A dental implant bridge replaces two or more missing teeth using titanium rods implanted in the gums, which attach to a dental bridge. Also known as implant-supported bridges, this procedure uses dental implants as anchors for the bridge instead of dental crowns. The result is a stable and durable oral health solution.
Missing teeth affect your appearance and your self-esteem. That’s why finding the solution to gaps in your smile is critical, as the proper procedure can enhance your overall quality of life. For many people, dental implants are an ideal solution to missing teeth, especially when they’re combined with dental bridges. At Long Island Cosmetic and Implant Dentists, we have extensive experience with dental implant bridges.
What to Expect During the Procedure
Implant-supported bridge procedures take place over several office visits to ensure patients have time to heal. Before starting, the dental specialist will conduct a physical examination, ask questions about your oral health history, and take x-rays. The consultation is crucial to the procedure, allowing your dental team to determine the best course of action.
Now you’ll be ready for the first part of the procedure–the implantation of titanium rods into the jawbone. These rods serve as tooth roots while also supporting the dental bridge, which is placed during a later surgery. After implanting the rods, the oral surgeon will use gum tissue to cover the implants to ensure optimum healing.
The healing process is integral to a successful procedure. Accordingly, oral surgeons usually give patients three to six months to ensure the titanium rods fuse with underlying jawbone tissue. Next, the surgeon will uncover the implants and place a gingival former, also known as a healing cap, over the area. This device promotes optimum healing of gum tissue around dental hardware. Healing caps are typically left in place for two weeks, but timelines vary according to the patient.
If all goes according to plan, you will receive a temporary bridge during the next visit. This device is usually worn for about two months, at which point the permanent bridge will be placed. Overall, the entire process can take from six months to a year. Remember that additional procedures like bone grafting entail a longer timeline.
How to Tell If You’re a Good Candidate
To receive an implant-supported dental bridge, missing teeth must be consecutive, meaning in a row. Additionally, patients need to have good oral health. Issues with cavities and gum disease impede healing and increase the risk of complications, such as infections. As a result, additional oral health issues may need to be addressed before the procedure can be performed.
The stability of your jawbone is another factor to consider. Titanium implants must fuse sufficiently with jawbone tissue, which requires the tissue to be healthy and strong. However, bone grafting can enhance the stability of the jawbone and ensure that rods fuse effectively after implantation. Again, an oral surgeon can help you determine whether you’re a good candidate during the consultation.
Benefits of Dental Implant Bridges
Dental implant bridges serve as a lasting solution to tooth loss. As a result, patients can avoid the inconvenience of dentures. Implant-supported bridges also have a positive impact on your general oral health. They prevent other teeth from shifting position due to gaps in your smile. The titanium rods used with implants also stimulate underlying jawbone tissue, preventing future bone loss. Implants also positively impact your appearance, which may increase your self-esteem–your smile is the first thing people see when they meet you.
What to Do Before and After the Procedure
Your oral surgeon will provide aftercare instructions. Here are some general tips to help you during the recovery period:
- Avoid cigarettes and alcohol for at least ten days, as they can disrupt the healing process.
- Brush your teeth as usual, but avoid the surgical site until adequately healed.
- Take all medication, such as prescription pain relievers and antibiotics, according to the doctor’s orders.
- Focus your diet on soft foods for about four weeks after the procedure.
- Avoid strenuous physical activity for three to four days or until your oral surgeon clears you.
Some discomfort is expected after the procedure. However, significant pain, bleeding, fever, and other health effects should be addressed immediately. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact the dental clinic for more information.
Contact Us for a Consultation
Our skilled oral surgeons at Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry can help you determine whether a dental implant bridge is the right solution for your oral health needs. Please get in touch with us today for more information or to schedule a consultation.