If you are one of the 178 million American adults who are missing at least one tooth from your mouth, then you are probably very much aware of how embarrassing and uncomfortable this problem can be. Tooth loss can not only negatively impact your self-image, making you feel shy and ashamed of sharing your smile; it can also cause lasting complications in your mouth.
Over time, you may start to notice your remaining teeth shifting and drifting into the open space and, if it remains untreated, you may start to lose even more teeth. When you are missing more than one tooth, but you do not have anchor teeth to support a bridge, you may be uncertain as for how you can improve your smile.
We here at Tieken Smiles Dentistry are pleased to offer implant supported bridges
to our patients who need a partial – but also attractive and permanent – restoration option for their tooth loss.
What is an Implant Supported Bridge?
For patients who are missing just one tooth, they may be good candidates for a single dental implant.
Conversely, for patients who are missing an entire arch (an entire upper or bottom row of their teeth), they may be interested in learning more about implant supported dentures. However, what can a patient who is missing several teeth in a row do about the spaces in their mouth? For our patients who are missing three or four teeth in a row, we advise implant supported bridges.
Getting an implant supported bridge has many advantages over conventional dental bridges. While we will still require an impression of your teeth to ensure a good fit of your bridge, we do not need to touch your actual remaining teeth to fit the actual bridge.
When a patient gets a traditional bridge, it requires filing down and shaping the supporting teeth so that we may place a crown on them. This can not only be damaging to these teeth, but it can also put a strain on them, weakening them over time. An implant supported bridge does not affect your natural teeth but instead requires the placement of dental implants
to support the bridge.
The procedure to place the implant supported bridge is quite safe and routine and resembles the placement of a single implant in many ways. We first begin by thoroughly numbing the surgical site up with local anesthetic. We will then carefully place an incision into the gum to reveal the bone where we will place the implant. Next, we will drill into the bone, then place a titanium post into the jaw. We will close the gums with sutures, then allow it to heal.
As it heals, your bone will start to build up over the titanium post, a process known as osseointegration. Once it is healed, we will place the abutment to the titanium screw. The abutment acts as an attachment for the bridge, which is the final component of the implant. After your implant surgery heals, which can take up to six months, we will finally place your bridge.
Want More Information?
To learn more about implant supported bridges and to allow us to help you determine if you are a good candidate for this procedure, please give us here at Tieken Smiles Dentistry a call today at (281) 942-0444!