At River Run Family Dentistry, we offer dental implant-supported bridges. This treatment replaces several missing teeth in a row securely and permanently, enabling you to eat, talk, and smile with confidence. Depending on your tooth replacement needs, we also provide single-tooth implants, multiple-tooth implants, and implant-retained dentures.
What Is an Implant-Supported Bridge?
An implant-supported bridge is similar to a traditional bridge in that the gap created by missing teeth is filled with one, or several pontics, which are simply replacement teeth, that bridge the gap. The pontics are held in place by crowns on either side, which are attached to the dental implants.
Implant-supported bridges can be used to support several teeth. They are frequently used to replace both back and front teeth and are a great alternative to a partial denture.
What Is the Process for Receiving an Implant-Supported Bridge?
We will need to assess your situation fully as treatment durations for dental implants vary considerably from case to case. In simple cases, after carefully going through your medical history, examining your mouth, and taking appropriate scans to ensure you are a good candidate for the procedure, you will need to schedule four or five visits with us over a four to five month period. If your case is more complex and you require a bone graft it may take longer than this, possibly up to a year.
The first part of the process is to place the dental implants. This is performed with either a local anesthetic or under conscious sedation. Incisions are made in the gums at the sites where the implants are to be placed, exposing the jawbone. Small holes are made in the bone and the implants are inserted before the gum is stitched closed, covering the implants. The implants are left to heal for several months, where they will fuse with the jawbone to create a strong base on which to secure the bridgework. We can arrange for you to have a temporary denture during this time until it is time to fit your bridge.
After the dental implants have been placed, we will begin working with you and a dental laboratory to finalize the design and manufacture your custom-made bridge, which will be color-matched to look as close to your natural teeth as possible.
When it is time for your bridge to be attached to the dental implants, we simply open up the gums again so that we can attach the bridge to the implants. The bridge is held securely in place and looks, acts, and feels very much like your own teeth.
Am I Suitable for an Implant-Supported Bridge?
If you have bone loss in the jaw dental implants may not be an option unless you have an operation to restore the bone. Known as a bone graft, it is a very common procedure in dentistry, but it may delay your implant procedure for up to a year while the graft is given time to take.
Some people with illnesses such as diabetes will need to have their disease fully controlled to be considered for dental implants because the possibility of infection and subsequent failure of the implant is too high.
People who smoke are also considered to be poor candidates for implants because smoking diminishes blood flow, and the nutrients it contains are essential for fighting infection, which could potentially lead to failure of the implant.
Schedule an appointment with us at River Run Family Dentistry to find out more about implant-supported bridges. Call us today at 830-387-3040.