Did you know that oral disease affects nearly 3.5 billion people worldwide? Missing teeth can seriously affect your overall health by causing problems with speech and your ability to eat normally.
Many people who are missing their natural teeth look to dental bridges as a solution. Dental bridges can restore your confidence and bring back your smile. But how long do dental bridges last? What types of dental bridges are there?
Keep reading this guide to learn the answers to these questions. You’ll also find out everything you need to know about dental bridges and what the process involves.
What Is a Dental Bridge?
If you have teeth that are missing, you can fix these gaps in your smile by getting a dental bridge. Dental bridges consist of one or more artificial teeth. They’re held into place by your natural teeth, also referred to as abutment teeth, that surround your missing teeth.
Dental bridges are custom appliances used to replace missing teeth and fill gaps in your smile. They can be designed to replace one tooth or a row of missing teeth.
Abutments provide support for the bridge and can be natural teeth or small connector posts for dental implant-supported bridges. Pontics are false teeth that fill the gap left by missing teeth. Depending on the individual’s situation and the type of bridge they require, the number of abutments and pontics used may vary. It’s essential to consult with your dentist to determine the most suitable option for you.
Types of Dental Bridges
There are different types of dental bridges you can get. Your dentist will decide which type is best for your particular situation. These types include:
Understanding Traditional Dental Bridges
Traditional dental bridges are the most common type of dental bridges. They’re typically used when healthy teeth surround the missing tooth on both sides.
You’ll need to have dental crowns cemented onto the adjacent teeth to support the bridge. Traditional bridges are very strong and can even be used to replace molars. They’re usually made of ceramic or porcelain that’s fused to metal. If there are natural teeth on both sides of a gap caused by a missing tooth, traditional bridges are commonly used.
Nonetheless, a single implant replacing the tooth between two healthy teeth could be recommended by a dentist as an alternative. By opting for this, you’ll be saved the trouble of having your healthy teeth filed down in preparation for the crowns.
A conventional bridge necessitates the preparation of the healthy teeth on either side of the missing tooth for crowns.
A personalized artificial tooth is affixed to two crowns to create what’s commonly known as a bridge.
Bridges are designed to be a permanent fixture, impossible to remove.
Exploring Cantilever Dental Bridges: Benefits and Considerations
Cantilever dental bridges are similar to traditional bridges, but they are only supported by one adjacent tooth instead of two. Your dentist will choose this type of bridge when you only have a tooth present only on one side of your missing tooth.
Like traditional bridges, you’ll have a crown placed on your adjacent tooth to support the bridge. Cantilever bridges can be made of porcelain, porcelain that’s fused to metal or zirconia. Many people choose zirconia or porcelain as they tend to look more natural.
Dental Implant Bridges: An Effective Solution for Tooth Replacement
Unlike traditional dental bridges that use your natural teeth for support, dental implant bridges use tooth implants. Dental implants have titanium posts and act as artificial tooth roots. The bridge then fits onto the implants.
Implant bridges involve the surgical insertion of dental implants into the jawbone for restoring teeth.
A specially-crafted bridge securely attaches to the implanted teeth.
Implant-supported bridges are a viable option when all teeth are absent.
To get dental implant bridges, you’ll need to have enough bone to support the implants; otherwise, it may be necessary to have a dental bone graft surgery first to increase the amount of bone you have.
How Long Do Dental Bridges Last? Factors to Consider
Dental bridges typically last up to 15 years with proper oral hygiene and regular trips to your dentist’s office for routine dental care.
Since cantilever dental bridges only have one tooth that supports them, you’ll need to make sure and keep your gums healthy for them to last.
Dental implant bridges are the most durable, as they are surgically implanted into your jawbone for support. While the actual denture might need replacing, the implants will typically last a lifetime.
Top Reasons to Consider Getting a Dental Bridge
When you have missing teeth, it affects your confidence and your overall dental health in a number of ways. Getting a dental bridge can help to:
- Correct bite problems
- Correct problems with chewing your food
- Prevent your other teeth from shifting out of position
- Restore your smile and the shape of your face
- Improve your speech
How Much Do Dental Bridges Cost?
The short answer: it depends! There are several factors that affect cost including but not limited to location, the severity of the case, the type of dental bridge chosen, whether or not you have dental insurance, etc. Typically speaking, however, you can expect to pay anywhere from $500 – $5,000+ for a dental bridge. Porcelain or ceramic bridges tend to be on the upper end of this price range while resin-bonded bridges tend to be more affordable. Remember that this is just a ballpark figure – always consult with your dentist for an accurate estimate specific to your case!
Overview of Dental Bridge Procedures
The first step to getting traditional or cantilever bridges involves preparing the adjacent teeth for crowns.
Your dentist will first inject an anesthetic into your gums near where your bridge will be. Once the anesthetic is working, your dentist will shape your surrounding teeth by removing some of the enamel.
You’ll then have an impression made of your teeth, and your dentist will fit you with a temporary bridge while you wait for the permanent bridge.
Once the bridge is ready, your dentist will remove the temporary bridge and cement the permanent bridge into place. Your dentist also might use temporary cement for a few weeks to make sure the fit is comfortable before permanent placement.
Procedure for a Dental Implant Bridge
You’ll have the implant surgically placed into your jawbone where your teeth are missing. Your jawbone will eventually grow around the implant, securing it into place.
You’ll need a second procedure to place a permanent bridge over your implants once you’re healed. You may need to wear a temporary bridge first before the permanent bridge is placed.
Dental Bridge Recovery Time
You’ll need between 1 to 2 weeks to adjust to your new dental bridge. For the first few days, you may notice some soreness while biting down and changes in how your mouth feels. You might also experience some tooth sensitivity.
