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An implant-supported bridge is similar to a regular dental bridge, but it is supported by implants and not by natural teeth. In most cases, when an implant-supported bridge is used, one implant is placed in the jawbone for each two-missing tooth. An implant-supported bridge is used when more than one tooth is missing and can be used to replace a whole arch of missing teeth.
An implant-supported bridge consists of:
- The implant is made of titanium and surgically placed in the jawbone. You may have one implant for each missing tooth. In other cases, your dentist may skip one or more spaces because there’s not enough jawbone, or because the space is too close to a nerve or your sinus cavity.
- The abutment, a cylinder made of titanium, gold or porcelain, is screwed onto the implant. In the past, some abutments were attached to the implant using cement. Today all abutments are secured with screws. Abutments can be pre-fabricated or custom-made by the dental lab.
- The restoration (the part that looks like teeth) is a series of crowns connected to form a bridge. They are made of porcelain attached and fused to a substructure of metal.
Before any work is done, you will visit our dentist who has advanced training in the placement and restoration of implants. During the consultation, they will review your medical and dental histories, take X-rays and create impressions of your teeth and gums so that models can be made. In some cases, the dentist may order a computed tomography (CT) scan of your mouth. This will show where your sinuses and nerves are. The dentist can then make sure that they will not be affected by the implants.
CARING FOR YOUR IMPLANT-SUPPORTED BRIDGE
WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT FROM YOUR IMPLANT?
Your implant-supported bridge will feel more secure and comfortable than a removable partial denture, which rests on the gums. You should be able to chew normal food comfortably, and the bridge should look like the natural teeth it is replacing.