3 Tooth Replacement Options That Use Dental Implants

Dental implants have become popular in tooth replacement dentistry. Each implant is actually a metal screw that is surgically placed into the jawbone. The use of a metal screw may seem unhealthy. However, the metal that is used is titanium, which is nonreactive. 

Once the metal screw has been inserted into the bone, the implant requires a period of healing in which the screw fuses with the bone. This fusion, which is called osseointegration, occurs over a period of a few months. 

Dental implants have multiple tooth replacement applications, Here are a few:

Single Tooth 

When a dental implant is used to replace a single tooth, a dental crown must be positioned over the implant to protect the screw and to restore the chewing function of the tooth. The crown, which can be constructed from various materials, such as porcelain, metal, stainless steel or resin, is attached to the implant screw using an abutment.

Dental implants are designed to last a lifetime, so your dentist may not suggest a crown material that has comparably low durability, such as resin.

Multiple Teeth

If you need to have multiple teeth replaced, a dental bridge may be used. The bridge is a separate tooth replacement option. However, it may rely on a dental implant for stabilizing support. 

A bridge is made from one or more false teeth suspended between two dental crowns. The crowns are attached to existing teeth or to dental implants to hold the bridge in place.

Full Palate of Teeth

If a dental patient loses all of the teeth in his or her palate, the dentist may suggest dentures. However, traditional dentures are held in place with dental adhesive, and they sometimes slip out of position. The slippage can make it difficult for the denture wearer to eat or speak with confidence.

To offer more appliance security, the dentist may suggest an overdenture that connects to dental implants. The overdenture is a denture that includes connectors on the underside of the appliance to attach it to dental implants.

The connectors snap into place and can be released by the patient, so the overdentures remain removable.

If you have missing teeth, contact a dentist in your area to determine the best tooth replacement option for you. If dental implants are considered, your dentist may review health conditions, such as diabetes, and habits, such as smoking, before making a recommendation. In addition, your gum health will be assessed.