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Implant FAQ

Hybridge Full Arch provides patients with full dental function for less than half the cost of conventional implant bridgework in a fraction of the time.

Hybridge Full Arch is not an implant. It is a prosthetic restoration that is made using very specific clinical techniques.

The “conventional” approach to dental implants can be completed in many different ways, usually resulting in porcelain crowns or bridgework. These treatments are still indicated in many instances but generally for replacing one or several teeth at a time. Treatment time may take up to 18 months.

Hybridge Full Arch is a specific technique/protocol, which has been perfected to result in a fast, cost-effective, simplified treatment approach. The final prosthetic restoration is a cross-linked PMMA and chrome cobalt bridge replacing up to 12 teeth, supported on five or six dental implants.

We would hesitate to say that one of the types of dental implants is better than the other. The answer lies in what the patient might prioritize. Titanium implants have been around longer, so they have more clinical studies, and decades of evidence proving it as a successful material for dental implants. Zirconia has emerged as a great alternative to titanium implants. Zirconia implants are proving to have superior soft-tissue response, biocompatibility, and esthetics to titanium implants.

Another factor to consider when choosing between titanium and zirconia implants is the location in the mouth that the implant will go. If you need to replace a front tooth, a zirconia dental implant might be a better option, as the natural white color of zirconia would be more suitable in a specific situation like this where aesthetics would be critical.

Dr. Sheils can give you an informed opinion on which type of dental implant might work better for your specific case.

Every case is different depending on the number of teeth remaining and available bone. There are many variables to the Hybridge Full Arch treatment; the range can be from $16,000 – $27,000 per jaw. Dr. Sheils will give you an exact cost estimate at the time of your initial consultation.

Yes, this process can be completed on patients who have been told they are not eligible for dental implants. The Hybridge Full Arch process is unique because it utilizes the bone that most of our patients already have. Bone grafting may be needed with extreme bone loss. A dental CT scan can easily identify available bone and determine if bone augmentation/addition is necessary.

Most patients can resume normal activities within a few days. Although in most cases discomfort is minimal, patients vary when it comes to bruising; approximately 20% experience some degree of bruising. This may affect your ability to return to work right away. Three to five days is usually plenty of time to wait to return to a full schedule.

Hybridge Full Arch is designed to withstand normal function but with some limitations. Eating anything harder than your teeth could cause chipping or breaking. We suggest that Hybridge Full Arch patients refrain from eating food that requires “crushing,” such as hard nuts, ice, bones, hard candies, popcorn kernels, and hard pretzels. Over time, there may be instances where patients forget these limitations and experience some fracture or wear of the teeth on the Hybridge Full Arch. The repair is quite easy and often can be completed in the office. If the bridge requires repair at the Hybridge laboratory, it takes only a few days to repair. The cost to the patient is usually minimal, comparable to that of a filling. There are no tooth-colored dental materials that are indestructible. The PMMA teeth of a Hybridge Full Arch are advantageous because they are the most like in appearance and are repairable. Conventional porcelain crowns are more brittle than resin, and if they fracture, they are not repairable because when made, they are fired at 900 degrees in an oven. This makes repair impossible and requires expensive replacement.

With so many dental insurance policies available today, we suggest you contact your insurance carrier to determine if dental implants are covered on your plan. If your policy does cover dental implants, you will find the yearly maximum will be the coverage limit. As a rule, we find that dental insurance coverage is usually not significant enough to be a determining factor in completing treatment. Medicaid, Medicare, and medical insurance typically do not cover Hybridge treatment.

In most cases, you will always be able to wear a temporary denture or temporary Hybridge during the time you are going through treatment. The temporary denture will give you very good esthetics, but your ability to eat/function will be limited while wearing the denture(s). There are fixed temporary Hybridge options that offer more function and comfort than the temporary denture.

Treatment time is usually measured starting at the first surgical procedure and ends at the final insertion of your Hybridge Full Arch restoration. Treatment can be completed in as few as two weeks. Treatment duration varies based on:

  • Remaining teeth at the start of the treatment
  • Whether bone grafting is needed
  • Upper or Lower Hybridge
  • Dental infection at the beginning of treatment

Hybridge Full Arch is definitely a solution for denture wearers because it is a permanent solution that restores full function, which wearing a denture doesn’t. Hybridge is also a solution for those who have some or all of their natural teeth remaining. Many people have chronic dental problems caused by periodontal disease or decay. Conventional dentistry doesn’t definitively solve these problems for those at high risk. Hybridge Full Arch is a definitive, once-and-for-all solution for those patients whose teeth do not have a good prognosis.

Hybridge Full Arch may be the right treatment for someone young or old. We’ve treated patients who were 21 years old and up to 93 years old. More important than age is good healing, which is not age-dependent. Those who smoke often have slower healing when doing Hybridge treatment. Your overall health will be evaluated, and your physician will be contacted for an assessment before Hybridge treatment starts, regardless of age.

By correcting a bad bite, grinding will often lessen, but habits are sometimes hard to stop. We have found that those with a history of grinding (bruxing) will need more maintenance over time due to wear of the Hybridge Full Arch teeth. Unlike natural teeth, that wear can be restored easily, usually within a week, and for less cost than one crown.

Gum disease is a bad name for periodontal disease. It should be called tooth disease. In the absence of teeth, there is no periodontal disease. This does not mean that good oral hygiene is not required with Hybridge Full Arch. A clean mouth will make for a healthy mouth free of inflammation and infection. We recommend cleanings every four months.

Hybridge Full Arch can be removed only by your dentist and only when needed. It is permanent.

Yes, we recommend cleanings every 3-4 months. At these appointments, a full oral screening will be performed.

Hybridge restorations are fabricated using two different materials. The underlying strength of the bridge comes from a chrome cobalt metal material that is extremely strong. Cross-linked PMMA teeth and pink acrylic, which mimics the gum tissue, are bonded to this metal core. The wear and tear of these materials are dependent on the individual habits of the Hybridge patient. For most, maintenance of the materials is minimal over time. Those with habits such as teeth grinding, clenching, and chewing hard objects (ice, candy, etc.) will incur higher maintenance costs. If the materials become worn or damaged, they can be replaced, often for less than the cost of a few conventional crowns.