Implant-Supported Bridges Restore Function and Smiles
Patients who are missing two or more teeth in a row are prime candidates for implant-supported bridges. These state-of-the-art restorations reestablish chewing function and natural appearance. Compared to traditional bridges, they offer increased durability, stability, and bone retention. Dr. Ben Ahlbrecht of North Meridian Dental Excellence is proud to provide implant-supported crowns, bridges, and dentures at his Indianapolis, IN, dental practice.
The Advantages of an Implant-Supported Bridge
Conventional dental bridges are supported by the adjacent natural teeth. This requires shaving down otherwise-healthy teeth so that a bridge can fit comfortably on top of them. In contrast, an implant-supported bridge eliminates the need to alter adjacent natural teeth since it rests completely on sturdy dental implants. These small, titanium cylinders are embedded directly into the jaw, forming a strong, stable foundation. The result is not only more resilient, but also looks, feels, and functions more like your natural teeth.
Another important benefit of implanted-supported bridges is that they promote the preservation of bone in the jaw. They rest directly on implants anchored in bone, just as the original natural teeth did. This stimulates the jaw, thus preventing the bony ridge from the resorbing or shrinking that often occurs after teeth are lost.
Implant-supported bridges have yet another benefit. By restoring the patient's natural smile and chewing function, they also restore self-confidence and personal pride.
Most patients missing two or more teeth in a row are good candidates for implant-supported bridges. There are three basic requirements.
- Physical health: Implant candidates should not have conditions that might make implant placement surgery inadvisable. This could include, for example, patients who have had a recent heart attack or who have a bleeding disorder. Also, those who smoke will be asked to stop smoking for at least several weeks before and after surgery. Smoking is known to interfere with healing and cause other complications that can jeopardize proper integration of the implants.
- Dental health: Patients should not have any cavities, tooth infection, or gum inflammation. If so, these must be addressed prior to having implants placed. It is also important that patients routinely practice excellent oral hygiene. A clean oral environment is critical to proper implant healing and long-term maintenance.
- Enough dense bone to support implants: Having a sufficient quality and quantity of supporting bone is essential for implant placement. Thus, some patients may require a bone grafting procedure to correct a deficiency.
Dr. Ahlbrecht can evaluate your candidacy during a consultation at his office.
Dental bridges are typically held in place with two implants that are fixed to the jaw.
Because bridges usually only require one or two implants, the doctor can usually place them during a single appointment. It is accomplished with the area comfortably numb. If you have trouble relaxing in the dentist's chair it, Dr. Ahlbrecht can help you stay comfortable during treatment with nitrous oxide or oral sedation.
After the surgical site has healed and the implants have integrated with the surrounding bone, Dr. Ahlbrecht will place tiny abutments on the implants to connect them to your restoration. He will then make an accurate impression from which he will custom fabricate a bridge that will precisely fit over the implants. When the final prosthesis is ready, he will securely attach it to the implants to provide the patient with a fully functional, esthetic, and long-lasting dental appliance.
Rebuild Your Smile
Those who are interested in replacing one or more missing teeth with an implant-supported crown, bridge, or denture are encouraged to contact our office online or call (317) 571-5000 and schedule a consultation. Dr. Ahlbrecht serves patients from the greater Indianapolis area, Brownsburg, Carmel, and Fishers.
"North Meridian Dental Excellence is great! They've somehow cracked the code on making a trip to the dentist an enjoyable experience. Dr. Ahlbrecht and his team are all great to work with. Everyone is extremely friendly, nice and fun, while maintaining a professional, clean and private environment."Nick E.