How Long Do Implant-Supported Bridges Last?

How Long Do Implant-Supported Bridges Last?

By Joe McIntyre, DDS on July 10, 2020

Tooth loss is a condition that should be addressed as soon as possible. Consecutively missing teeth can be restored with dental bridges. In decades past, traditional bridges were the only option. Advances in dentistry have led to implant-supported restorations, including bridges.


We provide both traditional and implant-supported bridges at Smiles for Life. Both offer fantastic results – but many of our Harrisonburg, VA patients want to know how long implant-supported bridges last. Here, our team will explore this topic and discuss the pros and cons to both treatment options.





Traditional vs. Implant-Supported Dental Bridge

A traditional dental bridge uses the natural teeth as a support system. The bridge is anchored to the teeth with dental crowns, and artificial teeth span the space in your smile.


Conversely, an implant-supported bridge is attached to dental implants. Before this restoration can be placed, patients must undergo an oral surgery appointment to have their implants placed into the jawbone. Once the implants are healed, a custom dental bridge is attached.



How Long Does a Traditional Bridge Last?

A traditional dental bridge lasts between five to 15 years on average. Factors that can affect the lifespan of this restoration include the type of material used, the amount of wear and tear, and overall oral health. With proper care and attention, a traditional bridge can last 20 years or longer.



How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

Dental implants are in a category of their own since they replace the roots of missing teeth, not just the crowns. Since their advent in the 1950s, implants have become more and more versatile, supporting a variety of restorations, including crowns, bridges, and dentures. Today, they have the highest success rate of any other teeth replacement option. Best of all, they can last a lifetime as long as they are cared for properly.



What About My Implant-Supported Restoration?

While the implants that support your restoration can last a lifetime, the bridge on top may need to be replaced at some point. In most cases, this type of restoration lasts at least two decades before it needs to be replaced. However, there are several patients at our Staunton, VA practice whose bridges have lasted a lifetime. 



Caring for Your Implant-supported Bridge

There are a number of ways to extend the lifespan of your implant-supported bridge. Here are a few guidelines to help you care for your restoration:


  • Attend regular dental exams and cleanings.
  • Brush using a nonabrasive gel and a soft-bristled brush.
  • Floss around the implants and underneath the bridge at least once every day.
  • Consider using an antibacterial mouthwash to reduce harmful bacteria and keep your gums healthy.



Contact Us to Learn More

A dental implant-supported bridge can drastically improve your oral health and enhance your appearance. To learn more, schedule an appointment at our Harrisonburg, VA. Call us at (540) 828-2312 or contact us online anytime. We are available to answer any questions you have about potential treatment.

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