For those who may not know, a dental bridge is a replacement for a lost tooth, and this replacement can help prevent future dental problems once the implemented teeth begin changing position in order to fill in the gap left by the lost tooth.
A bridge can play a critical role in one's oral healthcare, and if patients put in the time and care required for it, their bridge could last for ten years or possibly even longer. However, the specific number of years a bridge lasts can vary from person to person-specifically, individual diets and oral healthcare routines affect how long its lifespan will be.
Regarding the lifespans of dental bridges, authorities on the subject have differing opinions. The Cleveland Clinic suggests a bridge lasts between five and seven years on average while certain types may last over a decade. Per the University of Rochester Medical Center, a bridge could last well over ten years or even a lifetime with good oral healthcare.
What Causes Dental Bridges to Fail
To fit this device into a into a person's mouth, the teeth adjacent to a gap must be filed down. This prepares those teeth for crowns that will support the bridge, but this process can increase the likelihood of gum disease and tooth decay within and around those filed teeth, making root canals much more likely. When supporting teeth fail, this can cause the entire bridge to fail as well.
Preventing Bridge Failures
A few easy ways to help prevent a bridge from failing include avoiding food that could put stress on the bridge as well as implementing a teeth-friendly diet. Specifically, patients should eat more fiber, fruits, and vegetables than they do meat, and they could also benefit from eating fewer starchy and sugary foods since these foods can lead to tooth decay.
As well, avoiding nuts, popcorn, caramel, chewing or hard candy, and other hard or sticky snacks can help prolong a bridge's lifespan. These types of foods could put too much pressure on the bridge during chewing.
As with general oral healthcare routines, bridge care involves regular brushing with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing, which covers the outside of a bridge. However, food can get trapped underneath the bridge where it's hard to remove, exposing surrounding teeth to decay.
For this issue, dentists often recommend floss threaders for getting under a bridge and removing trapped food particles. As well, it may benefit bridge patients to get a professional bridge cleaning every six months.