Implant-Supported Bridges

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Get procedural direction of care and cost estimates to see if this is the treatment option for you

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What are implant-supported dental bridges?

Dental bridges are a fixed solution to missing teeth.

A dental bridge will literally ‘bridge the gap’ created by one or more missing teeth, and restore the natural appearance of your smile.

A dental bridge is a permanent prosthetic appliance that consists of two or more dental crowns (artificial teeth) connected to each other to form one piece.

The crowns that make up a dental bridge are made from ceramic (porcelain) to create a natural, translucent appearance that seamlessly matches the shape and colour of your existing teeth.

An implant-supported bridge is similar to a regular bridge, but it is supported by dental implants on either end (instead of by natural teeth). Not every crown within the bridge will require an implant.

The dental crowns in the middle that will not require dental implants are called ‘pontics’, and the dental crowns on either end of the bridge that will be attached to dental implants are called ‘retainer crowns’.

When multiple implants are required, they can all be placed during the same appointment.

Implant supported dental bridge

What are dental implants?

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is securely anchored into the jawbone and replaces the root of a missing natural tooth.

A dental crown (artificial tooth) is then attached to the top of the implant to fill the gap of the missing tooth.

Dental implants restore the aesthetic appearance and chewing function of a missing tooth. They can be used in either the upper or lower jaws, or both.

A dental implant is a titanium screw that is surgically inserted into the jawbone to give you similar support and anchorage of a natural tooth root. An abutment, which is a connecting device, is placed onto the top of the implant. A ceramic dental crown is then attached to the abutment to complete the restoration. The dental crown will be custom coloured and designed to match your existing teeth.

Dental implants are made from a strong medical-grade titanium material which is biocompatible with the jawbone. Over time, the artificial root integrates (biologically bonds) with your natural jawbone in a process called osseointegration.

You can read more about dental implants here.

Dental implant labelled

What are dental crowns?

A dental crown is a custom-made, permanent restoration. Basically, a dental crown is an artificial tooth.

Dental crowns are cemented onto the top of dental implants (via the connecting abutment) to replace a missing tooth.

Dental crowns are made out of ceramic (porcelain) which is a highly aesthetic material. They are seamlessly matched to the shape and colour of your existing teeth. A dental crown will look, function and feel just like a natural tooth.

When cemented into place, crowns completely cover the entire visible portion of the tooth that lies at and above the gum line.

Dental crown on an implant

Implant-supported bridge restoration options

Multiple missing teeth

Implant-supported bridge:

If you have multiple missing teeth, implant-supported bridges can be used to replace them.

Implant-supported bridges will provide you with a permanent, fixed and functional tooth replacement option.

Generally an implant-supported bridge will consist of one of more ‘pontic’ crowns in the middle, surrounded by ‘retainer crowns’ that are attached to dental implants.

Implant-supported bridges

 

All teeth missing (no teeth)

Full arch implant-supported bridge prosthesis (“all-on-4” / “all-on-6” implants):

A full arch implant-supported bridge prosthesis, also called a full arch reconstruction, replaces the entire dentition (all the teeth) on either the upper or lower jaws, or both. Missing teeth are replaced with a full dental bridge using only four or six implants in each jaw.

You may have heard of this procedure as an “all-on-4” or “all-on-6” dental implant-based reconstruction.

These dental implants can safely support a whole arch of permanent, natural looking artificial teeth.

An advantage of this procedure is that it does not require bone grafting, as some of the implants are inserted on an angle. Therefore it is suitable for patients who may not have the required bone density for multiple individual dental implants.

The prosthesis (bridge) can be made out of ceramic or acrylic, and may or may not include natural-looking artificial gum depending on a number of factors (including how much bone height is available).

Advantages of a full arch implant-supported bridge prosthesis over a denture include:

  • Permanent:
    They never have to be removed for cleaning or sleeping.
  • Long lasting:
    Due to the fact the dental implants fuse (osseointegrate) with your natural jawbone, they can last a lifetime when properly cared for.
  • Improved comfort:
    The bridge prosthesis will feel just like natural teeth. It will not slip in your mouth or require bracing from other teeth.
  • Restore bite force and chewing power:
    Dental implants are secure enough to let you confidently chew the food you enjoy.

