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Eventually, all dental work fails. Several studies have concluded that the average lifespan of a crown or bridge is between 9 and 10 years. This is a relatively short period of time considering the cost of most dental procedures. Now, remember, this statistic includes all the very bad dental work combined with low quality laboratory support which brings the average lifespan down, considerably. Nonetheless, the bridge in the patient's lower left (right side of x-ray) has problems with both molars. In this case, the teeth have infections (periapical lesions or abscesses). The treatment plan is to take out all three teeth and place dental implants to result in dental implant bridge.
The teeth are removed and the dental implants placed the same day. Note the parallel angle of the implants and the proper diameter and length. Proper implant placement is of paramount importance for proper contours, cleansibility and longevity.
In the laboratory a beautiful implant bridge if fabricated. Note the proper contours, anatomy and natural character. Because the implants were perfectly placed, the contours of the bridge are ideal.
Bridge from the top view. Note normal contours and anatomy. This implant bridge is far more normal and esthetically pleasing than the previous bridge done on the natural teeth, years early.
Bridge in the mouth (lateral side view). Note home much prettier the implant bridge is than the existing crown on the natural tooth done years earlier.
Side view of the teeth together. This patient has what is called a “crossbite”. This is fairly common when the upper teeth are positioned opposite the “norm” by being inside the opposite arch. Normally, the upper teeth are positioned outside the lowers by about ½ the width of the tooth. In this arrangement the cheeks and the lips drape over the upper teeth keeping us from biting ourselves. In the front of the mouth this overlap allows us the bite (incise) through food.
Post-treatment x-ray of finished implants and bridge. This bridge should last many decades, perhaps the rest of the patient’s life.