Fixed Implant Bridges
In cases where multiple teeth are missing, patients may be advised to get a Fixed Implant
Bridge (also referred to as “implant supported bridges”, “implant retained bridges” or “implant bridges”). They’re all similar terms used to describe the same thing. Fixed Implant Bridges will maintain function, preserve the jawbone and restore beauty to a smile.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation and find out if fixed implant bridges are right for you.
What are Fixed Implant Bridges?
Fixed Implant Bridges are dental prosthetic devices used to replace (more than one) missing teeth in a patient’s mouth.
They are a type of dental bridge that is supported by dental implants rather than by natural teeth. These bridges are a popular, successful and effective solution for those who have lost multiple teeth and want a stable and permanent restoration.
When multiple teeth in a row are missing, fixed implant bridges utilize dental implants that are surgically placed in the jawbone (the foundation) and tooth-like porcelain restorations to replace missing teeth (much like a fixed bridge on natural teeth) to replace the missing teeth and restore the ability to chew food, and smile with confidence.
In addition to preserving the jawbone and surrounding teeth, fixed implant bridges help maintain the shape of your smile and prevent future dental complications. When several teeth are missing, Fixed Implant Bridges are the most ideal dental restorations.
A removable bridge (partial denture) needs to be taken out for cleaning, but Fixed Implant Bridges are attached to dental implants for a permanent, worry-free solution that looks, feels and acts like your natural teeth.
These can be done in areas missing as few as just three teeth, all the way up to an entire arch of teeth (all upper teeth or all lower teeth).
Here’s how fixed implant bridges work:
They utilize Dental Implants for support: Dental implants are small titanium posts that are surgically implanted into the jawbone to serve as artificial tooth roots. Once placed in the bone, the implants fuse with the bone through a process called osseointegration, providing a sturdy foundation for the bridge. They are completely submerged in bone.
Abutments: After the dental implants have healed and integrated with the bone (which typically takes several months), abutments are attached to the implants. Abutments are connecting posts that are screwed down into the body of the implant (which is not visible, as it’s down IN the bone). They protrude above the gum line and serve as attachments for the bridge.
Bridge Construction: The bridge is a custom-made prosthesis consisting of artificial teeth that fill the gaps left by missing teeth. The bridge is typically made from materials such as porcelain or zirconia to mimic the appearance of natural teeth. These look just like real teeth and can even be custom stained to include whatever characterization you’d like. They can be custom-designed to your preference as far as tooth size, shape, color, characterization etc.
Attachment: The bridge is securely attached to the abutments using screws. Once in place, it becomes a permanent fixture in your mouth and cannot be removed by you. If they ever do need to be removed, only a dentist can remove them. They are strong and stable and provide you with not only comfortable chewing but the confidence to chew foods that perhaps for years, you were nervous to eat because of tooth problems.
What are the Benefits of Fixed Bridges?
- A long-lasting solution that maintains the structure of surrounding teeth. With proper care and maintenance, implant-supported bridges can last for many years, often decades.
- Fixed Implant Bridges look, feel and function like healthy natural teeth. They are designed to look natural and blend seamlessly with the remaining teeth.
- Comfort. Patients missing all teeth on a given arch (all uppers or all lowers) find them more comfortable than removable dentures since they are firmly anchored in the mouth.
- Oral Health. Fixed implant bridges do not rely on adjacent natural teeth for support, which means neighboring teeth do not need to be altered or prepared.
- Stability. A strong structure that can withstand the force of normal biting and chewing. They are highly stable and function like natural teeth, allowing patients to eat, speak, and smile with confidence.
- Confidence. Implant bridges restore your ability to eat normally, to talk and to smile without worrying about your dental prosthetic becoming loose or falling out.
- Bone preservation. Dental implants help preserve the surrounding jawbone by providing stimulation, preventing bone loss that often occurs when teeth are missing.
- A treatment option that is often less expensive than replacing every missing tooth with an implant.
What are the disadvantages of Fixed Implant Bridges?
Higher cost that removable ones (partial or complete dentures)
They require surgery (for the implants to be placed)
During your consultation with Dr. McFadden, he will evaluate your individual condition and all treatment options that are available to you will be presented.
See graphics below for what an implant bridge looks like, and how they can be used to replace a few teeth, or even a full arch of teeth.
What is the Treatment Process Like?
