How Long Will the Dental Implant Bridge Last?

When I was 14, I had a bike accident and knocked out my two front teeth, and chipped a tooth next to one of my front teeth. I had to get two false teeth and they were built into a bridge and and fastened onto the teeth, next to my front teeth that remained. I believe they were veneers. How long will this last?

Doctor Answers 10

Life Expectancy of an Implant Supported Bridge

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Dear Sara,
It sounds like you lost your 2 front teeth and that the teeth were replaced with a conventional bridge supported by the two adjacent teeth. Depending on the specific circumstances, this bridge can last a few year, (for example, if you are not careful with oral hygiene, the supporting teeth can decay and cause the bridge to fail) or the bridge can last you over thirty years (if your hygiene is good and you are careful not to bite into extremely hard objects such as a fork).
However, in my practice of Prosthodontics where I do not commonly see 14 year old patients, I find that very often, bridges that are placed at an early age become unaesthetic or unsightly because of the bone and gum changes around the supporting teeth due to normal growth that continues into early adulthood.
If you are contemplating a new bridge, then you should definitely discuss the options with your dentist of a new conventional bridge vs. two implant crowns. I need to advise you that if the implants are not properly placed or the implant crowns are not properly designed, then you could potentially get an unsatisfactory result with impant supported crowns.
For the best outcome, select your impant surgeon and restorative dentist (Prosthodontist or general dentist) team carefully. Ask about there implant experience and definitely make sure that the two dentists have years of experience working (collaborating) together with implant patients.

San Francisco Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

How long does a bridge last vs. a dental implant?

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A conventional bridge has been reported to last up to 10 years, although some other recent studies report average of 6.7 years. This is certainly not good. The reason for most failures is because teeth supporting bridges have to be cut down (prepared) and many become prone to recurrent caries, root canal complications, and fractures. This is the reason why conventional bridges are no longer recommended.

Dental impalnts on the other hand offer 98% plus success rate and that has been widely reported by many studies as well as experience of many dentists.

Your dentist and surgeon can provide you with some better ideas of how your bridge is and how long it might last. They might also consult an endodontist if there are root canal issues to be considered as well.

H. Ryan Kazemi, DMD
Bethesda Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Dental Implant bridge to replace an old bridge

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Treating the two front teeth is always one the the most challenging areas in the mouth due to demanding aesthetic concerns. A traditional bridge or a resin bonded bridge is often indicated in this region especially if our patient is under 17 years old. This is because the skull of a young patient is growing at a more rapid pace than an older patient. Thus an implant placed on a young patient may lead to teeth that are malaligned in the future due to the fact that the implant tooth moves with the growing skull at a different rate.

Bridges placed in the anterior region that are properly supported with bone can look natural and last indefinitely if properly maintained. Should a problem arise with a bridge it can be replaced with another bridge or at that point implants can be an alternate option. in order to determine if you are a candidate for implants an assessment of the bone in the area needs to be done.

Ryan Sellinger, DMD
Manhattan Dentist

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How long will a dental bridge last?

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A dental bridge is used to replace one or more missing teeth and it is cemented in place. It can either be attached to natural teeth or dental implants. In either case, how long it lasts will depend upon several factors.
The quality of the homecare as well as professional care is probably most important, followed by the initial health of the bone around the teeth or dental implants that are supporting the bridge.

If dental implants are supporting the bridge, then cavities will never be a concern. If, however, teeth are supporting the bridge then The person's natural risk for cavities needs to be taken into consideration. Another very important factor is the design of the bridge and how much force each support tooth for implant is expected to withstand.

Taking everything into account, a properly designed and well maintained bridge

Richard Champagne, DMD
Freehold Dentist

Dental Implant Bridge Have an Excellent Long Term Prognosis

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A dental Implant bridge normally has an excellent long term prognosis.  A conventional Bridge has an average lifespan of 5-7 years based on the studies one reads.  Also with a conventional bridge, healthy teeth need to be cut down and this may necessitate root canals in those teeth.  In the future the teeth that were cut down may need to be extracted and now you would need more implants.  In the long run implant restorations cost less to the patient and last the longest.Theoretically implants should last you the rest of your life as long as you do your part in hygiene and regualr visits to your dentist for professional cleaning and maintenence

Brian Dorfman, MD, DMD
Phoenix Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon

Should work for a long time!

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Bonded false teeth in the front of the smile can be a very long lasting solution to missing front teeth.  If the bonding is sufficient, and the teeth are cleaned routinely, both daily and by a dental hygienist, it should be quite a nice way to go. Problems that shorten the life of these fixes are bad bites which cause trauma to the bonding, or buildup of plaque and tartar which contributes to decay around the teeth or swelling and bleeding of the gums, both will cause a shorter life span.

Implant bridge vs tooth supported bridge

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If your current bridge is working for you and you are happy with it, it could last a very long time. If any of the supporting teeth get decay, then it may need to be replaced. Having said that, with proper care, decay may never set in and it could last indefinately. As time goes on, changes with the gums and bone around the bridge may lead to replacement, but these changes usually take many years.

If you were replacing it and placing implants to support a bridge, you could expect that to last a long time as well, as implants do not decay. The forces of the bite need to be managed and esthetics are involved, but a well made implant supported bridge should last a very long time.

Well-designed fixed bridges could last quite a while if cleaned properly

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This is a very challenging question, as I cannot review x-rays. Thus, I cannot comment on the long term prognosis. Due to the accident, the bone in between your teeth was most likely weakened, therefore weakening the teeth which are now supporting the existing bridge. In the event of two implants in the space of the missing teeth, you should consult an experienced periodontist and restorative dentist, as this is a very delicate area to anchor implants in, as well as reconstructiing it in an esthetic fashion.

Anca Bazile, DDS
New York Dentist

How Long Will My Bridge Last?

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What you are describing is a traditional bridge.  When cared for properly, traditional bridges may last 10, 20, even 30 years.  If you are happy with the aesthetics, you may be able to keep it for a long time.

Dental implant bridge

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Too many factors here to give you a concrete answer. Here are some major variables that you need to take into account.

How bad the trauma was to the surrounding teeth (i.e. tooth or bone fractures and how much the teeth moved), the health of the gums and bone prior to the accident and the health AFTER the accident, how much tooth structure is supporting the bridge, and your ability to keep that area clean with proper homecare.

If you had this done by a conservative dentist, I am certain that all of these variables were examined and discussed with you prior to beginning treatment. But if everything is "normal" in your case, you can expect several years or even decades of use with the bridge.

It is up to you as the patient to be very meticulous with your homecare and routine visits to a dentist to ensure you get many years of use from your investment.

Ron Evans, DDS
Dallas 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.