An implant-supported bridge is similar to a regular dental bridge, but it is supported by implants and not by natural teeth.
What are the Options for Replacing missing adjacent Teeth?
If Three or more adjacent teeth missing:
- Dental implant supported bridge
- Natural teeth supported bridge
- Removable Partial dentures
What are the advantages of implant-supported bridges over fixed bridges or removable partial dentures?
- Dental implants provide several advantages over other teeth replacement options, as:
- No need to reduce the adjacent natural teeth as have to in normal bridge.
- More economical than placing individual implants for each tooth.
- Implant-supported bridges will replace some of your tooth roots; your bone is better preserved. With a fixed bridge or removable partial denture, the bone that previously surrounded the tooth root may begin to resorb (deteriorate). Dental implants integrate with your jawbone, helping to keep the bone healthy and intact.
- In the long term, implants are esthetic, functional and comfortable.
- Gums and bone can recede around a fixed bridge or removable partial denture, leaving a visible defect.
- Resorbed bone beneath bridges or removable partial dentures can lead to a collapsed, unattractive smile.
- The cement holding bridges in place can wash out, allowing bacteria to decay teeth that anchor the bridge.
- Removable partial dentures can move around in the mouth and reduce your ability to eat certain foods.
When Is This Used?
- An implant-supported bridge is used when more than one tooth is missing.
- In case you might put too much pressure on individual implants that are not connected to each other. For example, clenching or grinding your teeth can put a lot of pressure on individual implants. This can increase the chances that they will loosen from the bone and fail. An implant-supported bridge reduces the pressure on the individual implants in the bone, and spreads it across the entire bridge.
- In some cases, there may not be enough jawbone to support an implant, or the location may be too close to a nerve or sinus cavity. In that case, we can avoid the area by placing implants on both sides of the space. An implant-supported bridge will be placed on top.
- To make it more economical, when 2 implants can support a 3 unit bridge, saving you the cost of 1 implant.
How Does It Work?
An implant-supported bridge consists of:
The implant: made of titanium and surgically placed in the jawbone. You may have one implant for each missing tooth. In other cases, we may skip one or more spaces because there's not enough jawbone, or because the space is too close to a nerve or your sinus cavity or to make it more economical.
The abutment: a cylinder made of titanium, gold or porcelain, is screwed onto the implant. Abutments can be pre-fabricated or custom-made by the dental lab.
The restoration: the part that looks like teeth, is a series of crowns connected to form a bridge. They are made of PFM, full metal or zirconia.
What are the tips for caring Implant-Supported Bridge?
You will be able to clean the area between the gum and the bridge. We recommend a special type of floss or a small brush for this type of cleaning. Otherwise, you can treat the bridge like your natural teeth.
Call us if you have any problems with your implant-supported bridge. We will want to see you for a checkup every six months.
What are the Possible Complications?
In addition to the risks of surgery and the possibility of the implants failing, screws can break or loosen. Crowns also can break or come loose.
What can one Expect From their Implant supported bridge?
Your implant-supported bridge will feel more secure and comfortable than a removable partial denture, which rests on the gums. You should be able to chew normal food comfortably, and the bridge should look like the natural teeth it is replacing.