How Many Teeth Does an Implant Supported Bridge Have

When a patient is missing multiple teeth adjacent to one another, a dental implant bridge can be used. Anywhere from 1-8 dental implants can be used to support the bridge, which can contain 2-14 prosthetic teeth. The dentist will determine how many implants are required based on the number and location of the missing teeth. Two implants can typically support 3-4 missing teeth. When the teeth are missing across the entire upper or lower jaw, 4-6 implants can be used to support the bridge. In cases where all of the teeth in the jaw are replaced, this is called all-on-4 or full mouth dental implants.

A simple implant bridge can replace about 3-4 teeth. The dental implants are surgically placed in the jaw at both ends of the gap. Following the placement of the implants, the dentist will then attach the bridge. Two additional types of bridges which are commonly used are called the cantilever and front teeth implant bridges.

Implant Supported Bridge

With this type of bridge, the dentist will place two implants on each end of the space where the patient has missing teeth. Implants can technically be placed next to each other, however, this does not provide adequate support for both ends of the bridge and therefore is not a best practice. Bridges with an unsupported area are called cantilever bridges. The dentist may opt to place three implants with three individual crowns, in some cases. This solution is quite expensive, but provides a more natural appearance and makes it easier for the patient to practice good oral hygiene.

Cantilever Implant Bridge

A cantilever implant bridge is often used when the length of the unsupported portion of the crown is less than ½ the overall length of the supported portion of the implant prosthetic. Once the implants heal and are fused to the jaw, the dentist can connect the bridge. Because fewer implants are needed for the bridge, it is less expensive than individual implants. It is common for the dentist to use a cantilever implant bridge where there is limited space available for placing the implants. There must be a minimum of 1mm of bone between implants.

While individual implants are the best solution, they come with a higher price tag. Implants aid in stimulating the jawbone which preserves the gums and jawbone. Individual teeth look more natural and make it easier for the patient to clean. Because they require fewer implants, cantilever bridges are much more affordable.

PRF Dental Implant Techniques

There is a new technique called platelet rich fibrin (PRF) which helps with healing of the gum and bone around the implant. With cantilever bridges, the implant should be in the area allowing for the larger implant or the site of the larger missing tooth. It is important for the dentist to consider the cosmetic element of placement. This is especially important when a bridge is highly visible when smiling or located in the front of the patient’s mouth.


The cost for an implant supported bridge varies based on how many teeth the bridge is replacing. In most cases, an implant bridge replaces 3-4 missing teeth. A simple implant bridge typically costs $10,000 – $15,000. This cost includes the extraction of teeth, two dental implants, and the bridge which contains 3-4 prosthetic teeth. Additional procedures such as bone grafting or sedation will result in an increase in the overall cost.

What are Implant Supported Bridges Made of

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