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If you have multiple missing teeth, you want a reliable solution that will help you to live a normal life again. If you don’t want to resort to crowns, traditional bridges, or partial dentures, you have the option to obtain an implant bridge.
Your dentist may offer several solutions for restoring your missing teeth. However, the options that you can ultimately select from will depend on whether or not you are a candidate for the procedure. Here is an overview of the implant bridge to help you decide if this procedure is right for you.
An implant bridge is similar to a regular dental bridge. However, the difference is that it is supported by implants and not the natural teeth. In the majority of cases when an implant bridge is used, an implant is inserted into the jawbone for each tooth that it is missing. Then, crowns are connected to each other in order to form a single piece.
An implant bridge consists of three main components:
At the initial consultation, a comprehensive examination will be performed, which will include taking X-rays, reviewing your medical and dental histories and creating impressions of your teeth. In certain cases, the dentist may also request a CT scan of your mouth in order to see where your sinuses and nerves are and measure the height and width of your bone.
The dentist will also plan out the placement of your implants to ensure that the positioning enables your new bridge to look natural. The dentist will create a wax-up of what the bridge will look like once it is complete. In order to do this, a model of your mouth is made from impressions that are taken of your teeth and jaw.
A surgical guide may be required for the surgery. The surgical guide will be fitted over your existing teeth in order to help the dentist determine where the implants need to be placed.
If there is insufficient bone available, the dentist may first perform bone grafting procedures, which take several months to heal prior to the implant procedure.
Once the preparatory phrase of the implant procedure is complete, the implants are placed into the jawbone. The implants are allowed to heal so that the fusion with the bone, known as osseointegration, can take place.
During a second surgery, a healing cap will be placed on the head of the implant after it is exposed. The healing cap is a piece of metal that is designed to keep the gums away from the head of the implant. This helps the gums to properly heal and will remain in place until the insertion of the temporary bridge.
The supports for the implants, called abutments, are built into the bridge. After implant fixtures have been inserted in your jaw, the bridge is then secured onto the implant fixtures to ensure good placement.
During your next visit to the dentist, a temporary bridge will be placed onto the abutments. This temporary bridge will stay in place for a few weeks. On the next visit, take impressions to have the final bridge fabricated. Once that is completed, the final restoration will be permanently placed.
Using an implant bridge offers several benefits for patients including:
The best part about having an implant bridge is the fact that you will be able to care for it just like your natural teeth, with an addition of a special type of floss or small brushes for cleaning the areas between the gum and the bridge.
In order to be eligible for an implant bridge, patients must have good overall health and sufficient bone. However, if you do not have enough bone to support the placements of the dental implants, then the supporting bone can also be built up by using bone augmentation or bone grafting procedures.
If you have multiple missing teeth, you should consider an implant bridge to restore your smile. Request an initial consultation or call 225-399-4521 to discuss your options regarding dental implants.