Questions About Fixed Bridge Dental Implants

Posted on: 27 July 2017

A dental bridge can be supported by natural teeth or by dental implants. The bridge is designed to replace lost teeth by filling the gap left by the missing structures. However, in order for the bridge to function naturally, without moving about, the bridge must be fixed in the mouth for stabilization. As a result, dental bridges usually include dental crowns on each end of the device. The bridge crowns fit over natural teeth or dental implants to secure the bridge into position. Still, many people may not be aware of the use of dental implants for a bridge installation. Here are a few questions and answers about fixed bridge dental implants.

Why are dental implants installed before the bridge?

In many cases, a dental implant that is used to support a fixed bridge is installed a few months prior to the actual bridge. This is due due to the need of the dental implant to assimilate in the mouth.

When a dental implant is positioned in the bone of the jaw, it is drilled into place, where it connects to the jawbone over time. The connection process, which is called osseointegration, usually takes a couple of months. At the end of this period, the implant is stabilized enough to support a fixed bridge.

Is a fixed bridge simply cemented to a dental implant as it would be to a natural tooth?

In preparation of the placement of a fixed bridge, if a natural tooth is used as a support, the tooth is reduced two allow the bridge to fit over it properly. After the reduction of the tooth material, a dental cement is added to the tooth, and the bridge crown is bonded into place.

With a fixed bridge dental implant, an abutment or connector may be added to the implant to connect it to the fixed bridge.

Will an implant failure cause the fixed bridge to fail?

If a supporting implant fails, the fixed bridge may have to be removed and reinstalled after the placement of another implant. If the site of the original implant's installation has become damaged, a mini dental implant, which is smaller in size and depth, may need to be used to replace the first implant. In some cases, a zygomatic implant may be suitable, which is a dental implant that is installed in the cheekbone instead of the jawbone.

To learn more about dental implants that are used to support fixed bridges, schedule an appointment with your dentist.