An implant bridge is a good choice if you have 3 missing teeth next to each other. In this case you don’t need dental implants in each position: 2 pillar implants can support a 3-unit-long bridge. This is the shortest implant bridge construction. The longest implant bridge includes 12 or 14 teeth (in edentulous patients) and supported by 6 or 8 dental implants.
What are the advantages of implant bridges?
- Naturally esthetic results;
- The adjacent teeth remain intact – unlike in the case of ordinary bridges;
- Implants preserve the surrounding tooth material; stops or slows down atrophy;
- Chewing is much more comfortable than with a removable denture;
- Fixed solution, unremovable by hand;
- Does not move, great stability;
- Less expensive than replacing missing teeth with dental implants one-by-one;
- Masticatory functions are restored;
- Durable solutions.
What are the disadvantages of implant bridges?
Cleaning requires more time and dexterity than in the case of removable dentures or real teeth. Those who have bridges supported by implants should use a few special tools for cleaning (interdental brush, superfloss, waterpik, mouthwash etc.)
If one of the false teeth became broken (e.g. porcelain chipping) the entire bridge should be removed and repaired or replaced.
Different types of bridges supported by implants
Cemented bridge: the bridge is cemented on the abutments of implants.
- Advantages: realisation is possible in most cases. There is no aesthetic disadvantage (like the hole for the screw retainment in the case of screwed bridges). Less expensive.
- Disadvantages: if it has to be repaired, removal of the bridge is not always possible without damaging it. In this case the bridge has to be remanufactured.
Screw-ratined bridge: the bridge is held in place by screws.
- Advantages: the implant bridge is easy to be removed, and cleaned/repaired if it is necessary.
- Disadvantages: more expensive than the cemented version. Can’t be realised in every scenario. The holes for the retaining screws can mean an aesthetic disadvantages, even if they are covered with white filling material.
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