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Implant-supported full-arch fixed bridge

Using advances in dentistry, it is now possible to replace an entire arch of missing teeth with an implant-supported full-arch fixed bridge. Also referred to as full-arch reconstruction, it is a prosthesis designed to replace the entire dentition (all teeth) on the upper and/or lower jaws.

Using retention from 4-6 implants in each jaw, this prosthesis can replace a full dental arch and is also referred to as an “all-on-4” or “all-on-6” dental implant-supported bridge.

This prosthesis is fixed to the jaw bone and feels like your own teeth. It is a viable option for patients who might be interested in fixed replacements and do not want to opt for dentures or overdentures.

An advantage of this procedure is that it does not always require bone grafting to increase bone volume. Should the situation allow, implants can be inserted at an angle and angulated screws used to support and retain the bridge over the implants. Patients who may not have the required bone volume for multiple dental implants might benefit from this.

Multiple dental implants can safely support a whole arch of permanent, natural-looking artificial teeth. The bridge is fabricated with materials such as Zirconia (all-ceramic) or ceramic fused to metal, supported by a titanium framework. A minimal amount of bone is required for adequate implant placement. The patient must also be relatively healthy without any adverse medical problems. A prior assessment with CBCT is an essential requirement before any implant treatment is undertaken.

Call us on  (03) 9853 2845 to find out more about implant-supported full-arch fixed bridges.

A comprehensive examination

During the initial examination, radiographs and scans are conducted to assess the volume and quantity of bone available. Using this information, the implant numbers and position are determined and a personalised treatment plan is fabricated. In some cases, where required, impressions are taken to fabricate temporary dentures.

Inserting dental implants

Teeth that are determined to have a ‘hopeless’ long-term outcome will be extracted if necessary, before preparing the implant site. Impressions and jaw alignment registrations are taken to fabricate temporary dentures.

Following this, implants will be surgically placed at preplanned positions. After insertion, an acrylic fixed bridge is inserted to allow for retainment of facial shape, aesthetics, chewing, comfort and speech.

Healing time

A period of healing is required to allow the jaw bone to fuse with the implant – a process known as osseointegration. This may take 3-6 months depending upon the site of implant placement, medical condition and bone quality of the individual patient. Patients, during this time are usually fully functional as a result of their temporary bridge being inserted in the jaw/s at the time of surgery.

Fabricating the bridge

During healing, the impressions and records taken earlier are sent to a dental laboratory where technicians fabricate a natural-looking, full arch of permanent teeth on a strong metal or ceramic framework.

Insert and follow-up

Fabrication of the permanent full arch implant supported bridge is completed. Try-in of fit, shape, shade and appearance of the prosthesis is carried out. The temporary bridge is removed and replaced with a permanent full-arch implant supported bridge. Follow up appointments are arranged to ensure that the implant site and prosthesis are closely monitored over the next few months.