bridge would last. The following section would deal with this question and ways to enhance its longevity.
How Long Does A Dental Bridge Last?
Dental bridges can last up to a decade, and sometimes even longer with good care. They serve as replacements for the lost teeth and helps preventing dental problems when the surrounding teeth changes position to fill the gap. Dental bridges can usually last about five to seven years and certain types can last for about ten years but with good oral hygiene and care, it can lasts for about more than ten years. The material from which a bridge is made up of also determines its strength. The bridges which are made up of Gold are the strongest of all but many people go for bridges which are usually made up of Ceramic because it looks natural, but the material is not durable as gold.
Limitations of Dental Bridge
Dental bridges are excellent treatment option for patients who have missing teeth but there are certain limitations as well. They are:
- In order to get a dental bridging done, patients must have stronger natural teeth to support the restoration.
- A bridge can generally be used to replace up two or more teeth in a row in comparison between a dentures or a large implant supported restoration.
Ways to Increase the Longevity of Dental Bridges
When the dental bridges are properly taken care of, it can last for about 10 to 15 years or even more. Implant-supported bridges last even longer compared to the other bridges. Maintenance of bridges is quite easy and can be done in the following way:
- Protecting the Natural Teeth: Brushing twice a day using a soft-bristled brush and non-abrasive toothpaste, using Floss at least once a day, visiting a Dentist at least twice a year for check-up and cleaning of teeth, avoiding smoking are way to protect the natural teeth.
- Protecting the Bridge: Avoid using the teeth to open packets, for tearing off tags, and similar tasks, must stop biting nails, chewing pencils or chewing ice, etc., follow instructions given by the dentist by wearing Bruxism Mouth guards.
- Modify the Diet: Improve your diet by having more amounts of vegetables, fruits, and fibers. These foods usually strengthen existing teeth and will also lead to a good oral health. Avoid sugary and starchy foods which can cause premature dental decay.
- Proper Cleaning of Dental Bridges: Dental bridges, however, cannot be cleaned properly but make sure you brush the area where the bridges meet your teeth at least twice a day to remove any food particles. Food particles which are usually trapped under the bridge can be removed using Floss, an Airflosser or a tiny brush. This will reduce the risk of supporting teeth being infected. If your bridges causes discomfort you should visit a Doctor as it may be the beginning of an infection or a cavity.