Probably after losing your tooth, you think you are condemned to a life of incomplete smile. With a removable implant bridge, you can have your beautiful smile again. A dental implant-retained bridge is a synthetic tooth root that is combined with a bridge to create a tooth replacement that keeps the jawbone healthy and restores your full smile, beauty, and functionality. Additionally, this procedure comes with little or no discomfort during recovery when done by an experienced dentist like Encino Dental Implant. Read on to learn the basics of this teeth replacement option.
What are Removable Implant Bridges?
Implant-supported bridges are similar to standard dental bridges, but implants reinforce them instead of natural teeth. Often, when implant bridges are used, implants are installed in the patient's bone for every missing tooth. Crowns are then joined to one other making one piece.
In other words, removable implant bridges are a cost-effective alternative for implants. In this case, just a few strategically placed implants are used to support the restoration of several crowns fused into one unit.
You qualify for this type of tooth replacement if you have at least one missing tooth. Additionally, it can be used in case your doctor is worried you could exert a lot of pressure on implants that aren't joined to one another. For instance, grinding or clenching your teeth could exert pressure on your implants hence increasing the likelihood of them loosening from your bone and failing. A removable implant bridge lowers pressure on all implants in your bone and then distributes it across your entire bridge.
In case your implant is installed adjacent to your natural teeth, both the surrounding gums and natural teeth should be healthy. If you do not have adequate bone to install as well as support your implant, the supporting jawbone could be built with grafting or bone augmentation before the procedure starts.
How does a Removable Implant Bridge Work?
Sometimes a dental expert might not use an implant as a restorative option in a given area in the mouth. It could be because you do not have adequate bone to support the implant. Or maybe the area is near a sinus cavity (found above the upper teeth) or a nerve. In this case, the dentist may avoid the location by installing implants on all sides of your gap. The implant bridge will then be installed on the top.
Typically, an implant bridge has:
- Implant- an implant is surgically installed in your jawbone. You can have an implant for all your missing teeth. Sometimes, the dental expert can skip spaces if you do not have adequate jawbone, or the gap is near a sinus cavity or nerve.
- Abutment- An abutment is a cylinder that is made of porcelain, titanium, or gold. It is screwed to the implant. A few years back, abutments were connected to dental implants with cement. An abutment can be either custom-made in a dental lab or prefabricated.
- Restoration- This is the part that resembles your natural teeth. It's a sequence of crowns joined to make a bridge. It is attached to a metallic substructure.
Who is the Ideal Candidate for Removable Implant Bridges/Partials?
You are eligible for this restorative procedure if you have more than two consecutive missing teeth. Your dentist will examine your medical history and smile before asking about your treatment expectations. The examination will also assist in determining whether the treatment option is right for you.
On top of having overall good health, you should:
- Not use tobacco products (it can negatively affect or slow down the healing process)
- Be free from infections or periodontal disease
- Not have an existing health condition that can affect the healing process or immune system
Understanding How the Removable Implant Bridge is Placed
The amount of time taken to place an implant-supported bridge depends on numerous factors. If the traditional procedure is used, the amount of time is approximately five (5) months and seven (7) months in your lower jaw and upper jaw, respectively. Nevertheless, the procedure can take more than a year, especially if your jawbone requires to be built.
You are likely to undergo two surgeries. In your first surgery, your implant is positioned in your jaw and covered using gum tissue. Then the dentist will wait for three (3) to six (6) months. After recovery, the second surgery will be carried out, exposing the implant to facilitate the installation of your bridge.
Before replacing your missing teeth, you should visit a dentist with experience in implant restoration or a prosthodontist.
The doctor will do an in-depth examination. The examination will involve taking x-rays, reviewing your dental or medical history, and creating impressions of the gums and teeth. The dentist can take a computed tomography scan of the mouth to ensure the implant does not affect your nerves and sinuses.
Your dentist can also order a computed tomography scan in the event they are not sure about the available amount of bone to grip the implant. It is common for patients with at least one missing tooth to have inadequate bone in the jaw.
If the CT scan and x-ray show that you don't have adequate jaw bone to embrace the implant, the expert will discuss options. It could be building up the bone through bone augmentation or bone grafting. The bone could be extracted from your hip, chin, or mouth. A processed cow bone or cadaver bone can also be used. In case you require bone building, it might take approximately four (4) months for your jawbone to be ready for the procedure.
Implant Placement (First Surgery)
The first surgery takes one month, and five months in case no bone grafting is needed and if bone grafting is required, respectively.
After it is concluded that you've adequate jawbone, you will have your initial surgery done. The surgery involves placing an implant in the jaw. The dental surgeon will perform the procedure with the help of a surgical guide created by your dentist.
The dentist will carefully plan the installation to ensure the implant's position permits your bridge to have a natural look.
