When most people think of "dental bridges", they are thinking in the traditional sense where you have a single missing tooth, and you use the tooth in-front and the tooth behind to anchor a replacement for the missing tooth.
If a person is missing multiple teeth in an area of their mouth, it sometimes makes sense to place dental implants and use the implants instead of teeth as anchors for a bridge. And even though you are using implants and not natural teeth, the concept is the same. Accordingly, in the case of a patient who is missing three teeth, you can place two implants, and use these two implants to support a three-tooth bridge.
Consider the patient above who is missing three teeth. One option would be to place three implants, while another option would be to place an implant bridge with two implants.
As in a traditional tooth-supported fixed bridge, the risk of having any bridge is that if one of the anchor teeth fails, then the entire bridge needs to be redone. In the case of dental implants, if one of the anchor-teeth implants fails, then that implant would have to be replaced, and the implant bridge would have to be redone.
The goal of all implant treatment is to provide our patients with healthy, stable dental implants that last for decades, and thus the decision of whether or not to replace three missing teeth, for example, with a two-implant bridge or three single implants is something that we discuss on a case-by-case basis. For example, in patients where the quality of bone is not as ideal as we'd like it to be, but where we can still place implants with a good prognosis, it might make more sense to place three implants now instead of a two-implant bridge. And while the cost of three implants is greater than the cost of a two-implant bridge, having three implants helps minimize potential future time and expense replacing an implant bridge.
We have many ways to use dental implants to help you replace missing teeth and restore your ability to smile and to chew! Regardless of whether or not we use an implant bridge or dental implants, we have a solution for you. Call or contact us today to schedule an appointment or to learn more.