If you’re missing one or more teeth, you’re going to need a dental prosthodontic to restore your smile and make eating easier. If you’re having your teeth straightened or grinding your teeth at night, prosthodontics will help. But it’s up to you to care for them properly to get the best lifespan.
How long do dentures and other prosthodontics last?
Dental prosthodontics are made to replace teeth and gums – they’re also called prosthetics. There are two types, depending on whether they’re removeable (eg dentures and mouthguards) or fixed in your mouth (implants and crowns). Prosthodontics give you back your dental appearance, protect or straighten your teeth, and can make it much easier and more comfortable to eat.
Their lifespan is varied – for example, dentures need to be replaced as your gumline changes – and some patients will take better care of prosthodontics than others.
The better care you take with your oral hygiene and your prosthodontics, whether fitted or fixed, the longer they will last.
Prosthodontics fixed in your mouth
Fixed prosthodontics such as implants, crowns and bridges become your new teeth and don’t need to be removed to be cleaned. But they need exactly the same care with cleaning as your real teeth because they’ll still attract plaque which can cause problems with gums, adjoining teeth and your jawbone.
Because implants are attached to your jaw, and crowns and bridges fixed to your natural teeth, the quality of your oral hygiene is the key to prosthodontic lifespan.
If you don’t smoke, have regular checkups and clean your teeth and mouth meticulously, your implants can last indefinitely. Things which can cause them to fail include gum disease, severe dry mouth, grinding your teeth and just not cleaning them correctly.
Because crowns and bridges are attached to your natural teeth, the lifespan of the crown or bridge is dependent on those teeth. If the support teeth develop issues from decay or through an accident, your crown or bridge will need replacing. Meticulous oral hygiene and regular checkups will give them the best chance. Smoking is out, of course. They can last ten to 15 years and possibly longer, depending on your individual oral health.
Dentures, mouthguards, aligners and retainers
Removable prosthodontics such as dentures, mouthguards, orthodontic aligners and retainers are taken out for cleaning and may only be needed for particular occasions or overnight wear, such as mouthguards and retainers.
Full sets of dentures require removal of all teeth and this causes the jawbone to shrink during the first seven years or so. A new set of dentures will then be needed to fit the jawbone – this one will generally last much longer.
The orthodontic aligners used for Invisalign treatments are specifically designed to be replaced every fortnight to gradually straighten your teeth, whereas orthodontic retainers are more long-lasting.
Sports mouthguards protect teeth during contact sport and will need to be checked if a child is growing or for wear and tear. Mouthguards worn at night for teeth-grinding will last around five to ten years, but this depends on how hard you grind your teeth.
First of all, smoking is bad for your teeth and your prosthodontics, because it affects gum health. Unhealthy gums are prone to infections and that can lead to tooth loss and even jaw damage.
Make sure you know exactly how to clean your prosthodontics – they all have special needs, whether removeable or not. Check with your DB Dental practitioner for the correct methods and make sure you’re cleaning your teeth properly too.
Contact your DB Dental practitioner now to find out how the right prosthodontic can make your mouth more comfortable and your meals more enjoyable.