If you’re missing one tooth, a few teeth, or even all of your teeth, dental implants may be the right choice for restoring your smile and your self-confidence. Despite what you may think, dental implants can be used to treat much more than a single tooth.
In this article, we’ll take a look atand discuss the most common dental implant restorations, which can be used to restore your smile. Let’s begin!
The Dental Implant Process
A dental implant is a small, rod or screw-shaped piece of titanium inserted directly into the gum line, where the root of a missing tooth used to be. Titanium has the unique ability to bond permanently with the jaw and gum tissue through a process called “osseointegration.”
After an implant is placed, it becomes permanently bonded to the surrounding tissue over a period of 3-6 months. Then, once it has healed completely, this new artificial “root” can be used to support a wide variety of different dental restorations.
To have a dental implant placed, your gum and jaw must be relatively strong and healthy. The implant needs healthy gum and jaw tissue to create the proper bond. If your gum or jaw has been weakened by tooth loss, though, you may be able to get a bone graft or a sinus lift. These procedures strengthen your jaw and provide healthy bone, allowing a dental implant to be placed, even if you have suffered from bone loss or deterioration.
The Most Common Implant-Supported Restorations
Dental implants are typically used for three types of implant-supported restoration.
- Implant-Supported Crowns – Implant-supported crowns are often referred to as “dental implants.” Because this is, by far, the most common type of implant-supported restoration, it has become synonymous with that term. An implant-supported crown is, essentially, an artificial tooth that has been shaped to match all of your existing teeth perfectly and mimic the functionality of your missing tooth. When properly built, a dental crown is completely indistinguishable from a natural tooth.
- Implant-Supported Bridges – Traditional dental bridges use two healthy “abutment” teeth to support one or more false teeth and “bridge” the gap caused by tooth loss. In some cases, though, healthy abutment teeth may not be present. In these cases, two dental implants may be placed in the mouth and used to support a dental bridge. Usually, an implant-supported bridge can replace up to 4 teeth. Two crowns are attached permanently to the dental implants, and these crowns support the remaining false teeth, which bridge the gap and restore your smile.
- Implant-Supported Dentures (All-On-4) – If you are missing one arch or both arches of your teeth due to poor oral care, gum disease, or an injury that has caused significant damage to your teeth, implant-supported dentures may be the right choice for you. These dentures, often known by the brand name “All-On-4”, use 4-6 dental implants for each arch of teeth. A set of permanent dentures, usually made of porcelain and resin, are then attached to these implants.Due to their design, permanent implant-supported dentures look and feel much more natural than traditional removable dentures and offer additional support to the gum and jaw tissue, preventing it from deteriorating due to tooth loss.
Whether you’re missing one tooth, several teeth, or a full arch, dental implants are the ideal way to restore your smile.
Invest In Dental Implants For Long-Lasting Results
If you are suffering from tooth loss, a dental implant-supported restoration can help you eat, speak, and smile normally. When they’re properly placed, dental implants will last for the rest of your life – so while they may cost more than dentures or dental bridges at first, they’re the best long-term investment you can make in your smile. Schedule a consultation with your dentist now, and see if an implant is the right choice for you!