Replace Missing Teeth with Implant-Supported Bridges
In the past, missing teeth could only be replaced with a traditional dental bridge or denture. Since the advent of dental implants, there are now several implant-based replacement options available. Implant-supported bridges are a stable and long-lasting replacement for two or more consecutive missing teeth. Our doctors at Greater Long Island Dental in Long Island, NY, can help you experience the many benefits of implant-supported restorations.
About Implant-Supported Bridges
A traditional bridge can be crafted from a single block of ceramic, zirconia, or other high-quality dental material. It consists of two crowns on either side, with pontics (artificial teeth) in between. An implant-supported bridge is essentially designed in the same way. However, rather than connecting the restoration to adjacent teeth for support, it is anchored to dental implants placed in the jawbone.
Who is Eligible for an Implant-Supported Bridge?
Individuals considering any type of implant treatment must be in good general health, should be non-smokers, and should not have any medical conditions that could compromise recovery, such as uncontrolled diabetes. In addition, patients should not have any existing oral health conditions, such as extensive decay or gum disease. If present, these must be treated first. Finally, individuals must have sufficient jawbone structure to support the dental implants. If bone loss has occurred, patients may need to first undergo a bone grafting procedure.
Receiving an Implant-Supported Bridge
You can expect your treatment timeline to consist of:
- Initial consultation: The first step is to have a consultation with one of our doctors. During this visit, the health of your teeth, gums, and jawbone will be assessed. Scans and x-rays will also be taken to evaluate your jawbone. Once all information has been gathered, your doctor will begin the treatment planning process.
- Preparatory procedures: If any preliminary procedures are necessary, such as a bone graft or sinus lift, they will be performed first. In most cases, a few months of healing is required before the implants can be placed.
- Implant placement: When the bone is ready to receive the implants, these devices will be placed into the jaw during an oral surgery procedure. During this visit, the gums will be numbed, and a small incision will be created to access the jawbone. Once the posts are positioned, the incision will be closed with stitches.
- Healing and recovery: In most cases, about three to six months of healing is required after implant placement. During this recovery phase, osseointegration occurs, a process in which the bone tissue fuses with the implants.
- Placement of final restoration: Once the implants are fully integrated, your bridge can be attached to the implants.
If gaps or spaces in your smile are affecting your chewing function or your confidence, consider what an implant-supported bridge can do for you.
Benefits of Implant-Supported Bridges
Implant-supported restorations are considered superior to their traditional counterparts for two primary reasons. First, in order to place a traditional bridge, the teeth on either side of the gap must be altered. An implant-supported bridge does not require the reduction of adjacent teeth
Secondly, jawbone recession is a natural result of tooth loss. When a traditional bridge is placed, the bone ridge underneath will continue to shrink. In contrast, when missing teeth are replaced with dental implants, the body perceives them as teeth roots. As a result, the jawbone will retain tissue.
Contact Us to Learn More
If gaps or spaces in your smile are affecting your chewing function or your confidence, consider what an implant-supported bridge can do for you. To explore your treatment options, schedule a visit to our practice. You can contact us online or call us at (516) 468-7103.
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