Implant supported bridges, how many implants should be placed? Getting worried! Rephrased with more info.

I had full extractions,wth interim dentures, scheduled for implanted supported . Now I'm worried that this may become a problem with bone loss under the bridges. He plan is 3 bridges per arch 12 "teeth" per arch total, was hoping 14, cemented to implanted abutments. The dentist suggested 6 implants, and this doesn't seem enough to prevent bone loss, or support that length of bridges. Also, is cementing to implants the best plan, as opposed to screwed in? Any input would be appreciated!

Doctor Answers 6

How many implants are enough

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It looks like your dentist is planning on providing you with multiple implant supported bridges to replace all missing teeth.This is a great treatment option.  Three bridges in each jaw is sound treatment planning. One will be replacing the front teeth and one bridge on each side in the back. Six implants area enough in the lower jaw and I rarely place more than 6 implants in the lower.  For the upper, you can have great results with 6 implants.  In my practice, when planning fixed bridgework for a case like yours, I typically try to have 8 implants placed in the upper jaw, bone permitting. Each case is different though and 6 implants will yield great results.Regarding the number of teeth, depending on the size of the jaws, 12 may very well be adequate and provide great function.  It is  very common to finish implant cases with 12 teeth (first molar bite).  If implants are placed far enough in the back, you can have an extra tooth added for a total of 14 per jaw.  I am not a big fan of cantilevers (wings hanging off the bridge), especially in the back .  However, you can always have a small molar added behind the last implant and control for bite and other mechanical factors.

Farmington Prosthodontist

How many implants for implant supported bridges?

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Six implants per arch should be sufficient, provided there is enough bone support for each implant.  The problem with 3 implant supported bridges is that each bridge will only be supported by 2 implants.  If ever one implant fails, then you would require another implant and probably bone grafting plus a new bridge.  A better alternative would be a screw retained bridge or hybrid denture supported by  all 6 implants.  You could get 14 teeth per arch depending on how far back the last implant could be placed.  If you could afford 8 implants per arch and there is enough bone to place them,  this would be better to support 14 teeth.  Screw retained would be the better way to go as this allows the bridge to be removed to gain access to treat a failing implant or for a repair if necessary.  One of the major causes of implant failure is pericementitis, caused by cement that has been inadvertently not cleaned thoroughly from around an implant.  Screw retained bridges or hybrid dentures eliminate this problem as there is no cement.  


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Generally speaking, the number of implants as well as the number of teeth seems like standard treatment planning. Twelve teeth will provide you with first molars, which is sufficient for proper function as well as cosmetics given that a proper smile analysis was performed. The two benefits of screw-retained restorations is their retrievability as well as less chances of developing infection or inflammation due to cement being trapped underneath the gumline.

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Implant Supported Bridges

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Thank you for posting this question.The number of crowns (teeth) is greatly affected by the numbers of implants that are placed and this in turn are affected by the availability of bone to put implants in. There are many considerations to take into account when you are considering an oral reconstruction with implants, these include proximity of the nerve, proximity of the sinuses, lip line, smile line, whether the pt. wants porcelain or zyrconium bridges or an all on four (hybrid denture). There are many alternatives. When it comes to cementing vs. screwed in restoration, the best alternative is screwed in because it has been proven that is the excess cement is not removed completely this coulld create infections that could lead to loss of implants. Please visit and experience Oral surgeon and Prosthodontist for a complete evaluation before you beging any treatment. Lots of Luck to you!!!

How many implants to support a bridge

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On a regular basis with 6 implants at maxilla and 6 on mandibulae are enough to have a long term treatment. One Full arch bridge is the indicated treatment so 3 bridges per arch does not make any sense.
On your treatment plan it should specify Implant placement surgery Code D6010Abutments Code D6059And 2 bridges, not 3 bridges per arch, because it is impossible to place 3 bridges on an edentulous patient.
I hope this can clarify a little more about your future treatment.

Jose Alonso, MD, DDS
Dominican Republic Dentist
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews


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First of all, having more implants isn't what would prevent bone loss.  The main issue is the amount of support necessary to provide you stable, long lasting teeth. Personally, if my patient will have 6 implants and we will make bridges, as opposed to screwing in a denture, the number of teeth we would make is 10. I don't make anything longer than a 3 tooth bridge in the back. It's different for a denture since the implants can be spread out more to accommodate the denture. Having 8 implants could give you 10 teeth. I also like to have 3 bridges in this scenario. It would be my preference to screw in the crowns(bridges), but sometimes, especially in the front, they need to be cemented due because of  where the implants must be placed.

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