Why my Bridge Lasted Less Than One Year, Usually How Long a Bridge Last? I Floss my Teeth 3 Times a Day? (photo)

My dentist made a 3 unit fixed bridge for me(tooth #3, 4,5) She cut the old bridge open and found deep decay. After cleaning, more than half of the tooth was gone. She spent almost a year, made 3 bridges on same tooth: 1st did not fit; 2nd one lasted 5 month; 3rd one lasted less than 1 year, then the gum around the bridge swollen, #3 had to be pulled. could you tell me why? Is it ok to use tooth #5, a small weak tooth, #3, a 10yrs old root canal, deep decay, 2/3 gone tooth, as abutment teeth?

Doctor Answers 2

How long does a bridge last?

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I am not sure exactly why you are having so many problems.  I have had fixed bridges in patients mouths for over 30 years.  Some people have a very high caries rate (decay easily).  There may have been a fractured tooth or some other problem that was not diagnosed or happened after the bridge was made.

Usually 2-4 weeks to complete a bridge depending on circumstances.  If you neede root canals, periodontal surgery or other procedures with specialists it can prolong treatment.

You may want to consider getting a second opinion before proceding.

Need clinical exam and better x-rays

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A 3 unit bridge should last on average10 yrs or more. There are many factors: stability of abutment teeth, patient's habits of grinding, clentching, home care, oposing teeth, quality of dental lab, dentist ability and precision.

Looking at the abutment teeth, the best treatment plan is an implant supported crown on tooth #4. This way you releave the added stress on teeth #s 3 and 5. Typically a root canal treated molar is fine as an abutment as long as it has good structure. Yours looks like it has had an apico-ectomy as well, so it may not be great. I would get a second opinion. It sounds like they are either not doing a good job or the teeth are just not good enough to support.

Good luck

Dr. T 

Mauricio C. Tijerino, DMD
Miami Beach Dentist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.