How long should a dental bridge last (lifespan)? What Is a Dental Bridge? How Is a Dental Bridge Placed? What material to choose? How to remove it? And Finally, what is the price for it?
I. What Is a Dental Bridge?
A bridge is a set of dental crowns that have been bonded together. These crowns replace a missing tooth between two teeth that are still fixed in place.
Depending on the condition of your teeth, the dentist can choose between two types of bridges:
- The implant-supported bridge. Dental implants implanted in the bone form the two pillars of the bridge.
- And the dental-supported bridge. Here, the two pillars of the bridge are the teeth in the mouth. However, before fixing the bridge, the dentist can trim or devitalize the teeth that will serve as pillars.
It should be noted that it is impossible to mix the two methods.
II. How Is a Dental Bridge Placed?
The procedure for placing a bridge depends on the method chosen by the dentist. However, the steps are virtually the same.
You make an initial appointment with the dentist. The dentist treats and cleans the toothless area.
If necessary, he or she may devitalize the roots of the teeth that will serve as pillars or supports. These teeth are then trimmed to accommodate the bridge.
Finally, temporary crowns or the bridge are placed to protect the abutments.
The second step is to take an impression of the area. This impression will be necessary for the technician to make the bridge.
Once the bridge has been made. A second appointment is made to place the bridge. The appliance may need to be adjusted. The dentist can make these adjustments and finally glue the bridge in the patient’s mouth.
In case of complications, the dentist may have “false stumps” made in the form of “posts”. This step is necessary when the dentist does not have enough hold on the bridge abutments.
III. How Long Should a Dental Bridge Last (Lifespan)?
The lifespan of a dental bridge is between 7 and 15 years. However, if there are no mechanical or infectious problems, and the roots are in good condition, the bridge can have a lifespan of about 20 years.
It should be noted, however, that the lifespan of your bridge also depends on the type of appliance your dentist has placed in your mouth.
For a metal-ceramic bridge, which is known for its comfort in the mouth and its resistance, you should count on 15 to 20 years. However, over the years, your gums will tend to recede and the color of your teeth will become less natural.
The lifespan is almost the same for a ceramic-zirconium bridge, which is also very resistant.
To reach the maximum of 20 years, the patient must have excellent dental hygiene.
IV. What Material to Choose for a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge can be all-ceramic or all metal. But in general, dentists offer patients a hybrid structure: the ceramic-metallic. The invisible part is made of metal and the visible part of the ceramic.
Besides metal and ceramic, you also have zirconia. This is a less opaque, but stronger ceramic.
It is a material that resists well to chewing. It can be used for the bridge coping and is covered with esthetic ceramic.
V. Benefits of a Dental Bridge
It has several advantages. Functionally, it allows the patient to eat normally and speak without inhibition because it fills the space between the teeth.
This can change the placement of the tongue and therefore have an impact on the sounds emitted in the mouth.
Aesthetically, it compensates for the loss of the original teeth. This is a good thing if the color of the bridge matches that of the other teeth.
It allows the patient to be more comfortable with his or her appearance, and it helps to improve his or her self-confidence and self-esteem.
VI. Disadvantages of Dental Bridges
A bridge can also have several disadvantages. It can damage the teeth that serve as abutments.
This happens especially when the crowns and bridge are not well adjusted. This allows bacteria and plaque to get underneath, which can lead to cavities.
It can also happen that the structure of the teeth changes after the bridge is placed.
In some people, the teeth that act as abutments are not strong enough and the bridge may collapse.
In this case, the dentist may replace the bridge with dental implants.
VII. What to do if the dental bridge is damaged?
A bridge can be damaged for several reasons. It can be cracked due to impact or wear. The bridge can also come loose with the implant or the teeth.
If this happens to you, don’t delay. You should see a dentist as soon as possible.
But it is better to go to the patrician who placed the bridge.
He or she is familiar with your case and will be able to find a solution as quickly as possible.
In general, depending on the damage, he can reattach the bridge or redo it.
VIII. How to Maintain a Dental Bridge
Good mouth hygiene has an impact on the life of a dental bridge. It is important to clean your teeth two or three times a day.
You should also use an interdental brush and dental floss to dislodge any stuck food that can damage the bridge.
It is also necessary to go to the dentist at least once a year. The dentist will perform scaling on the one hand, and on the other hand, it will be for him to check your bridge and make sure that it is well placed and intervene in case of problems to avoid complications.
IX. How to Remove a Dental Bridge
In general, a bridge cannot be removed. It is possible if the patient has an alternative bridge with small wings for easy removal.
If it is necessary to remove a bridge, it is recommended to visit a dentist.
X. Price of a Dental Bridge
The price of a dental bridge depends on several parameters: the practitioner, the region where he/she practices, the charges of his/her office, and the material he/she uses for the crown.
It can also depend on the number of teeth to be treated. A 4-tooth dental bridge has a different price than if you want to treat one or two teeth.
A dental bridge will cost between $1,200 to $4500. Between $1,200 and $3,000 for a bridge with three crowns. Between $2000 to $5000 for an implant bridge.