Traditionally, large gaps have been filled with either a removable denture that covers a large surface area and has to be removed to be cleaned or a fixed bridge that relies on support from existing teeth to stand in the mouth.
Implant bridges are a stand-alone restoration that removes both of these issues. The number of implants placed depends on the size of the gap and a custom made restoration is contrasted specifically in the lab to fit the space in the most aesthetically pleasing manner and to give optimal function.
Initially time will be spent in the surgery with the Prosthodontist discussing the desired end result and taking adequate time to understand and plan exactly what the patient wants. A CT scan will then be recorded.
The planning phase is then undertaken which takes the Prosthodontist several hours using the scan and specialised software. When doing this he is looking at the thickness and depth of the bone and where the implants will integrate successfully. He is sure to avoid any vital structures such as nerves and blood vessels. Most importantly he places the implants parallel to each other to ensure optimal distribution of the load on the implants.
After the planning is complete he will then take a mould in your mouth. This will be used in conjunction with the scan and case planning to construct a surgical stent.
Once the stent is fabricated the implants can be placed in a minimally invasive manner. This ensures optimal healing in the shortest time and with the least discomfort.
Approximately 6-12 weeks later all that is needed is another mould to send to the lab, along with detailed instructions regarding the shape, shape and size of the teeth on the bridge and 1 week later it is fitted onto the implants.