Implant Supported Bridge: What it is and how is it done?
Implant Supported Bridge is nothing other than the regular and conventional dental bridge. The only difference is that it is supported dental implants and not by teeth. At times when implant supported dentures are used then there will be implant in the jawbone for each missing teeth. After this the crown will be connected to each other to create a single piece.
Why is an Implant Supported Bridge used?
An Implant Supported Bridge is used when a patient is missing more than one tooth. The other reason why Implant Supported Bridge is used when your dentist feels that you will be exerting too much pressure on implants that are not connected with each other. Like for example there are patients who suffer from bruxism and have a really bad habit of clenching their teeth. In such situations the chances of teeth becoming loose and falling off are really high.
When the jawbone is fitted with Implant Supported Bridge the chances of bone falling off reduces. The pressure exerted on implant reduces and in turn it gets spread across the entire appliance. There is a thumb rule which is followed by every dentist worldwide when working on implants – It will be placed right next to the natural teeth if the teeth and the gums are in good condition. If you lack bone in such areas the dental implant won’t be supported. In such situation your dentist will use bone augmentation or bone grafting technique to make a supporting bone.
How does Implant Supported Bridge works
As mentioned above in case your jaw and teeth health ain’t that good then chances of you getting implants comes down to zero. In such situations your dentist will leave that area by setting up implant on both sides of the space available. An Implant Supported Bridge can be made just like the conventional bridge in which crown will be suspended between two implant supported crowns.
An Implant Supported Bridge consists of the following:
- The implant which will be made out of titanium and will be surgically placed in your jawbone.
- The abutment which is a cylinder made out of titanium, gold or porcelain. It is screwed into the implant.
- The restoration which looks like the teeth
The entire procedure will take quite a long time however it depends on a lot of factors. When your dentist uses the conventional implant method the time frame is 5 months in lower jaw and 7 months in the upper jaw.
The entire time frame for treatment includes the surgeries and placement of the denture. In situations when you need a bone grafting or any other process then the time frame goes up to one year.
Ideally you will have to undergo two surgeries. The first surgery will put the implant in the jawbone under your gums. The second surgery will expose the top of the implant. The second surgery will be done three to six months after the first. At the end of the healing period, a second surgery is done to expose the implant so that the bridge can be placed.
Conclusion and Expectations from you
Before your dentist starts off with any work there will be a thorough consultation between you and the prosthodontists. Your entire medical history will be reviewed and your dentist will take X-rays of your teeth so that they can create model of your teeth and gums.
You might have to undergo a CT Scan as this will help the dentist determine the location sinuses and nerves. He/She will also perform CT Scan in case they are not sure whether the bone is available to hold the implant or not. In case the conditions are not favorable for dental implant then your dentist will discuss further options with you.
You are expected to treat your teeth in the best possible way. You need to ensure that proper brushing and flossing technique is followed post the implant supported denture procedure.