Yes, dental bridges can be replaced if they become damaged or worn over time, or if changes in your oral health require a new bridge to be fitted. Dental bridges are an effective solution for people with missing teeth.
They are designed to “bridge” the gap between missing teeth and neighboring teeth, restoring both the appearance and functionality of the mouth.
However, like any dental restoration, bridges may need to be replaced over time.
How Dental Bridges Work
Dental bridges come in several types, including traditional bridges, cantilever bridges, and Maryland bridges.
Traditional bridges are the most common and consist of a pontic (false tooth) attached to two dental crowns that are placed over the teeth on either side of the gap.
Cantilever bridges are similar, but they only require one dental crown to support the pontic. Maryland bridges use a framework of metal or porcelain that is bonded to the backs of the teeth adjacent to the gap.
The process of getting a dental bridge involves several steps, including preparing the abutment teeth (the teeth on either side of the gap), taking impressions of the teeth, and creating a custom bridge in a dental laboratory.
The bridge is then cemented onto the abutment teeth, creating a stable and natural-looking replacement for the missing tooth or teeth. With proper care, dental bridges can last for many years.
Signs that Your Dental Bridge Needs to be Replaced
On average, dental bridges last for five to ten years. Here are some signs that your bridge might need to be repaired or replaced before then:
- Sensitivity in the teeth or gums near your bridge
- Pain when chewing or brushing
- Chips or cracks in the bridge
- Feeling like your bridge is loose
If you notice any of these signs, call your dentist right away. The sooner you seek help, the more likely it is that your bridge can be saved.
Replacing a Dental Bridge
If your dental bridge needs to be replaced, your dentist will begin by removing the old bridge and preparing the abutment teeth for the new bridge.
Impressions will be taken and sent to a dental laboratory to create a custom bridge that fits your mouth perfectly. The replacement bridge is then cemented onto the abutment teeth, and any necessary adjustments are made to ensure proper fit and function.
The cost of replacing a dental bridge can vary depending on the type of bridge, the materials used, and the location of the dental practice.
In general, replacing a dental bridge is less expensive than getting a new one, but it is still a significant investment in your oral health. The replacement process typically takes several visits to the dentist over the course of a few weeks.
Caring for Your Dental Bridge to Extend Its Lifespan
To care for your dental bridge and extend its lifespan, it’s important to maintain good oral hygiene practices, including brushing and flossing regularly.
You should also attend regular dental checkups and cleanings to catch any potential problems early on. Additionally, you should avoid hard or sticky foods that could damage the bridge or the surrounding teeth.
Dental bridges are an effective and long-lasting solution for missing teeth, but they may need to be replaced over time.
By staying vigilant and addressing any signs of damage or discomfort promptly, you can help ensure the longevity of your dental bridge.
If you suspect that your dental bridge needs to be replaced, schedule an appointment with your dentist to discuss your options.
With the right care and maintenance, your dental bridge can continue to provide you with a beautiful and functional smile for years to come.