Sirakian Dental Implant Center, Boston, Andover, Peabody, Massachusetts
Guide to Dental Implants
 
     

Full arch replacement

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 was no fixed solution available for people who lost all their teeth. Today, it is possible to replace a full arch (upper or lower jaw) with dental implants and a fixed bridge.  The result is permanent, stable and esthetically pleasing.

Benefits of a fixed bridge on implants:

  • Lets you eat and function like natural teeth would
  • A solid, stable solution that will serve you for life
  • Preserves your facial appearance and helps prevent bone loss

Treatment:

The treatment procedure and number of visits is largely dependent on the specifics of your case. Generally, 8-10 visits are needed to have a fixed bridge installed. Most patients report that they are much more comfortable following the procedure than they had anticipated.

Installing The Fixed Bridge – Step-By-Step

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


 

 

1: Before the procedure
The doctor conducts a thorough evaluation and outlines a treatment plan to review with you.

2: Installing the implants
The first step is installing dental implants to create new tooth roots. In this case, five implants are used. Temporary teeth are attached, enabling you to eat and function like normal while healing takes place and a dental laboratory creates your permanent bridge. 

 

 

3: Attaching the bridge
After three to six months, the jawbone will have bonded to the surface of the implants. Now the abutments can be placed on the implants and the new permanent bridge can be securely attached.  This step of treatment is sometimes called “loading the implants.”

With a full arch 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 distinguish from natural teeth – both for yourself and others. People who had traditional dentures before getting a fixed bridge usually experience greatly enhanced functionality and comfort and report being thrilled with the results.

 

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 improved 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 greatly reduces the sense of taste.

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