How Long does an Implant Supported Bridge Last

How Long does an Implant-Supported Bridge Last?

Dental implants are titanium screws that replace missing tooth roots. Implants are surgically attached to the jawbone and, through the healing process, essentially become part of the jawbone. This strengthens the jawbone and can prevent bone loss. A single crown, a bridge, or even an entire denture can then be attached to the implant. An implant-supported bridge can be used when you have several missing teeth in a row. In this case, a bridge of several teeth are anchored in your mouth by an implant, instead of being supported by adjacent teeth, as in a traditional dental bridge. These dental implants are very popular and are considered the “gold standard” for replacing missing teeth. However, they are generally more expensive than other options you might have to replace missing teeth. Precisely because of the high price, it is good to ask ourselves how long we can rely on them and what to do for the longest possible benefit.


Generally, after ten years, 90% of implants function flawlessly, if certain conditions are met and if they are taken care of by the patient. Under ideal conditions, for example, if we have enough bone tissue and mucous membranes and the implanting dentist is a highly experienced specialist with many years of experience, the chance that the implant will heal well is almost 100%. In that case, even after ten years in the mouth, 90% of everything is as it should be. But the reality of everyday life is different. Due to insufficient education of some dentists, poor conditions in the oral cavity (lack of tissues), general illnesses of the patient, inappropriate follow-up treatment, but also patient non-cooperation, the real average shelf life of this treatment is under ten years, somewhere around eight, which varies among different populations. Perfect insertion of the implant and careful home hygiene are key.


Dental implants do not withstand the extremely aggressive environment of the oral cavity better than a tooth, so it is very important to take special care of them. The teeth that nature gave us are attached to the jaws by an ingenious system called the periodontium, which is resilient, resistant to infection and self-regenerating. A dental implant, on the other hand, is surrounded by something more like a scar. It is therefore extremely necessary to protect it as much as possible.


Careful dental hygiene has the task of perfectly cleaning the tooth replacement and the implant. A toothbrush with paste, whether manual or electric, is not enough for this. Interdental spaces must be flossed, cleaned with dental floss or with an interdental brush of the correct size. The most important thing is that as soon as bleeding or even inflammation appears, it is necessary to "run to the doctor" quickly, because our implant cannot defend itself as well as a tooth. Natural periodontitis usually takes years (and decades) to develop a tooth, but the implant can make the whole process of tissue loss take only weeks or months.


How to properly care for a dental implant?


Perfect dental hygiene must be observed with dental implants. Just as there is periodontitis (inflammation around the tooth, 99% caused by poor hygiene), there is also periimplantitis (inflammation around the implant, 99% caused by poor hygiene). It is important to choose the right toothbrush, toothpaste, and mouthwash. Consult your dentist for the best ones for your particular case. In addition, you must make sure you visit your dentist regularly for a professional cleaning and a checkup on your implant.

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