Edentulous patients generally wish to receive a fixed tooth replacement. Currently, the best solution is to realize a bridge supported by implants (extended to the whole arch). It is not necessary to replace each missing teeth with dental implants: 8 implants are generally sufficient to support 12 teeth.
Why is the implant supported bridge a good solution?
- It is fixed and stable because it is supported by implants. Only a dentist can remove it;
- It is comfortable;
- It restores completely the masticatory function;
- It helps to restore your smile a natural and aesthetic way.
- It preserves the surrounding bone, prevents bone loss and recession of the jaw;
- It is possible to replace missing gum tissoues with artificial gums (see photo);
- It is a reliable long term solution.
What are the disadvantages of the implant supported full arch bridge?
Compared to natural teeth or removable dentures, the cleaning of the implant supported bridge requires more patience and dexterity. Those who have an implant supported bridge must use – in addition to their toothbrush and dental floss – other cleaning products as well (interdental brushes, implant floss, brush for implant, mouthwash …)
If one of the artificial porcelain teeth of the bridge is damaged (e.g. a piece of porcelain is detached) then the entire bridge should be repaired or replaced.
How many dental implants are necessary?
- Complete bridge supported by 8 implants: 12 or 14 ceramic or composite teeth are fitted on the dental implants, preferably on 8 (according to the dentists of Smilefactory this is the safest solution).
- Complete bridge supported by 6 implants: our clinic does not use this technique because the failure of a single implant prevents the fitting of the bridge.
- All-on-4 (bridge supported by four implants) is only used when the patient does not have enough bone for 8 implants. This technique requires special planning and execution. In general, the all-on-4 bridge contains only 10 teeth.
Types of implant supported bridges
Bonded (cemented) bridge: the bridge is glued on the implant abutments.
- Advantages: its realization is possible in almost all cases. There are no holes on the surface of the bridge (for the screw retainment). Less expensive than the screw-retained bridge.
- Disadvantages: It is not always possible to remove the bridge without damaging it. If it happens so, a new bridge has to be manufactured.
The screw retained bridge: The bridge is screwed onto the implants.
- Advantages: The bridge can be removed, cleaned and repaired if necessary.
- Disadvantages: Somewhat more expensive solution than the bonded bridge. Cannot be realized in all cases. The screw holes can cause slight aesthetical problems, even though, having the bridge fitted, the holes are filled with a white filling material.