To know where your implant will be placed, the dentist will create a model (known as a wax-up) of how your bridge will appear once it's done. To achieve this, your oral specialist will use your mouth's model made from an impression of your jaw and teeth.
With the help of the wax-up, the dental care expert will make a surgical guide. A surgical guide looks like a mouthguard. It fits over the current teeth and goes beyond where you have missing teeth to demonstrate where the implant needs to be installed.
After the surgery, the dental expert will wait for
- about five (5) or six (6) months if it is placed in your upper jaw, and
- 3 or 4 months if the implant is installed in your lower jaw
before planning your second surgery.
Although there are numerous forms of dental implants, the root implant is the most common. It functions as your tooth's root and is installed in the bone in the gap your missing tooth creates.
After the implant fuse with your bone, the dentist will schedule your second surgery. It will be confirmed using an x-ray. The second surgery is much simpler compared to the first one.
A tiny incision is done in the gum, exposing the implants' heads or tops.
Then a healing cap (collar) is put on the top of your implant. The metallic collar keeps your gum from your implant's head hence helping the gums heal properly. It will remain on top of the implant until a temporary bridge is put in.
There are several categories of implant bridges. They could either be held using screws or by cement. Moreover, they could be attached to the abutment or implant. Your dentist should be able to help you determine the best option for you.
In the event you will have the bridge held using screws, the collar will be removed and an abutment screwed in your implant.
The impression will then be made while your abutment is in place. Your abutment will take the shape of your natural tooth, which has been abridged to fit in a crown.
During the next doctor's visit, a temporary bridge will be put onto the abutment for 4 to 8 weeks. This bridge is made of soft material that assists in cushioning and protecting your implant from chewing pressure.
At the next dentist's visit, your oral expert will test how the metallic framework which supports your bridge fits. Should the framework fail to fit well, it will be adjusted, and you'll be required to go back for another fit. It could take many visits before you get the right fit. If your teeth are not connected, all teeth will be tried.
After the framework fits, the remaining part of your bridge will be completed. It will then be installed in the mouth.
What to Do After a Removable Implant Bridge Procedure
After the implant-supported bridge procedure, do not disturb your wound. Also, avoid touching, spitting, or rinsing the surgical region after the surgery.
It is normal to experience slight bleeding. It should last for forty-eight hours. Make sure you change gauze after every forty-five to sixty minutes. Fold or moisten and roll three pieces of the gauze and place them, so biting pressure is applied over your wound.
Additionally, assume a semi-upright position.
Should the bleeding persist, contact your dentist.
Regulation of Swelling
It is normal to experience swelling after the procedure. To reduce swelling, use a towel with ice or an ice pack on your cheek in the surgical area. Make sure you apply the ice continuously for forty-eight hours.
Consume a lot of fluids and soft foods, particularly on the first day. Don't take hot foods and liquids while you're numb. You can return to your regular diet straight away unless directed otherwise.
Also, don't chew directly over your implant bridge area until the healing process is complete.
Do not take sharp foods like nuts, popcorn, sunflower seeds, and chips; they can enter the surgical area.
Ensure you keep exercising to the minimum after the procedure. Exercising can cause throbbing or bleeding. Remember, you aren't probably consuming healthy nourishment, and this may hinder your capability to engage in physical activities.
Proper oral hygiene is paramount to healing. Don't rinse your mouth with anything after the surgery. Depending on the dentist's instructions, use chlorhexidine rinse twice daily (before going to bed and after taking your breakfast). Rinse for thirty seconds before spitting it out.
You can also use warm salt water rinse at least five times a day after your meals for a week.
Moreover, brush the teeth carefully and be gentle around the surgical sites. Do not floss for 2 weeks following the procedure.
You should take your medication with food immediately after you get home so that the drugs can start working before the local anesthesia wears off. Make sure you follow the dental expert's instructions.
What are the Various Benefits of Removable Implant Bridges?
During your oral health consultation, your dentist will discuss with you the advantages of implant-retained bridges over other replacement options. Although the procedure takes an extended period before healing, most patients have discovered the benefits worth the wait. These benefits include:
A Solution to your Tooth Loss
A traditional bridge needs support from the natural teeth. That means, there is a possibility of tooth decay and aging compromising the feasibility of the prosthetic.
Dental supported bridges, on the contrary, can last for many years, provided you exercise proper oral care. After the implant fuses with the natural jawbone tissue, the metal post will offer a platform for the dental bridge.
An implant serves as a natural tooth root replacement. Since it becomes a part of the jawbone structure, it holds the implant firmly in place. That means you do not have to worry above your teeth slipping out while eating or talking.
A poor-fitting tooth replacement option can slip in the mouth, making a patient slur or mumble their words. With implant-retained bridges, you can be assured of clearer speech since the bridges hold firmly in your jawbone.
