October 13, 2023
A dental bridge is a line of dental restorations that replaces a few consecutive missing teeth in a gap by being anchored to the teeth on either side of it. This allows it to restore your smile and help preserve your face’s natural shape. While a dental bridge can last for years, it will eventually need to be repaired or replaced. Here are a few factors that can lead to your dental bridge failing as well as a few ways to prevent that from happening.
Poor Dental Hygiene Can Reduce the Lifespan of a Dental Bridge
The most common reason for a dental bridge failing is improper oral care. If a patient is not brushing, flossing, and using antibacterial mouthwash every day, bacteria can creep under the crowns that keep the bridge anchored to the abutment teeth. If these teeth begin to decay, the bond between them and the bridge can begin to deteriorate or they can simply break, causing the bridge to come loose and no longer function properly.
A Poorly Constructed Bridge Can Fail Sooner
For a dental bridge to work well while lasting as long as it should, it must be constructed properly by a trained dental laboratory technician. If your dentist’s instructions are not adhered to when your bridge is being built, you may receive a poorly constructed restoration. Such a bridge may fall out of the mouth, not fit well with the rest of the bite, or be more susceptible to accruing damage over the course of their use.
Oral Trauma Can Damage Your Bridge
If you play contact sports or engage in other activities that involve a lot of kinetic energy, you may suffer oral injuries that can knock your bridge loose or damage its artificial teeth. This same problem can result from teeth grinding, or bruxism, either when awake or during sleep. Many people consciously grind their teeth as a stress response, but many others do so involuntarily while sleeping. If a dental bridge becomes loose from the abutment teeth due to oral trauma, bacteria can enter under the crowns and cause tooth decay.
In any case, wearing a mouthguard from your dentist can prevent oral trauma as a result of intense physical activity or nocturnal bruxism. If you are grinding your teeth while awake, you might try being more mindful of the habit so you can stop it or perhaps seeking help for your stress or anxiety.
A dental bridge should be a long-term investment. With proper care, your restoration can keep you looking great and smiling brightly for up to fifteen years before needing replacement.
About the Author
Dr. James T. Sierra earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and has since taken over 1,200 hours of continuing education. He serves as a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry and of the International Congress of Oral Implantology. His office in Friendswood, TX offers preventive, restorative, cosmetic, and emergency dentistry in addition to dental bridge treatments. For more information on caring for your dental bridge, contact his office online or dial (281) 482-2631.
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