Dental crowns and bridges are a staple of restorative dentistry. A dental crown preserves the remaining structure of a tooth that has been damaged by severe decay or traumatic injury. A dental bridge functions as a replacement for missing teeth and helps prevent other dental problems that can happen when surrounding teeth shift to fill a gap in your smile. Many of my patients receiving a dental crown or bridge ask how long they may last. The answer to that question depends on several influencing factors. As a dentist in Leesburg, I want to help you extend the life of you prosthetics for as long as possible. Read on for more information.
How Long Will a Dental Crown Last?
On average, a well-maintained dental crown will last for about 15 years. With excellent oral hygiene practices at home and regular dental checkups, however, you can extend the life of a crown to 25 or 30 years.
There are steps you can take to make a dental crown last longer. Here are a few suggestions:
- Try not to clench and grind your teeth, which can cause your crown to chip or crack. If you know that you clench or grind at night while sleeping, then ask for a custom-fitted night guard that will protect your crowns and your natural teeth.
- Brush your teeth at least twice each day and floss once a day. When brushing, be sure to clean well around the area where the crown meets your gum tissue. This will help you avoid decay underneath the crown.
- Don’t bite your fingernails or chew on ice or other hard objects.
- Schedule regular dental cleanings and exams. At these visits, I will check for signs of decay, cracking or gaps around the crown.
How Long Will A Dental Bridge Last?
Typically, dental bridges will last for at least 10 years. As with a dental crown, you can extend the life of a bridge with stringent oral hygiene practices at home and twice-yearly checkups.
When you brush and floss your teeth, be sure to floss under the bridge of false teeth that span the gap of missing teeth. A special floss threader can be very helpful. Failing to floss here leaves behind bacteria and debris that can lead to decay or gum infection.
What If a Crown or Bridge Loosens?
Although dental crowns and bridges are strong and durable, they are not indestructible. If either chip or crack, they must be replaced as soon as possible.
Leaving a damaged crown in place increases the risk of decay forming on the tooth underneath. Unfortunately, unnoticed decay can lead to an infection inside the tooth that will require a root canal. The same risk is there with the crowns that hold a bridge in place, too.
If a crown or bridge falls out, then call our office immediately to schedule an appointment. In the meantime, you can use a dab of petroleum jelly or denture cream to keep the prosthetic in place.
Take good care of your dental crown or bridge and it will take good care of your smile! To schedule a cleaning and exam, call the office today.
Meet the Doctor
Dr. David Groy is a Leesburg dentist. He and his team of dental hygienists take care of smiles of all ages with preventive dentistry, cosmetic treatments, and restorative care. Call today for an appointment.