How Many Teeth Does an Implant-Supported Bridge Have?

There are many different types of implant-supported bridges, with several different designs that can accommodate varying numbers of teeth. A simple implant bridge can be used to replace three or four missing teeth in a row with two implants, with a dental implant placed in the jaw at either end of the gap. Cantilever bridges, front teeth bridges, and many other types of implant-supported bridges use other configurations that allow dentists to take optimal advantage of healthy bone to support long-lasting dental restorations that replace more than two missing teeth in a row. As few as one dental implant could support a few teeth in a bridge, and as many as eight dental implants might support up to 14 missing teeth, though it’s sometimes possible to replace a full row of teeth with as few as four dental implants. You and your dentist can determine what the best option is for you.

To replace three or four missing teeth in a row, your implant dentist will embed a dental implant into each end of the space created by the missing teeth, providing optimal support for the dental bridge. Some patients choose to have each missing tooth replaced with its own dental implant and implant-supported crown; these treatments, while very aesthetically appealing and natural, are more expensive than implant-supported bridges that replace more teeth with fewer implants. In some cases, an implant-supported bridge relies on implants placed more strategically, creating a cantilever configuration; a common cantilever bridge configuration uses a single dental implant to support a bridge of two teeth. These cantilever implant-supported bridges may be used when there is insufficient room to place multiple implants, leaving a small portion of the bridge unsupported by an implant. Sometimes, dentists will recommend individual implant-supported crowns when there is insufficient space for an implant-supported bridge, but cantilever bridges are less expensive and less invasive than this more comprehensive option and may therefore be the more appealing option.

The number of teeth that an implant-supported bridge has is one of the factors that influences the overall cost of the treatment. The most common type of implant-supported bridge, which supports three to four teeth, has an average price of $10,000 to $15,000. This fee includes removing remaining natural teeth, placing two dental implants, and affixing the bridge. If supplementary procedures like bone grafts are required, or if the patient prefers IV sedation for their procedures, the cost will increase proportionally. Some treatment choices and techniques that enhance healing efficacy, like platelet rich fibrin techniques, might be recommended, especially when cantilever bridges will be used. Some material choices may be more expensive than others as well. For example, it’s not uncommon to use zirconia for front teeth bridges, as the material shares the durability and biocompatibility of titanium but doesn’t pose the risk of visible metal material at the gum line, which enhances the appearance of a dental bridge toward the front of the mouth, in the area known as the aesthetic zone. When multiple missing teeth are being replaced, dentists can often use strategic placement and design to allow as few as four or six dental implants to support an entire row of missing teeth, which provides a more stable solution than removable dentures and a more affordable, less invasive solution than individual implant-supported crowns.

How Many Teeth Can Implants Replace?