What is an Implant Supported Bridge

When a patient is missing two or more teeth, implant-supported bridges can be an excellent tooth-replacement option. Bridges offer prosthetic teeth which look and feel quite similar to the natural teeth. Dental implants are effective as they replace the root of the missing tooth. By stimulating the jaw, the jawbone is not at risk for resorption. They are so effective, dental implants are actually the best tooth-replacement solution currently available.

Implant-supported bridges and traditional bridges are similar, but a key difference is that an implant-supported bridge is attached to an implant rather than receiving support from dental crowns on the adjacent teeth. The base of the implant is a small screw-like post made from titanium. It is surgically placed into the jaw and over time, fuses to the bone. The number of implants required can vary based on the size and location of the bridge.

Traditional and Implant-Supported Bridges

An implant-supported bridge begins with surgical placement of the implant. Implant-supported bridges typically include two separate procedures. The recovery time for the entire procedure is usually about 4-6 months.

Implant-supported bridges are certainly more expensive, and the recovery is longer. However, there are many benefits compared to traditional bridges. With traditional bridges, the dentist has to remove a portion of the healthy teeth next to the gap for the placement of the crown. Implant-supported crowns do not require any modification of the natural teeth. When a crown is secured by an implant, it is exceptionally secure. Patients do not have to worry about it moving or slipping throughout the day.

Another unique feature of dental implants is their ability to protect the jawbone from bone loss. Restorations supported by an implant are able to replace all aspects of the missing tooth, including the roots. When the root is replaced, the jawbone is stimulated and resorption is prevented. Missing roots often result in absorption of the jawbone. It is not uncommon for an implant to last for decades. They are so strong, they can aid in preserving the other natural teeth and help promote good oral health.

Implant candidates must have good oral health, in addition to having sufficient jawbone structure required to support the implant. Some patients require a bone graft prior to receiving the implant. If the patient has other oral health issues such as gum disease or decay, it must first be resolved before the implant can be placed. Patients who want an implant must also stop smoking prior to the procedure and during the recover to ensure proper healing. Uncontrolled diabetes can also prevent patient from being a good candidate for an implant as it can cause complications. Patients with an existing oral health issue must work with their dentist to ensure it is properly resolved before they can receive an implant.

An implant-supported bridge is a great solution which offers numerous benefits for patients who are missing multiple teeth. The solution gives patients a secure, comfortable, and attractive solution that can last for decades.


While coverage can vary, many insurance policies cover at least a portion of the cost associated with dental bridges. Unfortunately, most insurance plans will not cover any cost related to the dental implant. Many dental offices offer financing options or work with patients on a payment plan to ensure they can receive treatment. Many patients who are missing two or more teeth are good candidates for implant-supported bridges.

How Long Does an Implant Supported Bridge Last

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