Q: I have an old porcelain and metal bridge of 10 teeth anchored to six implants. I noticed during the last two years porcelain keeps chipping and falling off, revealing the ugly metal below. Why would this only start happening now all of a sudden?
A: Imagine a house on stilts filled with a noisy obnoxious family, if you will. Should “someone” just happen to dig away all the dirt supporting just one of the stilts, that side of the home will begin to bend downwards. This would result in the slow deformation of floors, chipping of paint like when slowly bending a pencil in half and just plain mayhem for your favorite neighbor.
If one implant fails and loses its bone, the implant will begin to sink, causing bending of the metal support structure of the porcelain bridge. This will result in porcelain fracture and possible failure of the other implants due to excessive torqueing.
Solution: Remove the failing implant by sectioning the bending part of the bridge from the stable part. Once this whole section is removed, new implants can be placed followed by a new bridge replacing all the missing teeth in this segment.
Don’t try this at home kids; see your implant doctor now.