How Long Does A Dental Bridge Last? A Comprehensive Guide

By Jason Wesley

Updated On

Missing teeth can not only affect your smile and self-confidence but also impact your overall oral health. Dental bridges are a popular and effective solution for restoring missing teeth, providing both aesthetic and functional benefits. However, when considering a dental bridge, one of the most common questions people ask is, “How long does a dental bridge last? In this detailed guide, we’ll discuss the lifespan of dental bridges, the factors affecting their durability, and tips to maximize the longevity of your dental bridge.

Key Takeaways

  1. Dental bridges can last an average of 5 to 15 years, depending on various factors such as oral hygiene, diet, and the materials used.
  2. Proper maintenance, including regular dental check-ups and good oral hygiene practices, can significantly extend the lifespan of a dental bridge.
  3. Advancements in dental bridge technology, such as the use of high-quality materials, have improved the durability and longevity of modern dental bridges.

What is a dental bridge?

A dental bridge is a fixed dental prosthetic that is used to replace one or more missing teeth. It consists of one or more artificial teeth (called pontics) that are held in place by dental crowns on either side of the gap.

The crowns are attached to the natural teeth or dental implants adjacent to the missing tooth, providing a stable and secure foundation for the bridge.

Types of dental bridges

  1. Traditional bridges: These are the most common type of dental bridge, where the pontic is held in place by dental crowns on either side of the gap.
  2. Cantilever bridges: These bridges are used when there are natural teeth on only one side of the missing tooth. The pontic is supported by a dental crown on one side only.
  3. Implant-supported bridges: As the name suggests, these bridges are supported by dental implants instead of natural teeth. They are a more stable and long-lasting option but require a surgical procedure to place the implants.

Factors affecting the lifespan of a dental bridge

The lifespan of a dental bridge can vary greatly depending on several factors, including:

1. Oral hygiene

Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial for the longevity of a dental bridge. Regularly brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash can help prevent the buildup of plaque and bacteria, which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

2. Diet

Consuming a diet high in sugary and acidic foods can erode the natural teeth supporting the bridge, weakening its foundation. It’s essential to maintain a balanced diet and limit the intake of harmful foods and beverages.

3. Oral habits

Habits such as teeth grinding (bruxism), nail-biting, and using your teeth as tools can put excessive stress on the dental bridge, causing it to wear down or become damaged prematurely.

4. Materials used

The quality and type of materials used in the construction of the dental bridge can significantly impact its lifespan. Bridges made from high-quality, durable materials such as porcelain fused to metal (PFM) or zirconia tend to last longer than those made from less sturdy materials.

5. Oral health

Pre-existing oral health conditions, such as gum disease or tooth decay, can compromise the stability of the dental bridge and shorten its lifespan. It’s essential to address any underlying oral health issues before getting a dental bridge.

The average lifespan of a dental bridge

On average, a dental bridge can last anywhere from 5 to 15 years. However, with proper care and maintenance, some dental bridges can last even longer, up to 20 years or more.

It’s important to note that the lifespan of a dental bridge can vary greatly from person to person, depending on the factors mentioned above.

According to a study published in the Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry, the median lifespan of a fixed dental bridge is about 10 years.

However, the study also found that the lifespan of a dental bridge can be significantly extended with proper oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups.

Signs of a failing dental bridge

It’s essential to be aware of the signs that may indicate a dental bridge is failing or in need of replacement. These signs include:

  1. Pain or discomfort: If you experience pain or discomfort when biting down or applying pressure to the dental bridge, it may be a sign that the bridge is loose or damaged.
  2. Sensitivity: Increased sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures around the dental bridge may indicate that the bridge is no longer fitting properly or that there is decay underneath the crowns.
  3. Visible damage: If you notice any cracks, chips, or other visible damage to the dental bridge or the surrounding teeth, it’s crucial to have it evaluated by a dentist as soon as possible.
  4. Changes in fit: If the dental bridge feels loose or shifts when you bite down, it may be a sign that the bridge is no longer fitting properly and needs to be adjusted or replaced.

