Dental implants are the most modern and effective way to replace lost teeth. Unfortunately, the American Academy of Implant Dentistry finds that "More than 35 million Americans are missing all their teeth in one or both jaws." This condition occurs mainly due to age, diseases, or accidents. Living without teeth or with fewer teeth than…
How Dental Implants Are Used to Support Dental Bridges
A dental bridge is a prosthetic that replaces one or more missing teeth. A traditional fixed bridge is supported by natural teeth. However, this is not an option if there are no adjacent teeth healthy enough to support the bridge. When this is the case, the dentist can replace the missing teeth with a bridge that is attached to dental implants.
A review of dental implants and bridges for tooth replacement
A bridge that is supported by dental implants is often referred to as an implant-supported bridge. There are many benefits to this form of tooth replacement, but it is important to understand the treatment process before making a final decision as to whether or not an implant-supported bridge is right for you.
What is an implant-supported dental bridge?
Implant-supported bridges are a form of tooth replacement in which dental crowns that make up a dental “bridge” are attached to dental implants. This is different than the traditional fixed dental bridge, which is supported by healthy adjacent teeth. Implant-supported bridges are more durable than traditional bridges, but they require a more extensive and longer treatment process (see below).
What is the process for dental implants that support a dental bridge?
The process looks different for every patient. This is due in large part due to the need to prepare the mouth for the placement of the dental implants. For example, patients that have experienced bone loss in the jaw as a result of tooth loss require a bone grafting procedure to ensure there is enough healthy bone to support the implants. The placement procedure is safe but is considered a minimally invasive surgery, and subsequently, there is a recovery time required. After the patient recovers, the dental bridge is attached, completing the restoration.
When are implant-supported dental bridges recommended by dentists?
As discussed, dentists recommend implant-supported dental bridges to patients that do not have healthy natural teeth on each side of the missing teeth. This is because the bridge must be supported by what is known as an abutment. For a fixed bridge, this is the adjacent teeth. For the implant-supported bridge, the abutment that supports the bridge are the implants, which take the place of the natural teeth if they are severely damaged or missing.
How can I care for my implant-supported bridge after treatment?
During the recovery process after dental implant placement, it is encouraged to stick to a soft diet and primarily drink water rather than drinks with sugar. Once the process is complete, you can care for the dental bridge through good oral hygiene practices, protecting teeth from damage, and visiting the dentist for check-up visits and cleanings.
Learn more about dental implants to support a dental bridge
Give us a call or send us a message if you have questions or concerns about implant-supported bridges. We enjoy helping our patients find more confidence and improve their oral health. We can explain all treatment options available in greater detail and help you throughout each step of treatment.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Dental Implants in Falls Church, VA.
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