When a fixed prosthesis is placed (whether crowns or bridges), it is very common to hear in the dental office a phrase that has led us to write this post: “Doctor, so this thing you are placing is for life, right?” Well, we would love to be able to say that it is so, however, that is not the answer. Both crowns and bridges also have a limited life, not so much because they can deteriorate, since it is likely that the prosthesis hardly suffers any deterioration, but because of the deterioration that our mouth suffers.
Over the years, our gums tend to suffer small recessions, either due to the passage of time or to other added factors such as aggressive brushing, bruxism, etc. This gingival retraction means that our prosthesis does not fit completely to our tooth, leaving small spaces between the teeth and the gum, in which plaque can accumulate very easily. In addition, this plaque can cause caries in the abutments of our prosthesis. The cavities produced in these areas are difficult to see, so it is recommended to make periodic reviews accompanied by radiographs in order to detect any small deterioration.
Depending on the age of the patient wearing the prosthesis and the initial state of the tooth before the prosthesis was made, a crown or a bridge should be changed sooner or later, but the average life of a fixed prosthesis is around 10 or 12 years. This does not mean that there are prostheses that are in perfect condition 10 years after placement or that others have to be changed before that period of time.
It is clear that hygiene is of vital importance to extend the life of our prosthesis, since a patient with good hygiene and healthy gums and little plaque accumulation, the risk of caries between the prosthesis and the gum will be minimal.
Fixed prostheses, after all, must be cared for even more than our own teeth. Hygiene should be accompanied by a good tooth brushing, the use of interproximal brushes, floss and, if possible, an oral irrigator, which will not only help us to clean deeply, but it also produces a massage on the gums that facilitates the good irrigation of the gums.
With all this, we encourage you to check your mouth every year. In our office in Basilica Street in Madrid the first consultation is free, so be sure to visit us! We are experts in prosthodontics and dental aesthetics.