/ Dental Implants / Fixed Implant Supported Bridgework
Fixed Implant Supported Bridgework
In this scenario the teeth are usually replaced with eight or more dental implants spread throughout the mouth in either upper or lower jaw.
It may be necessary to first remove the teeth so that temporary dentures are worn, or certain key teeth can be kept in place to support a temporary bridge whilst implant treatment is progressing.
The treatment in essence is completed in stages with a healing period of 2-4 months after the implants are placed to allow for the integration of the implants.
In many cases it is necessary to build up the bone at the back of the upper jaw so that implants can be placed into the area where the sinuses become enlarged following gum disease or shrinkage after tooth loss. Sinus augmentation as it is known is a very established procedure carrying a very high success rate in the right trained hands.
Dermot trains many other dental colleagues in this procedure.
Nonetheless such a procedure means that the treatment is delayed further adding to the number of appointments. Bone regeneration may also be necessary, to augment or build up deficiencies in the bone where implants are to be inserted.
The principle is to create the ideal bed for all eight or more implants.
Once the implants are fused to bone (integrated) they are uncovered, posts connected and usually a temporary bridge connected. This helps the gum tissue heal into the ideal position. Moulds are then ultimately taken so that the final bridge can be constructed. This is handmade using the finest porcelains and look really fantastic. The whole process can take many visits and months of work to achieve a fully customised smile with your original teeth fully replaced. This is considered to be the Gold standard in Implant dentistry.
Implant Supported Removable Bridges
This is a system where we use between four and six implants to support special posts which are inserted into the base of a denture or “removable bridge”.
Although this denture is removable, the connection between the posts and the bridge is so secure that in effect it feels fixed.
The advantage of the system is that it allows us to replace in many cases failing teeth with implant supported teeth in one day rather than the usual delay of between three and six months.
It is particularly useful in the lower jaw where dentures or failing teeth can be replaced in the same day, and allows patients to leave with fully functioning teeth.
This is a less costly option than fixed bridgework, but nonetheless effective. It is nearly always possible to ‘upgrade’ implant retained over dentures to fixed bridgework.