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An implant-supported bridge is similar to a traditional bridge, but it is supported by implants instead of natural teeth.

Advantages of Implant-Supported Bridges

Typically, one implant is placed for every tooth that is missing. Using an implant-supported bridge can reduce the number of implants needed to replace your missing teeth. Implant-supported bridges rely on the implants securely anchored in your jawbone for support. Fixed bridges or removable partial dentures, on the other hand, rely on your adjacent natural teeth for support. If these teeth are compromised in any way, the traditional bridge or partial denture itself becomes compromised.

Dental implants act as tooth roots and integrate with your jawbone. This helps to preserve the jawbone and keep it healthy and intact. When fixed bridges or removable partial dentures are used to replace missing teeth, the jawbone may deteriorate over time and gums may recede. This can lead to a collapsed smile.

Implant-supported bridges look and function very much like natural teeth. When the jawbone and gums are preserved, your smile remains natural and beautiful as well.

Planning for the Surgery

Dr. Fernandez will take a CT scan and a digital impression of your jaw. He will use 3D technology to determine exactly where in your jaw the implants should be placed. Dr. Fernandez will then print a surgical implant guide on his 3D printer to aid him in the implant placement procedure.

The Procedure

During the implant placement procedure, Dr. Fernandez places the implant guide he designed over the surgical sites and the implants are placed into the bone socket of the missing teeth, precisely in the desired location as planned by Dr. Fernandez. In some cases a temporary will be made.

Healing Time

Following the implant placement, a period of time – generally 3 months – is required for the implants to take hold and for bone tissue to build up and anchor the device. This process is called osseointegration.

Dr. Fernandez will have the patient return to the office so he can check the patient’s healing. Once he has determined that the implants are integrated securely in the bone, the final restoration step can be completed.

The Restorative Phase

A bridge is made to look and function like your natural teeth and is attached to the implant abutments. This phase may require an initial visit when a digital impression of your mouth is taken, followed by a final visit a week or so later when the permanent bridge is fitted.