Are you missing teeth or thinking about several bridges due to your lack of teeth?
Bridges are a great option to replace lost or missing teeth. As an alternative to dentures, it can look and feel very natural.
Understanding the process will make you less anxious, and you can consider it as an option for what you’re going through now. Keep reading and we will discuss the process of an implant bridge.
1. Initial Consultation
During this consultation, dentists will review the patient’s medical and dental history, take dental X-rays, and examine the mouth to determine if an implant-supported bridge is the right treatment option.
They will check the patient’s teeth, gums, and jawbone, and the dentist will check to see if there is enough bone to support the implants. The dentist will also discuss any expectations and potential risks associated with the treatment.
2. Bone Grafting
If the dentist determines that there is not enough bone in the jaw to support the implants, they may recommend bone grafting. Bone grafting is the process of adding new bone to the jaw, allowing it to heal and regenerate before placing the implants.
During this procedure, bone material is taken from another part of the patient’s body or a donor and then placed into the jaw. The bone then fuses with the existing jawbone, creating a firm foundation for the implants.
3. Implant Placement
The next step is implant placement. This involves placing the implants into the jawbone. During the procedure, the local dentist will make a small incision in the gum tissue and drill a small hole into the jaw bone, where the implant will be placed.
The implant is screwed or placed into the hole, and the tissue is then sutured closed. In a few months, after the implants have had ample time to heal and fuse with the jawbone, the dentist will place the abutments, which are parts that attach the implant to the bridge.
4. Abutment Placement
After the implant site has healed, the next step is to place the abutment. The abutment serves as a connector between the implant screw and the crown. It is usually made of titanium, gold, or porcelain and must be selected to match the implant’s size and shape.
During this stage, the implant dentist will make an incision in the gum to expose the implant post, where the abutment is then screwed into place using a hand tool. Once the abutment is in place, the gum tissues are stitched closed over it. You may need several weeks for the area to heal before the final step of the implant bridge placement.
5. Digital Impressions
Digital impressions are made using an intraoral scanner instead of traditional dental impressions that use messy molds. The scanner produces a three-dimensional (3D) image of the teeth that is sent to a computer and converted into a digital file.
Digital impressions offer greater accuracy and speed, even with many implants and abutment placements. Once the digital images have been captured, the implant dentist can create a virtual model of the mouth and implants, allowing for precise measurements.
6. Temporary Bridge
After the implant post has been placed, a temporary bridge is used to fill the gap left by the missing tooth or teeth. This will be from a resin or acrylic material, and it will be designed to be functional and aesthetically pleasing. The temporary bridge is important because it helps to maintain the space and prevent the adjacent teeth from shifting position.
Patients should be aware that the temporary bridge is not a permanent solution and is only intended to last for several weeks or months. During this period, the implant post will be osseointegrating, which means that it is fusing with the surrounding bone tissue.
This process can take several months, depending on the individual case. To learn more about the differences between dental implants vs bridges, be sure to check out reliable sources for accurate information.
7. Preparation of Final Implant Bridge
The temporary bridge will be removed and the final implant bridge will be prepared. This process involves taking impressions of the implant site and remaining teeth. These impressions will be used to create a custom-made implant bridge that fits perfectly in your mouth.
The dentist or prosthodontist will also take measurements of your bite and choose the color and shape of the implant bridge that matches your remaining teeth. The final implant bridge can be made from a variety of materials, including zirconia, porcelain, or a combination of both.
After creating the final implant bridge, it will be fixed onto the implant post using dental cement or screws. The dentist or prosthodontist will make sure that the implant bridge is aligned and adjusted for optimal function and aesthetics.
8. Bite Check
Once the implant posts have fused with the jawbone and the abutments have been attached, it’s time for the dentist to check your bite and ensure that all the components are properly aligned. During the bite check, the dentist will use a digital scanner or a mold to create an impression of your teeth.
They will then make any necessary adjustments to the implant bridge to ensure that it fits comfortably and doesn’t interfere with your bite. This step is crucial for ensuring the longevity of your implant bridge. If the components are not aligned correctly, the implant bridge could become damaged or even fail over time.
9. Prosthetic Teeth Placement
The final step in placing an implant bridge is to attach the prosthetic teeth. This could involve either screwing or cementing the teeth in place.
If you have a removable implant bridge, you simply snap the prosthetic teeth onto the abutments. If you have a fixed implant bridge, on the other hand, the teeth will be permanently cemented in place.
Once your prosthetic teeth have been placed, your dentist will check your bite again to ensure everything is in order. You will then be given instructions on how to care for your new implant bridge, including brushing and flossing techniques and regular check-up schedules.
Enhance Your Knowledge of the Implant Bridge Process
Understanding the process of how an implant bridge is placed is crucial for individuals considering this dental procedure. With a clear understanding of the different steps involved, patients can make informed decisions and feel more confident during the treatment.
We encourage you to schedule a consultation with a dentist to learn more and discuss if a dental implant is right for you. Take the first step towards a healthier and more confident smile today!
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