Researchers from American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID) have revealed that aging dental bridges may prove hazardous for oral health and should be replaced with permanent .
Aging dental bridges are often difficult to floss, often decay, and require replacement with longer bridges. The team suggests that permanent dental implants could be a suitable alternative for good dental health.
"Many of us have had the same bridges in our mouths for twenty years or more. They were put in at a time when bridgework was considered to be the norm for replacing missing or compromised teeth," said Olivia Palmer, DMD of Charleston, SC, an associate fellow of AAID and diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology.
"An old bridge is basically worthless for preserving good dental health. In essence, it's a bridge to nowhere. So why keep a bridge to nowhere?
"For most patients, implants are a much better treatment alternative because they preserve the bone of the jaw, can be flossed easily, do not decay, and function just like natural teeth. Also, to get implants you don't have to sacrifice healthy teeth, which is required with bridgework," she added.
AAID President Jaime Lozada, DDS, director, graduate program, implant dentistry, Loma Linda University said that dental implants have been dramatically accepted as a viable long-term option for replacing missing teeth.
"Why consider higher risk procedures when dental implants are more predictable and a better alternative," he said.
Today this technically advanced dental implant surgery has made the procedure faster, highly predicable, long-lasting and 97 percent successful, which is far superior to outcomes with bridges.
Palmer said that the bridges generally fail after 5-10 years as patients have trouble flossing them.
"Because these bridges link missing tooth spaces to adjacent teeth, many patients find it very difficult to floss the bridge. Therefore, root surfaces below and around bridgework often decay, if not kept meticulously clean by flossing. It is impossible to repair this marginal decay, so the entire bridge must be replaced," she added.