Maintaining and prolonging the lifespan of a dental bridge

To maximize the lifespan of your dental bridge, it’s essential to practice good oral hygiene and take care of your bridge properly. Here are some tips to help maintain and prolong the life of your dental bridge:

  1. Brush and floss regularly: Brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss daily, paying extra attention to the area around the dental bridge.
  2. Use an antibacterial mouthwash: Rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash can help reduce the buildup of plaque and bacteria around the dental bridge and surrounding teeth.
  3. Attend regular dental check-ups: Visit your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings at least twice a year. Your dentist can identify any potential issues with your dental bridge early on and provide necessary treatment.
  4. Avoid hard or sticky foods: Biting down on hard foods or chewing on sticky candies can put excessive stress on the dental bridge, causing it to become loose or damaged.
  5. Wear a night guard: If you grind your teeth at night, wearing a custom-fitted night guard can help protect your dental bridge from excessive wear and tear.

Repairing or replacing a dental bridge

If your dental bridge becomes damaged or fails, your dentist will assess the situation and recommend the best course of action.

In some cases, a dental bridge can be repaired if the damage is minor and caught early on. This may involve re-cementing the bridge or replacing a small portion of the bridge.

However, if the damage is more extensive or the dental bridge has reached the end of its lifespan, a complete replacement may be necessary. Your dentist will discuss the options available to you, including the type of replacement bridge that would be most suitable for your specific needs.

Advancements in dental bridge technology

In recent years, there have been significant advancements in dental bridge technology that have improved the durability, aesthetics, and longevity of dental bridges. Some of these advancements include:

1. Zirconia bridges

Zirconia is a highly durable and biocompatible material that closely resembles the appearance of natural teeth. Bridges are resistant to wear and tear and can last longer than traditional PFM bridges (Larsson & Vult von Steyern, 2016).

2. Implant-supported bridges

The use of dental implants to support bridges has become increasingly popular in recent years. Implant-supported bridges are more stable and long-lasting than traditional bridges, as they do not rely on the surrounding natural teeth for support.

3. CAD/CAM technology

Computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) technology has revolutionized the way dental bridges are created. This technology allows for the precise design and fabrication of dental bridges, resulting in a better fit and improved durability (Miyazaki & Hotta, 2011).

Cost considerations

The cost of a dental bridge can vary depending on several factors, such as the type of bridge, the materials used, and the location of the dental practice. On average, a traditional dental bridge can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000 per bridge (American Dental Association, 2021).

While the initial cost of a dental bridge may seem high, it’s important to consider the long-term benefits and potential cost savings.

A well-maintained dental bridge can last for many years, eliminating the need for frequent replacements. Additionally, a dental bridge can help prevent the shifting of surrounding teeth and maintain the overall health and function of your bite, potentially saving you from more extensive and costly dental treatments in the future.

Also Read: How To Fix A Cracked Tooth Naturally? A Comprehensive Guide


Understanding the lifespan of a dental bridge is crucial when considering this dental treatment option. While the average lifespan of a dental bridge is 5 to 15 years, proper maintenance and care can significantly extend its longevity.

By practicing good oral hygiene, attending regular dental check-ups, and being mindful of your diet and oral habits, you can ensure that your dental bridge lasts as long as possible.

If you are considering a dental bridge or have concerns about the lifespan of your current bridge, it’s essential to consult with your dentist. They can provide personalized advice and recommendations based on your specific needs and circumstances.

Remember, investing in a dental bridge is an investment in your oral health and overall well-being. With proper care and maintenance, a dental bridge can provide you with a beautiful, functional smile for many years to come.


1. Q: Are dental bridges removable?

A: No, dental bridges are fixed prosthetics that are cemented onto the surrounding teeth or dental implants. They are not removable like dentures.

2. Q: Can a dental bridge be replaced if it fails?

A: Yes, if a dental bridge fails or reaches the end of its lifespan, it can be replaced. Your dentist will assess the situation and recommend the best replacement option for your specific needs.

3. Q: How often should I have my dental bridge checked?

A: It’s recommended to have your dental bridge checked by your dentist at least twice a year during your regular dental check-ups. This allows your dentist to identify any potential issues early on and provide necessary treatment.

4. Q: Are there any alternatives to dental bridges?

A: Yes, there are alternatives to dental bridges, such as dental implants and partial dentures. Your dentist can discuss the pros and cons of each option and help you determine which treatment is best suited for your specific needs and circumstances.

Jason Wesley

Jason Wesley, DDS, is a highly skilled dentist specializing in cosmetic dentistry, renowned for his commitment to excellence and patient-centered care. With years of experience in the field, he is deeply committed to helping individuals achieve their dream smiles through personalized treatment plans tailored to their unique needs.

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