Take care of your teeth and your teeth will always take care of you. But reality can get in the way. We tend to lose out teeth as we age. Bad sleeping postures and chewing habits can cause teeth to drift or chewing imbalances. And just slacking off on dental hygiene habits for a few weeks can cause serious problems. So, if you have a gap in your smile, a dental bridge is an affordable solution. But how long does a dental bridge last?
How Long Does a Dental Bridge Last?
The average dental bridge will last about 7 years to 15 years with proper maintenance and care. The quality of the procedure, materials used, and skill of the dentist are also factors to consider.
If you want to know “how long does a dental bridge last” it will last as long as you properly take care of it.
Getting one installed is a complicated and time-consuming process. It could take three or four visits, or more, to finalize a procedure.
And if you don’t take care of it, it will last a lot shorter than 7 years. And they will make the dental problems you tried to solve in the first place much, much worse.
That being said, there are many benefits to this procedure, especially relative to other similar dental procedures.
But first – what is a dental bridge?
What is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is a false tooth, known as a pontic, that is connected to two crowns on adjacent teeth to help aesthetically improve missing teeth or gaps.
Imagine that you have a gap in your teeth with two healthy teeth on either side of the gap.
The pontic would be in the middle of the bridge with the crowns, or abutments, on either side.
The abutments are not just covered by a crown in this procedure. The teeth near the gap to be filled by the pontic are essentially destroyed for the abutments to act as anchor teeth.
“Destroyed,” is a strong word, but applicable here.
During the next visit, the dental bridge abutments are attached to the anchor teeth with dental cement or similar dental adhesive. The pontic in the middle fills the gap made by the missing tooth. Smile restored.
The dental bridge itself is made of materials like porcelain, enamel, gold, alloy, composite resin, or a combination of such materials. How long does a dental bridge last relative to your needs depend on the materials used and the skill of the dentist.
What Are The Benefits?
Before you consider how long does a dental bridge last, you should think about the lasting benefits of getting one.
The most obvious benefit is improving the aesthetics of your smile. They fill in the aesthetic gaps caused by missing teeth.
Missing teeth can cause chewing strength imbalances on your jaw.
In other words, some portions of your jaw and teeth may work harder to chew than others. Chewing imbalances can cause teeth grinding, speech pronunciation problems, and stress pains on the jawbone.
Dental bridges can prevent drifting teeth. Your teeth may begin subtly drifting over time and cause multiple gaps in your smile over time. Drifting teeth also increases your chances of developing gum disease or tooth decay.
Dental bridges can also prevent dramatic facial collapse if you have multiple teeth missing.
Facial collapse occurs when the mouth seems to crater in on itself because so many teeth are missing. Facial collapse is common with people missing all of their teeth and who wear dentures.
Lips appear flat and thinner. The chin appears to move upward and forward and looked more pointed.
When teeth are lost and not replaced, the face looks older. The lips appear thin and flattened. The chin moves forward and upward and appears pointed. Unsightly pouches can appear on both sides of the lower jaw, creating a more aged appearance.
The biggest benefit is the cost.
How Much Does a Dental Bridge Installation Cost?
How long does a dental bridge last? Up to 15 years at least.
However, the key question you should ask is how much does a dental bridge cost.
The issue here is that there are more or less three installation procedures.
The traditional dental bridge, as previously discussed, is also called the cantilever bridge. This is usually a pontic with two abutments. Traditional bridges can cost anywhere between $2,000 to $5,000.
A Maryland dental bridge is just like a traditional in one respect – the bonding process. It’s bonded to the backs of the abutments with metal or porcelain. A Maryland dental bridge can cost anywhere between $1,500 to $2,500.
An implant-supported bridge uses dental implants to support the pontic instead of abutments bonded to sanded-down teeth. This procedure can cost you anywhere between $5,000 to $15,000.
Is a Dental Bridge Right For You?
Dental implants can last for 30 years. The implant, or screw, in the jawline, can last for a lifetime. The crown may need to be replaced every decade but can last a long time if you take care of it.
But each dental implant can cost $1,000 to $5,000 each. A full mouth dental implant procedure can cost $35,000 to $50,000, or even $90,000, depending on the difficulty of the procedure.
Dental bridge procedures are much more affordable but don’t last as long. And the inherent process requires healthy teeth to be sanded down and destroyed to act as anchors for the false tooth.
Don’t rush into it. Think of the pros and cons before you make an appointment.