Some steps you can take to reduce symptoms include:
- Avoid hard or crunchy foods
- Use a toothpaste that reduces tooth sensitivity
- Eat soft foods to limit pain
- Avoid very hot or very cold foods
For dental implant bridges, you’ll experience mild pain and swelling for the first few days after surgery. The healing time varies depending on whether you need a bone graft. Typically, it takes up to six months to heal fully.
Talk to Your Dentist Today
Now that you have the answer to how long do dental bridges last, you know that dental bridges are an excellent long-term solution to replace your missing teeth.
If you’re looking for dental services, it’s time to turn to The Dental Team for your dental care needs. We offer a variety of services such as implants, root canals, dental bridges, and Invisalign.
Our professionals will help you to restore your smile and your dental health. We have locations in Mississauga, Brampton, Milton, and Vaughan. Make sure you contact us today to schedule an appointment!
Dental Bridge FAQ's
The short answer is no, getting a dental bridge is not painful. However, the process of getting a dental bridge can be uncomfortable for some people. During the procedure, your dentist will numb your gums and teeth with local anesthesia to ensure that you don’t feel any pain.
There are two types of dental bridges: fixed and removable. Fixed bridges are glued or cemented into place, while removable bridges can be taken out for cleaning. The type of bridge your dentist recommends will depend on the location of the missing tooth, the health of the surrounding teeth, and your personal preferences.
If you’re considering getting a dental bridge, we recommend talking to your dentist to see if it’s the right option for you. They can answer any questions you have about the procedure and help put your mind at ease.
1) They are strong and durable: When dental bridges are cared for properly, they can last for many years.
2) They improve your appearance: Dental bridges can give you a more youthful look by filling in the gaps caused by missing teeth. They can also help to prevent your other teeth from shifting out of place.
3) They help you to speak and eat normally: Dental bridges can help you to speak and eat normally, without having to worry about your teeth slipping out of place.
4) They are easy to care for: You can brush and floss your dental bridge just like you would your natural teeth.
5) They are relatively affordable: Dental bridges are usually less expensive than implants, making them a great option for people who want to replace missing teeth but don’t want to spend a lot of money.
Bridges can be expensive and may not be covered by insurance. The cost of a bridge depends on the number of missing teeth being replaced, the type of material used for the bridge, and whether the procedure is completed in an office or at a hospital.
Bridges require surrounding teeth to be altered in order to support the appliance. The supporting teeth are usually shaved down so that they can be used as anchors for the bridge. This can weaken these teeth and make them susceptible to future decay or gum disease.
Bridges can also cause gum tissue to recede around the base of the appliance. This can lead to further tooth loss and exposed roots which can be painful.
Yes, you should brush and floss normally with a dental bridge. Brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing once a day will help to keep plaque from building up around the dental bridge and ensure that it remains in good condition for as long as possible. Make sure to use gentle strokes when brushing and be careful not to scratch or damage the bridge.
Flossing is also an important part of maintaining a dental bridge and should be done daily to prevent food particles from becoming trapped in the area near the bridge. You may need to use a special floss threader when flossing around a dental bridge, as traditional flossing techniques may not be sufficient. Your dentist can provide specific instructions on how to best care for your bridge and which flossing techniques to use.
Generally speaking, a dental bridge will not affect the way you speak or eat. In some cases, it may take a few days to adjust to the feel of your new bridge in your mouth. If you experience any difficulty speaking clearly or chewing with your new bridge, consult with your dentist for advice and possible modifications. Some people find that they have difficulty pronouncing certain consonant sounds such as “t” or “d”, which is known as dental lisping. Speak with your dentist about proper alignment of the bridge so that it does not interfere with speech or eating. With proper care and maintenance, a dental bridge should last many years before needing to be replaced.
Yes, there are a few alternatives to getting a dental bridge. For example, you may be able to get a dental implant which is a titanium post that is surgically inserted into your jawbone and replaces the root of the missing tooth. Dental implants are often longer-lasting than bridges and may even help maintain healthy bone structure in the jaw.
You could also opt for a partial denture, which is removable and fits over the gap where your missing tooth used to be. This option requires frequent cleaning with special denture cleaners and careful handling during insertions and removals.
No, you should avoid hard foods like apples or nuts when you have a dental bridge. Hard foods can cause the prosthetic teeth to break or shift out of its proper position. You should also be careful with sticky and chewy foods such as caramels and gummy candy, which can pull at the bridge. Instead, opt for softer items like cooked vegetables and mashed potatoes. If you do eat hard foods while wearing a dental bridge, make sure to cut it into small pieces before consuming it. Additionally, brush and floss your teeth regularly to ensure that food particles are not trapped beneath the bridge. Doing so will help keep your bridge clean and functioning properly for years to come.
Signs that your dental bridge may need to be replaced include: discoloration or staining of the appliance, loosening of the appliance, bad taste or odor coming from the area of the bridge, shifting of teeth surrounding the bridge, decay underneath the bridge, and a fracture or breakage of any part of the structure. If you experience any of these symptoms or are concerned about your dental bridge for any reason, it is important to contact your dentist as soon as possible for an examination. Your dentist will be able to determine if your dental bridge needs repair or replacement. It is always better to fix problems with a dental bridge sooner rather than later in order to preserve oral health and keep costs down. Regular check-ups are especially important if you have a dental bridge in order to detect any potential problems before they become unmanageable. If replacement is needed, your dentist will be able to discuss your options with you and work with you to come up with the best solution for your individual needs.