Retention of Your Natural Teeth
An implant bridge does not depend on your natural teeth for support. A traditional bridge requires at least one natural tooth to support a dental crown. The process involves getting rid of the enamel to create room for the crown.
If you undergo an implant placement, you maintain your natural teeth. Following the implant placement, your adjacent teeth won't be subjected to pressure or wear that is linked to supporting the bridge.
Prevent Bone Loss
Another benefit of an implant-retained bridge is the stimulation of bone growth. Once you lose a tooth, the underlying bone structure can weaken with time because its roots are not stimulating it. An implant acts as a natural tooth root and prevents bone loss.
Moreover, this can stop the neighboring teeth from loosening. It also stops your surrounding teeth from drifting out of place.
Removable implant bridges feel and look like natural teeth. They will boost your facial appearance. As a result, you will no longer feel self-conscious about tooth loss. Following the procedure, you can laugh openly, smile confidently, and engage in life freely.
Removable implant-retained bridges are more pocket-friendly compared to getting implants throughout your mouth.
Boosts Your Dental Health
The procedure assists counteract bone atrophy and stop other severe complications from occurring due to the tooth loss.
Complete Your Dental Function
Losing a tooth can make chewing uncomfortable and enunciating unclear. An implant bridge can help you restore your full dental function.
How to Take Care of Your Removable Implant-Supported Bridges/Partials
Dental implants have a success rate of approximately ninety-eight percent, while implant bridges can last a lifetime as long as they are well looked after. Proper oral hygiene is essential in maintaining your implant-supported bridges. The best time to clean the teeth and abutment is:
- After consuming your last meal for the day, and
- In the morning after breakfast.
It is because saliva production is lower when you are sleeping, and bacteria can't be removed then.
The region that requires more attention is your implant abutment. Make sure you clean your teeth facing a mirror with adequate lighting. Also, before using your brush, dip it in hot water. It makes the bristles soft.
If you are right-handed, it is wise to clean the different sections of your mouth in the order below:
- The inner part of your right molars
- The inner part of your canine and front teeth
- The inner part of your left molars
- The outer part of your left molars
- The outer part of your canine and front teeth
- The outer part of your right molars
Here is a step-by-step guide for cleaning:
- The outer and inner side if your abutment pillar and the neighboring gums should be cleaned using horizontal back and forward movements. Make sure you clean using the method mentioned above. Hold your brush at an angle to your gum in a location between your gum and abutment pillar.
- Clean the rear part of your backmost teeth on all sides using horizontal movements
- Clean the rinsing spaces, which are gaps between the bridge root tips and gaps on all sides of your abutment pillars using a proxabrush. A proxabrush ought to be of a size that could be fitted using resistance through the rinsing space. However, it must be possible to push the brush far so that you may feel it using your tongue's tip. Push the toothbrush several times using various angles.
- With your toothbrush placed against your gum, make dragging-rotating motions to your chewing surfaces. Remember to clean the teeth in the order highlighted above. When working on the inner side of your front teeth, hold your toothbrush vertically. Draw up vertically when you reach your biting edges. In other areas, make sure the brush is horizontal.
- In areas where your bridge touches your gum draw a floss backward and forward several times between the gum and bridge
- Once you are done cleaning the mouth, rinse your mouth with a lot of water.
It bears repeating that following the above instructions as well as finding a routine that meets your needs helps in maintaining your teeth.
Other home-care techniques include:
- Using a Waterpik twice a day. You can access your bridge from the lingual or buccal. If you want to access points that lead to dislodgement of retained food, use the low or medium setting. Using a high setting could separate nonkeratinized tissue attachment from your implant (if it's present).
- Ensuring you floss under your bridge daily
- Using a sulcus toothbrush to clean the area of your bridge that becomes soft tissue. Typically, this brush is approximately 1/3 of the normal toothbrush. It is preferable because it cleans and massages the tissue contact regions of the bridge with ease.
- Remember to rinse daily with toothpaste. It debrides tiny particles from under your bridge
- Should soft-swelling happen, rinse with warm salt water for 2 or 3 days. In case the swelling persists, visit your dentist.
How Often Should You Visit Your Dentist?
Implant-supported bridges are similar to your natural teeth. It is recommended that you should see your dentist at least twice a year.
Most patients do not clean their abutment and bridges properly. Therefore, a doctor's visit is the best opportunity for your doctor to evaluate the success of your home care. The dentist will also teach you how to maintain your implant-supported bridges properly.
Find a Knowledgeable Encino Dental Implant Near Me
Having gaps in your mouth affects not only your bite but also your appearance and speech. One of the most common tooth replacement options is a removable implant bridge. Implant bridges are attached to your jawbone, and you don't have to worry about the surrounding teeth weakening or drifting out of place. If you are missing teeth, don't hesitate to speak to the experienced dentists at Encino Dental Implant at 818-810-7535. We will be glad to help you determine if you are eligible for this replacement option.