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Traditional partial bridges replace multiple missing teeth by filling the void with a span of denture teeth and acrylic gums that mimic the appearance and function of natural teeth. These type of bridges only work if they can be anchored to supporting, healthy teeth on either side of the span. Over time, this puts additional stress on the ‘anchor teeth’ and may cause bone loss under the bridge. Traditional partials also need to be removed to clean both the bridge and the supporting teeth and are susceptible to chipping and cracking due to the forces involved in chewing food.
Multiple missing teeth can be replaced more effectively when dental implants are used to form a solid foundation for the partial bridge. In this type of restoration, the span of replacement teeth and gums are connected to two or more titanium implants that fuse directly with the jaw bone, and solidly anchor the bridge in place.
Implant-supported partial bridges don’t need to be removed and are not dependent on the adjacent teeth.
For patients whose remaining teeth are significantly damaged due to gum disease or decay, a full-arch restoration may be the best course of treatment. This procedure replaces all the teeth in an upper or lower jaw with a full set of natural looking teeth and gums supported by 5 or 6 dental implants, and may include the Prettau® Zirconia full-arch bridge (the only bridge of its kind backed by two comprehensive studies of over 2,000 cases and a 99+% success rate).