Any time you are missing teeth, it can have a negative impact on your self-esteem. More significantly, it can hinder your function and impede healthy teeth and gums. Why? Because all elements of your smile work together. When one aspect is not working as it should, it can affect your overall oral health. If you are missing one to three teeth in a row, a dental bridge is an excellent teeth replacement option. At our Knoxville, TN practice, Dr. Thomas G. Zarger can connect your bridge to dental implants. Today, we will explore candidates for implant-supported bridges and how this revolutionary treatment can keep your smile looking amazing for years to come.
Implant-Supported Bridges: An Overview
Functionally speaking, an implant-supported bridge is quite similar to its traditional counterpart. The primary difference is that an implant-supported bridge is attached to titanium posts, while a conventional bridge is cemented onto the adjacent natural teeth. While a traditional bridge is generally only used to replace one to three teeth, an implant-supported bridge can replace more depending on the case, as additional implants can be used for optimal support.
Candidates for Implant-Supported Bridges
Dental implants must be completely embedded in healthy, dense bone for long-term success. Therefore, candidates for implant-supported bridges will have adequate jawbone structure. Additionally, patients should be free from periodontal disease, which can quickly compromise the health of an implant. If you do not meet these criteria, there are a couple things that can help increase your eligibility.
If gum disease is present, we will address that issue first. Once the oral bacteria are under control, we can safely move forward with implant treatment.
If you are lacking adequate bone density, we may be able to improve your eligibility for implants with a bone grafting procedure. Although this may add a few months to your treatment timeline, most patients find it is worth it.
Who is Not a Candidate for an Implant-Supported Bridge?
There are a few different reasons why a patient may not be a candidate for an implant-supported bridge. For example, those with uncontrolled diabetes may not be suited for this treatment, as well as patients on specific medications or with certain genetic conditions. The best way to find out if you qualify for an implant-supported bridge is to see your doctor for a consultation. During your visit, all the pros and cons of treatment can be discussed with you.
Why Consider an Implant-Supported Bridge?
Implant-supported bridges offer numerous advantages over their conventional counterparts. Here are a few:
- No damage to natural teeth: A traditional bridge requires the removal of natural tooth structure. Because an implant-supported restoration is connected to implants, the natural teeth can remain intact.
- Jawbone preservation: Dental implants mimic natural teeth roots, and therefore stimulate the jawbone in the same way. This preserves existing bone and prevents bone degradation.
- Longevity: Traditional dental bridges last approximately five to 15 years. Dental implants can last a lifetime with proper care.
- Pleasing aesthetics: Today’s cutting-edge dental materials are natural-looking and lifelike. No one will be able to tell you have had dental work.
Learn More about Implant-Supported Bridges
Are you thinking about teeth replacement options? If you have multiple missing teeth, talk to us about implant-supported bridges. To learn more, contact us online or call us at (865) 693-7631.