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Dr Thomas W. Mabry, DDS, PC
Periodontics and Dental Implants
Call: (985) 646-1421

Replacing All Your Teeth

ALL TEETH MISSING

Benefits of a fixed bridge on implants
When all teeth are missing or in such condition that they need to be replaced, a fixed bridge anchored to dental implants is the best permanent solution

Before dental implants, there were no fixed solution available for people who lost all their teeth. Today, it is possible to replace a full jaw with dental implants and a fixed bridge that results in a permanent, stable and high esthetic solution.

  • Dental implants:
  • Lets you eat and function like having natural teeth.
  • A solid, stable solution that will serve you for life.
  • Preserves your facial appearance and prevents bone loss. 

Treatment:
The treatment procedure and number of visits is largely dependent on the specific conditions. But all in all, 8-10 visits should be enough to have a fixed bridge installed. Most patients report that they were much more comfortable following the procedure than they had anticipated.


 

COURSE OF TREATMENT

INSTALLING THE FIXED BRIDGE– STEP-BY-STEP

The course of treatment described here is one of several options available. Consult your dentist to find out what the best solution is for you, given your specific condition.

   
1: Before the procedure
Dr. Mabry determines what needs to be done and prepares both himself and the patient for the coming treatment procedure, using tools such as x-rays and/or CAT scan. At this time various preparation procedures may need to be completed, such as sinus lift and or ridge augmentation.  If this is the case, it will be 4 to 6 months before the implants are installed.
2: Installing the implants
The first step is installing dental implants to replace the lost tooth roots. In this case, five implants are used. Temporary teeth are attached that enable you to eat and function like normal while waiting for the permanent bridge to be installed. The implants will need 4 to 6 months, depending on the area of placement, to integrate with the jawbone before the next step is taken. If you already wear a denture, it may be adjusted so that it puts no pressure on the new implants, allowing you to continue to use it.

   
3: Attaching the bridge
The final bridge is securely installed on top of the implants. As the implants are buried at the time of placement, the implants will be exposed at this time with a simple, short procedure and parts will be placed to prepare the implants for the fixed bridge.  At this time, the general dentist will take over and as with a natural tooth, take an impression of the area and fit it with the fixed bridge.  With a full jaw replacement like this, it normally takes 2-3 visits to have the bridge completely attached.
4: End result
Your new teeth should be hard to tell from natural – both for you and others. People who have had traditional dentures before getting a fixed bridge often describe this as an overwhelming and very positive experience.  Do your usual dental hygiene routine to keep the teeth and gums around the implants clean and healthy.  Six months after placement of your bridge, you will visit our office for a follow up at which time an x-ray will be taken of the implants to evaluate the bone level and the doctor will verify that the occlusion of the implants is such that any stress on the implants is minimized.

 


 
ALTERNATIVES TO A FIXED BRIDGE

  An alternative to a fixed bridge is a removable overdenture, which is anchored on implants. The old fashioned denture has many disadvantages and should be avoided if possible.
  Removable, implant anchored overdenture
A removable full denture that is connected to either a ball or bar attachment, which in turn is anchored on two or more implants in the front part of the jaw.

The implants help keep the denture in place and provide better function and comfort. Cost is usually the reason why this solution is chosen over a fixed bridge – although the end result can’t be compared.
  Removable full denture
A denture that is loosely placed on top of the gum to cover the lost teeth. This alternative has no real advantages – except for its low price and easy installation.

The disadvantages are many: discomfort in eating, poor esthetics, affected speech, and sore gums from denture movement. Moreover, a full denture placed in the upper jaw severely reduces the sense of taste.

 

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