The treatment process for getting fixed implant bridges involves several steps and takes anywhere from a few months up to several months to complete. This variation in time depends on how many teeth you’re replacing, how much bone you have, how many implants are needed to support the bridge, and whether the implants will all be done at one time, or done in two phases, for temporization purposes, (this is often the case with full-arch cases). You can replace 3-4 teeth with just 2 implants. For a full arch, you might need 4-8 implants, depending on various factors that would have to be determined on a case-by-case basis and would be discussed with you in detail prior to starting treatment. Here is an overview of the general treatment process:
1) Initial Evaluation
At the start of your dental implant journey, our team conducts an initial assessment. During this consultation, we assess your oral health, including factors like bone density, overall health, and oral hygiene. We’ll also take X-rays and sometimes a CBCT scan to gain a deeper understanding of your oral condition. This step is crucial in determining the feasibility of the procedure. We believe in personalized care, so we’ll discuss various treatment options and work together to choose the one that best aligns with your unique needs and desires.
2) Records of Your Mouth: Planning for Your Prosthesis
After the initial assessment, we move on to creating detailed records of your mouth. This involves taking photos, precise jaw measurements, and other necessary data. These records play a vital role in planning the fabrication of your temporary prosthesis. We make sure all your questions are addressed, provide you with the required prescriptions, post-op instructions, and schedule your surgery for a smooth process.
3) Implant Placement: Restoring Your Smile
The next phase involves implant placement. During this procedure, any necessary extractions are performed, and the implants are placed, often on the same day. We minimize discomfort and ensure a comfortable experience by using local anesthesia and IV sedation. The implants are then given time to heal and integrate with the jawbone over the course of a few months. In the meantime, you’ll have temporary teeth to maintain your smile and functionality.
4) Abutment Placement: Connecting Implants and Prosthesis
Abutments, the connector pieces between the implants and the bridge, may be placed during the initial surgery or at a later appointment, depending on the stability of the implants.
5) Allowing Time for Healing
After your implants heal and fully integrate with your jawbone, we will make our final impressions. At this stage, we work closely with you to capture your preferences for smile design, including tooth shape, shade, and any desired characterizations. Your input is invaluable as we tailor-make your new smile. Once the final impression is taken, the case is sent to our lab for the fabrication of your permanent prosthesis. During this period, we refine your temporary teeth to ensure your comfort and satisfaction.
6) Delivery of Final Teeth: A Transformational Moment
This transformation can be a life-changing moment, especially for those who have endured missing, painful, or unsightly teeth for many years. Imagine looking in the mirror, seeing your perfect smile and knowing it will stay that way for many decades to come!
What is the Cost?
The cost varies greatly depending upon the region, doctor’s training, whether or not bone grafting is necessary, the implant type, number of implants and type of material used for the final restoration. For fixed implant bridges, the cost to be $2,500 to 6,500 per tooth replaced. For example, a 3-unit implant bridge will have a cost range of $12,000 to 16,000. Depending on the above-mentioned variables, the cost of a full arch implant bridge can range anywhere from $25,000 to $45,000.
How Do I Find Out If I’m A Candidate?
If you have experienced tooth loss or significant decay, come see us for a complimentary consultation. We’ll discuss all your available options with you, and help you decide which choice is the one that best supports your overall oral health.
If you are missing all your teeth in one arch or need to have them all removed, if have enough bone for 4-8 implants, if you do not want to wear removable teeth and if you can afford this treatment, this is an excellent way to restore your mouth to a fully functional, esthetically beautiful state.
This treatment can often be done in phases, with longer time spans between the steps. This extending the total treatment time over a longer period of time, also extends the payments, which helps many patients better manage the financial planning. Unlike most dental implant offices, we do not make you pay in advance for steps that have not been completed. We believe in the pay-as-you-go approach. It’s only fair.
The cost varies greatly depending upon the region, doctor’s training, implant type, number of implants and type of material used for the final restoration. Overall treatment cost range $25,000 to $45,000.
If you’d like to explore this as an option for your own mouth, Contact us today to schedule a consultation and find out how fixed implant bridges can help restore your confidence in your smile and return full chewing ability.
To learn more about Fixed Implant Bridges and how they can help you, please fill out the form below.
To learn more about Fixed Implant Bridges (non-removable) and how we can help you please fill out the form below.