What is an implant-supported bridge? It’s similar to a regular dental bridge, but is supported by implants and not by natural teeth. With an implant-supported bridge, an implant is placed in the jaw for each missing tooth. Then crowns are connected to each other, forming the bridge.
When is it recommended? An implant-supported bridge is commonly recommended when more than one tooth is missing. It may also be used if your dentist is concerned that you might put too much pressure on individual, unconnected implants, especially if you clench or grind your teeth.
How does an implanted-supported bridge work? An implant-supported bridge consists of:
•The implant, which is made of titanium and is surgically placed in your jawbone. You may have one implant for each missing tooth.
•The abutment, a cylinder made of titanium, gold or porcelain, which is screwed onto the implant. Abutments are either pre-fabricated or custom-made by the dental lab.
•The restoration, a series of porcelain crowns which are connected to form the bridge.
How is the procedure done? The time it takes to complete the process depends on each unique situation, but generally speaking, two surgeries are needed to place and prepare the implant. During the first surgery, the implant is placed in the jaw and covered with gum tissue. At the end of the healing period, approximately six months, a second surgery is done to expose the implant so that the bridge can be placed.
Following your initial consultation, your dentist will do a comprehensive exam, review your medical and dental histories, take X-rays, and create impressions of your teeth and gums so that models can be made. You may also have a CT scan if your dentist is not sure how much bone is available to hold the implants in place. Your dentist will discuss with you the options for building up your bone if it is found that your jaw does not have enough bone to hold an implant.
The take-away: Your implant-supported bridge will look natural, feel more secure and comfortable than a removable partial denture, and will allow you to chew food comfortably. Call to schedule a consultation, today: 414-377-5711.