An implanted supported bridge is a way to replace many teeth at once using dental implants and a set of teeth that are fixed to the implants. The dental implants are inserted into the bone. The bone heals and bonds to the implant and becomes the anchor or support for the bridge. You do not need to have an implant to support each individual lost tooth. Between 4-6 implants can be used to support up to 14 teeth.
An examination of your mouth and bone is needed to determine the optimum number and position of implants for the best result possible.
A bridge is held in place rigidly so it will not move or come loose with chewing. This provides more efficient chewing power than a denture which will allow you to eat a larger variety of food, eliminate pressure on the gums and give you more confidence. Bridges are more comfortable than any denture or plate as they are smaller.
On average, porcelain bonded to metal teeth bridges are replaced after about 15 years. There will be occasional need for servicing and other repairs. Servicing typically involves removal of the bridge from the implants and cleaning thoroughly each year. Minor repairs are needed when chipping of the porcelain occurs. Frequent chipping of the porcelain can be due to grinding/clenching of the teeth, chewing very hard foods and trauma. In some instances, a mouthguard is recommended.
The acrylic bonded to the metal does not last as long and over time the acrylic wears down. When this occurs, the teeth are replaced with new acrylic teeth and for most people this arises after about 8 years. The tooth replacement process takes about 1-3 days.
Failure of the bone to integrate with the bone is the most significant complication. This occurs in <1% of cases for healthy people.
An implant supported bridge is dependent on bone: quantity and quality. Implant supported bridges are a more expensive option than a denture but provide a solution most like your natural teeth.
Provisional/temporary bridges are made from acrylic teeth bonded to a high impact acrylic reinforced metal bar. This provisional can be made quickly and at a lower cost than a permanent bridge. However, they do not last a long time. They are useful for the interim solution while your bone and gums heal.
Definitive bridges are porcelain bonded to titanium or gold alloy or acrylic bonded to titanium. The type of bridge selection depends on your bite, the force generated, the position of the implants and your desired aesthetics. These bridges are custom made for each patient and are mush stronger than provisional bridges.
Generally, teeth can be provided on the day of surgery. These can be either provisional or permeant teeth. The provisional bridge is an interim solution that ill later need replacement with a definitive bridge. On the day of surgery permanent teeth can be provided with a records appointment prior and a follow up appointment after your surgery.
You will need to discuss these options with your specialist who will advise you for the best solution for your situation.
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Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding with any treatment you may consider seeking a second opinion from an appropriate qualified health practitioner