An implant-supported bridge is a permanent tooth replacement solution for patients missing several teeth in a row.
How a traditional bridge works
A dental bridge is made of three or more artificial crowns used to replace one or more teeth in your mouth. To install a traditional bridge, healthy teeth are required on both sides of the missing tooth to support the replacement crowns. To prepare the mouth for attaching the bridge, the dentist files down the healthy teeth so the crowns on each end of the bridge can fit over the top and be cemented into place.
Installing a bridge without healthy teeth
When healthy teeth are not available on both sides of the missing teeth, dental implants can be used for support. Just two dental implants can anchor a dental bridge with multiple teeth, which minimizes the surgery required to complete the treatment.
Dental implant surgery
The dental implants used to secure an implant-supported bridge are the same as the implants used for replacing a single tooth. To learn more about dental implant treatment read our post An Introduction to Implants.
After dental implants have been installed, patients will need to wait one to three months for their jaw to fully heal. Once the implants have fused to the bone, a custom bridge will be built to replace the missing teeth. Special connectors, called abutments, are then used to permanently attach your new teeth in place, using the dental implants to anchor the bridge.
Advantages of implant-supported bridges
Compared to a traditional bridge, an implant-supported bridge offers several advantages, including:
- It does not require adjacent teeth to be filed down
- Implant-supported bridges are very strong
- Dental implants help to prevent bone loss
An implant-supported bridge will allow you to eat all your favorite foods again and smile with confidence. To find out if you are a good candidate, schedule an initial consultation with your oral surgeon.