When you’re missing one or more teeth in a row, your dentist might recommend filling the gap with a dental bridge. By placing a dental crown over the two teeth at the end of the space in your smile, or over dental implants, the gap can literally be bridged with a sturdy, long-lasting solution. However, as much as we’d like to believe that this restoration will last forever, that’s unfortunately not likely. Keep reading to learn how to prevent three common causes of dental bridge failure.
1. Poor Oral Hygiene
The most common reason why bridges fail is not being diligent about oral hygiene. Bacteria can crawl under the crowns on your abutment teeth, which are the teeth that support the bridge. From there, those teeth may develop cavities that weaken the teeth to the point where they can no longer support the bridge. An infection could also develop in the gum tissue underneath your bridge.
Fortunately, caring for your bridge is fairly straightforward. Brush your teeth twice a day as you normally would, and floss under your bridge. You may need to invest in a water flosser to effectively clean out the area.
2. Lack of Regular Dental Checkups
Even with daily brushing and flossing at home, there are still some parts of your mouth where plaque can build up. After a day or so, it hardens into tartar, which can only be cleared away by a dental professional. Tartar is full of bacteria that can cause infections.
Your dental hygienist can remove plaque and tartar at your regular cleanings, extending the lifespan of your bridge. The dentist can also examine your bridge to determine whether it needs to be repaired or replaced.
3. Bad Habits
Certain oral habits are more likely to make dental bridges in Brampton fail, including:
- Biting hard objects like fingernails and pen tips
- Chewing excessively sticky or crunchy foods like nuts and gummi candy
- Eating ice cubes
- Grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw while sleeping
To treat nighttime clenching and grinding, your dentist can prescribe a custom-fit nightguard to provide cushioning between your top and bottom teeth and prevent damage to your bridge and remaining teeth. As for the other habits, you’ll have to work on quitting them if you want your bridge to last. Chewing on particularly crunchy or sticky objects can chip, crack, loosen, or even dislodge your bridge entirely.
Generally, maintaining your bridge is easy if you give it the same care you give your natural teeth. With the right care, your bridge may last up to 15 years before it must be replaced.
About the Author
Dr. Vince Fava obtained his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in 1995 from the University of Toronto, and has been in private practice at Torbram Dental in Brampton, ON for a number of years. He maintains active memberships in the Ontario Dental Association, the Canadian Dental Association, and the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario. He enjoys making his patients feel comfortable and cared for. To learn more about how to prevent dental bridge failure, contact Dr. Fava’s office at 905-792-7163.