A dental bridge is a dental prosthetic that is designed to replace one or a few missing teeth in a row. It is supported by the healthy teeth on either side of the gap and it sits on top of the gums. If you have one or more teeth that are severely decayed or damaged beyond repair, a bridge may be a possible replacement option. If you’re considering a dental bridge, you most likely have some questions, such as how long they last.
What is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is a replacement option for one or more missing adjacent teeth. A traditional bridge consists of one or two crowns that fit over the healthy teeth on either side of the missing teeth. The artificial teeth (pontics) are connected between the crowns and sit on top of the gums. A bridge is a one-piece prosthetic supported entirely by the abutment (natural) teeth.
Types of Dental Bridges
There are a few different types of dental bridges:
- Traditional. A traditional bridge is the type described above, with a crown on each end.
- Maryland. A Maryland bridge is attached with a metal framework that is cemented to the healthy teeth.
- Cantilever. A cantilever bridge is only attached on one end to a healthy tooth with a crown. This is used when the last molar is being replaced and there is no tooth on the other side of the gap.
- Implant supported. When enough teeth are missing in a row that a traditional bridge would not be effective, dental implants can be placed on either side of the gap to support a bridge. Dental implants are surgically placed in the jaw to act as anchors for the bridge.
Average Lifespan of Dental Bridges by Type
Some types of dental bridges may last longer than others.
- Traditional: 10-15 years. The average lifespan of a traditional dental bridge is 10-15 years. The bridge itself and the support teeth are susceptible to damage over time, requiring a new or different prosthetic.
- Cantilever: 5-7 years. A cantilever bridge may last anywhere from 5-7 years. This is because it is less secure than a traditional bridge since it only connects to a single tooth. The support tooth is at a high risk of damage.
- Maryland: 5-15 years. A Maryland bridge may last anywhere from 5-15 years. It tends to wear out more quickly because it is not as secure as a traditional bridge and the metal framework can damage the healthy teeth.
- Implant supported: 20+ years. The longest lasting dental bridge is an implant-supported bridge. Dental implants provide strong support for a bridge and there is no risk of damage to the healthy teeth in your mouth. The implants themselves can last forever and the bridge may last for 20 years or so before needing to be replaced due to wear.
Factors That Affect the Lifespan of a Dental Bridge
The following factors will have an effect on how long your dental bridge may last:
- Type of bridge. As mentioned above, the type of bridge is a big factor in how long it lasts.
- Quality of the materials. The higher the quality of the materials in your bridge, the longer it will last. Top quality porcelain looks natural and lasts for many years.
- Health of the support teeth. The healthier the support teeth are, the longer your bridge may last.
- Your eating habits. What you eat can take its toll on your bridge and shorten its lifespan. Frequently eating hard or chewy foods in the area of your bridge may cause it to wear out faster.
- Teeth grinding. If you grind your teeth at night it can damage your bridge and cause it to wear out faster.
Get a Quality Dental Bridge From Doctors Lake Family Dental
Doctors Lake Family Dental provides CEREC same day bridges. This means your bridge is made out of the highest quality porcelain that is strong and looks natural. And with CEREC technology, you can get a dental bridge in as little as one appointment.