The progress being made in manufacturing implant supported bridges has given patients an unprecedented ability to match the appearance and function of missing teeth in a manner never seen or experienced before.
In the past, patients who have lost or will lose all their teeth, had to settle for removable dentures, or removable overdentures. The fixed bridges that were developed next had limitations of plastic teeth that would crack, chip or fade, and require repair or replacement within 5 years.
Zirconia porcelain has the unique advantage of being almost unbreakable, and of looking like a duplicate of your natural teeth in any color selected by the patient which can vary from the “Hollywood smile” to the age appropriate smile. The unbreakable nature of zirconia means that repairs are almost unheard of.
Zirconia bridges are usually placed over 4 or more implants, using the “All on 4™” technique with angled implants to avoid costly sinus grafting, or with 5 or 6 implants when bone may be weak or muscles and clenching habits are very strong.
I prefer to use digitally guided implants to allow accurate planning and placement of implants during a surgery, while some dentists prefer placing implants “free handed”.
Once the implants have been accurately placed and have healed to the bone, the zirconia appliance is created to the patient’s specifications. Usually personal choices are determined by using a temporary printed bridge that has all the shapes and colors of the final zirconia bridge but is made from a plastic material instead.
This temporary bridge is screwed into the implants and the patent will use it to get a ‘test drive’ feeling for the final bridge. Any adjustments that may be necessary are then carried over to the lab to make the final zirconia bridge producing flawless results.
Patients who have had this treatment completed can be recognized by the gleam in their eyes, their beautiful smiles, and their ability to socialize, eat and enjoy being with family and friends without the embarrassment they had suffered for years past.
I have had patients who were able to go to a restaurant or eat dinner at a friend or relative’s house for the first time in a decade after having zirconia bridges placed. They say that this procedure is a dream come true.
If you have any questions about Dental Implants or Zirconia Bridges, please call us for an appointment or courtesy consultation at 732-219-8900.