In 2010, we have added the implant-borne bridge to the restorative options we can offer our patients. This bridge is a fixed-retrievable restoration. It is fixed in your mouth, so it has the solid feel of your own natural teeth, but yet it offers the convenience of being able to be removed by the dentist for maintenance purposes.
Many people who are missing a number of teeth or all their teeth don’t want to wear a removable restoration, even if it is attached to implants. It’s not just the insecurity that it might come out at an embarrassing time. It involves the presence of extra bulk in the mouth. Often parts of the palate will have to be covered, which interferes with the enjoyment of food. The extra bulk can also affect speech. But if significant amounts of bone and gum tissue are missing, implant restorations can have one of two problems. They may be unesthetic, because they don’t replace the missing gum tissue; or they may be difficult to maintain because it is difficult or impossible to clean around the actual implant fixtures.
The implant-borne-bridge solves these problems nicely. It is a fixed-retrievable restoration, meaning that it is a solid restoration that feels like you have your own teeth back, but it can be removed for cleaning and maintenance.
What’s amazing about the implant-borne bridge is the way that it is held in place. The abutments that are attached to the jawbone are milled with sides that are perfectly parallel. Furthermore, they are milled to extremely close tolerances so that they fit the females of the attachments in the replacement teeth. The tolerance is 4-5 microns, which is about one-tenth the thickness of a human hair. With tolerances this close, the teeth are held firmly in place merely with the hydraulic properties of saliva. While the teeth are completely rigid, with proper manipulation, they can be removed by the dentist or by you for cleaning or maintenance. And the pink acrylic or porcelain replaces the missing gum tissue and produces a perfectly natural, beautifully aesthetic result.