A need for providing solution for multiple teeth missing would arise when there is a trauma to multiple continuous teeth or when there was a missing tooth and as a result the adjacent teeth have got affected beyond a point that they need to be removed. However be the case, the solutions proposed for multiple teeth missing cases are Implant-supported bridge, fixed bridge and removable partial dentures. Out of this three, the best recommended option is Implant-supported bridge. Let us see these three options briefly and check how Implant-supported bridge has maximum advantage.
Implant-supported bridge – In this option if there are three contiguous teeth missing, implants are placed on the first and third teeth missing teeth and the crowns (caps) are connected to one another with the implants. In other words, the middle teeth is a bridge. So in this case, there is no support from the natural teeth but rather the implants themselves support one another.
Fixed Bridge – Basically fixed bridge is an option where the natural teeth adjacent supports the middle gap. In this option the crowns are placed on the adjacent natural teeth and there is no implants done. The middle missing teeth are crowns that are connected to the crowns of the natural teeth to form a bridge. There is no implants done here and the bridge solely resides on the support from the natural teeth lying adjacent.
Removable Partial Denture – Basically these are dentures which are removable in nature. They use clasps to cling on to adjacent teeth that are healthy to hold the denture in their position. These clasps end up putting pressure on the adjacent healthy tooth to get a firm hold. They can be removed and have to be cleaned periodically and maintained.
Disadvantages of Removable Partial Dentures – As the name suggests, they are not a permenant option. Since they put pressure on the healthy teeth to get a hold, they end up putting too much pressure only to weaken them. They are said to weaken jaw bones and eventually loosening the healthy teeth. Loosening of healthy teeth can result in additional teeth loss.
Advantages of Implant-supported bridge over Fixed bridge
(1) Fixed bridge option still can cause bone loss below the missing teeth area whereas the Implant-supported bridge does not cause any bone loss and as a matter of fact stops the underlying bone loss further.
(2) Multiple teeth fixed bridges carry a risk of failing faster but on the other hand Implant-supported bridges do not fail as they offer support like a natural teeth. This is made possible because in Implant-supported bridges the implants fuse with the jaw bone and give stability to the entire missing teeth area.
Fixed bridge options that involve the natural teeth are more prone to tooth decay, root canal infections, etc whereas the Implant-supported bridge are more stable. Normal oral hygiene practices should be adopted and that would suffice.