Images – All-on-6 implants without artificial gums:


all-on-6 dental implant

all-on-6 dental implant

all-on-6 dental implant

 

Images – All-on-6 implants with artificial gums:


all-on-6 dental implant

all-on-6 dental implant

Interested in implant-supported bridges?

Free consultation:

If you are interested in implant-supported bridges, we offer free consultations to see if they could be right for you. At these consultations we provide general advice and cost estimates. There is no obligation for you to on-book or continue treatment.

Comprehensive consultation:

If you would like to proceed, the next step is a comprehensive consultation. This involves a full examination of your dentition (teeth) and digital radiographs (X-rays) including an OPG (orthopantomogram) and a 3D Cone Beam CT scan. This will allow us to assess a number of factors including your bone structure and bone density to see if dental implants could be a viable option for you. We will explain all available treatment options and provide a full itemised treatment plan for your consideration.

Implant-supported bridge procedures

Implant-supported bridge

Prior to the procedure:

Depending on the jawbone condition, a bone graft, or bone graft and sinus lift, may be required prior to implant placement to ensure implant vitality. If required these procedures can be performed by our experienced dentists in our surgery.

Placement of implants:

We can place all your dental implants in the same appointment.

The titanium implant screws are surgically inserted into your jawbone. Healing caps will be placed over the dental implants to allow the soft tissue (gum) to heal around the area.

Once placed, the implants are allowed time to osseointegrate (attach to the natural bone).

Placement of healing abutments and temporary teeth:

At this appointment the healing caps will be replaced with healing abutments. Healing abutments allow the gum to form ‘collars’ around the base of the crown (teeth) area.

Temporary teeth will be provided over the healing abutment for you to wear for the remainder of the healing process. Depending on your particular case we will use either a composite dental bridge, a partial denture or suck-down retainer. The temporary teeth will look natural and will be matched to your existing teeth colour.

Impressions:

At your impression appointment, the healing abutments and temporary teeth will be briefly removed, and an impression coping will be placed on the implants.

Impressions of the dental implants and surrounding teeth will be taken. These impressions will be sent to a dental laboratory to manufacture your final abutments and ceramic dental bridge.

The healing abutments and temporary teeth will be replaced at the end of the appointment.

Placement of final bridge restoration:

Once your final abutments and ceramic dental bridge have been received from the dental lab, you will attend a cementation appointment. The healing abutments and temporary teeth will be removed, and your final abutments will be attached.

We will then check the abutments and final dental bridge for fit, and make sure you are comfortable and happy with the result. Once confirmed, your permanent ceramic bridge will be cemented onto the abutments.

Bridge Restoration Procedure

 

Full arch implant-supported bridge (“all-on-4” / “all-on-6” implants)

Placement of implants:

We can place all your dental implants in the same appointment.

The titanium implant screws are surgically inserted into your jawbone. Healing caps will be placed over the dental implants to allow the soft tissue (gum) to heal around the area.

Once placed, the implants are allowed time to osseointegrate (attach to the natural bone).

You will be provided with a temporary denture (with a soft lining) to wear for the remainder of the healing process. The temporary denture will look natural and will be matched to your existing teeth colour.

Placement of healing abutments:

At this appointment the healing caps will be replaced with healing abutments. Healing abutments allow the gum to form ‘collars’ around the base of the crown (teeth) area.

The temporary denture will be replaced over the healing abutments.

Impressions:

At your impression appointment, the healing abutments and temporary denture will be briefly removed, and an impression coping will be placed on the implants.

Impressions of the dental implants and surrounding gum area will be taken. These impressions will be sent to a dental laboratory to manufacture your final abutments and ceramic dental bridge.

The healing abutments and temporary denture will be replaced at the end of the appointment.

Placement of final bridge restoration:

Once your final abutments and ceramic dental bridge have been received from the dental lab, you will attend a cementation appointment. The healing abutments and temporary denture will be removed, and your final abutments will be attached. We will then check the abutments and final dental bridge for fit, and make sure you are comfortable and happy with the result.

Once confirmed, your permanent full-arch ceramic bridge will be screwed onto the abutments.

We will then restore the screw-retained dental crowns with composite material over the screw covers, so they blend in seamlessly.

all-on-6 dental implant

all-on-6 dental implant