Long-Term Success: Maintaining Your Implant Bridge for Years to Come

implant bridge

Implant bridges are prosthetic overdentures that derive most of their support from the jawbone. Also known as ‘fixed partial dentures,’ implant bridges are a permanent tooth replacement treatment for patients with missing or compromised teeth. Patients who can’t get traditional dentures placed or are opposed to them are prime candidates for this procedure.

In this blog, we will dive into the fundamentals of implant bridges, and also explore how to get the most out of them by providing several maintenance techniques.

What exactly are Implant-Supported Bridges?

Implant bridges are full arch restoration devices anchoring in the jawbone using implant ‘posts’ surgically placed inside. Traditional dentures, which use the adjacent teeth or some sort of adhesive for support, don’t have the same lasting power or the structural strength required for comfortable everyday use. Therefore, many patients opt out of them and get implant bridges instead.

These also help preserve the natural integrity of the bone by reinstating the stimulation of the tooth socket that the lost tooth was providing. The socket requires constant stimulation like this; otherwise, the bone quality in that region can be affected. Implant bridges can help with this and restore the integrity of the bone.

Implant bridges use dental implants made usually of titanium, a biocompatible metal that the body does not deem harmful and welcomes into the body. These titanium implants are drilled into the jawbone and function as the ‘pillars’ or ‘posts’ the whole bridge will rest upon. 

After the surgery, the implant has not yet reached its full capability. It must still undergo a biological process central to all implant-based procedures like this. Osseointegration is the body’s remarkable ability to fuse with a foreign prosthetic, titanium. Depending on the individual, this can take several weeks to several months, but it is imperative for the implant bridge’s success. 

Am I a Suitable Candidate for the Implant Bridge

To better understand if you are suitable for the treatment, a consultation with a dentist is the best way to reach a decision. Remember that only a dentist who is experienced in implant bridges and implant technology can help you most efficiently in this regard. 

Here, we have summarized the process of gauging suitability, which starts with an initial consultation.

Initial Consultation

In this beginning part of the process, the dentist will assess a number of factors that will help them prepare for the upcoming surgery. These can include questions about your prior medical history, whether you have ever had any surgeries performed, or any medical conditions you might have had, such as diabetes or heart disease, conditions that can affect the surgery. 

Oral Examination

The dentist might take some scans of your mouth using advanced scanning technology. X-rays of your mouth might be taken to develop a 2-D rendering, and CBCT scans performed for a 3-D replica of the implant site. Scans can help dentists assess the condition of your mouth and help them with any current or prior oral issues, such as gum disease, which are inquiries that might also pop up. Any signs of tooth decay or structural issues are also factors that the dentist will be on the lookout for. In this part of the process, an evaluation of the alignment of your teeth and how they come together (occlusion) might also be conducted. 

A gum condition, a misalignment of the teeth, or tooth decay can hamper the surgery process and are, therefore, imperative to be treated before the surgery. 

Bone-Quality Assessment

The durability and longevity of an implant rely heavily on strong, dense bone. Deteriorated or brittle bone can cause issues with the implant, depriving it of the structural strength required for support. Therefore, the dentist will assess whether the quality of bone in your jaw is sufficient for implant bridges and determine the best course of action to take, depending on the result. If you are found to have degraded bone in the jaw, they might even suggest a bone graft

Tips for Maintaining the Implant Bridge

In this section we will direct our attention to effective tips or activities that can help maintain our Implant Bridge. Keep in mind that these are general tips and do not replace the techniques the dentist might tell you specifically, as each case is unique.

Brushing

The most important daily activity that you can perform to maintain your implant bridge is to brush twice a day, every day. It’s important for people with implants to not use a hard-bristled toothbrush as that can cause scratches and damage your implant body. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush, which will be soft on the implant and the gum lining. 

You can also use interdental toothbrushes or brushes made specifically for daily implant cleaning. An ‘orthodontic’ or ‘implant’ brush has a small head that can skillfully handle the hard-to-reach angles and edges of the implant, where bacteria is more likely to accumulate.

Flossing

Flossing can also make a world of difference when it comes to maintaining your implant bridge. It targets the areas that solely brushing cannot reach and helps prevent damage to the implant and bone from the bacteria in these areas. 

You can also use dental implant flossers, specifically for people with implants. These have a stiff end that helps in threading the floss and a soft, spongy end that is easy on the gum lining and effective for cleaning sensitive areas like the abutments.

You can also use water flossers as an alternative to traditional flossers. A pressured stream of water can clean the plaque and bits of food in hard-to-reach places and even areas that conventional flosses can’t reach, especially under and around the implant. 

Regular Checkups

Regular visits to the dentist can be immensely helpful in preserving the long-term success of the implant bridge. They can help by informing you of any specific changes that you might need to make to your lifestyle or diet regarding your dental implants. Having a dentist regularly check the implants thoroughly can also help decrease any possible structural or medical issues with the implant, such as loosening or infections. 

Conclusion

In this blog, we discussed Implant Bridges and offered a general description. Factors that determine suitability for this treatment were also discussed. Ultimately, we offered several general maintenance techniques that patients can integrate into their lives to ensure long-lasting success for their implant bridge. 

If you want more information about implant bridges or want to consult with a highly experienced professional, don’t hesitate to visit or call us at the Texas Implant Clinic in Plano, Texas. Schedule a consultation now, and we can help put you on the path to better oral solutions!

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