Removal of peri-apical cysts before dental implant surgery
November 29, 2012
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December 1, 2012

Dental Implants Fix Problem of Broken Bridge

Dental implants are the safe and predictable solution for common dental problems!

Today we are discussing an interesting case where a patient presented at our clinic for help after experiencing much problems with a conventional bridge on natural teeth. The patient was a middle aged female. The bridge had been placed onto the natural teeth more than 20 years ago and since that time the patient had enjoyed the use of the fixed bridge.

Dental bridges are usually supported on natural teeth. Before a conventional bridge on natural teeth can be made the supporting teeth for the bridge need to be closely examined to ensure that they are strong enough and suitable for supporting the new bridge. The teeth are prepared under local anaesthetic during a 1 hour appointment. The supporting teeth are reduced in size in order to act as a suitable foundation for the fixed bridge.

Once the preparation is complete, an accurate impression is taken of the supporting teeth and these are sent to the dental laboratory in order for the bridge to be made. The bridge is completed when the dentist secures and cements the bridge onto the natural supporting teeth.

Once completed the bridge is fixed into position. At first it may feel awkward or strange as this will be a ‘foreign’ feeling in the mouth however after a few days/week the bridge will feel as normal as the other teeth. A fixed bridge is comfortable and when completed feels just like a natural tooth.

The disadvantage of fixed bridges on natural teeth is that they damage the natural teeth long term. The preparation of the bridge will require reduction of the natural teeth. This reduction removes the protective layer of enamel which normally protects the teeth. This layers of enamel is extremely hard and a dentist needs to use diamond cutting tools in order to reduce this. After the reduction of natural tooth, there is a great possibility that the tooth may suffer due to the trauma caused by drilling etc.

The effects of tooth preparation prior to crowning or bridge work may cause the teeth to become ‘dead’ or non vital in the long term. Once the teeth lose their vitality they will become more brittle and require root treatment or extraction. All in all , tooth preparation for crowns or bridge work is damaging and should be avoided at all costs if possible.

Enter dental implants !

This case shows a patient who has had a fixed bridge for many years and over time decay developed under the bridge. Ultimately the bridge work failed and the patient was faced with the 4 options

  • missing teeth being replaced with a removable denture, this is very uncomfortable and the patient would need to be aware of removing the denture after meals, and at night during sleep. Dentures are uncomfortable and affect the ability of speech and function
  • leave a gap ! Sometimes patients prefer not to have dentures or cant cope with dentures, not knowing that other options exist they choose to leave the space as it is… which is not very aesthetic for the patient. Missing teeth also affect the whole mouth as other teeth now need to work harder and more since there are less teeth left to do the same amount of work !
  • extend the size of the bridge to the adjacent teeth. This option is not an ideal option as the bridge becomes longer and imposes more stress on the new supporting teeth. The bad effects of tooth preparation are again imposed onto the new supporting teeth. The chances are that the new larger bridge will last even less time as there is greater stress on the supporting teeth.
  • dental implants can replace lost or missing teeth. The damaged teeth were removed and the missing teeth replaced with dental implants. Dental implants are almost 98% successful and can replace missing or damaged teeth safely and predictably.

In this clinical case the patient had the problem bridge removed and dental implants placed. On the same day of the surgery a provisional bridge was made on the implants in order for the tissues and bone to adapt to the new positions of the new replacement teeth. Once the implants had healed, final impressions were taken for the final implant bridge.

Dental implants are strong and stimulate the adjacent bone. This means that in stead of bone receding after natural teeth are removed, dental implants actually stimulate the surrounding bone to grown. The dental implant bridge is comfortable and aesthetically fantastic.

The results look amazing. All dental implant surgery and photographs by expert Dr Federico Brunner. For more information please feel free to contact Dr. Brunner at