Evaluating Dental Implant Options for Your Missing Teeth
Dental implants are substitute tooth roots that offer a solid infrastructure for either permanent or removable replacement teeth. They are intended to mimic a natural tooth aesthetic. As dental implants look and function just like natural teeth, no one will ever be able to tell the difference, including you. If you’re missing a tooth or multiple teeth and considering implants, discuss one or more of the following solutions with your dentist.
Single tooth replacement
For a single tooth replacement, the dental implant is placed with or without a built-in abutment that attaches to the replacement tooth. A temporary tooth may be placed while the dental implant integrates with the natural bone to create a solid foundation for the replacement tooth. The abutment holds the custom made crown or replacement tooth, which is placed once the foundation is ready.
Fixed multiple tooth replacement
A fixed multiple tooth replacement is largely the same as a single tooth replacement except that the custom made crown or bridgework replaces multiple teeth instead of a single tooth. Temporary abutments may be placed on multiple implants. When the foundation is ready, the permanent abutments are attached to the custom made crowns or bridgework that matches your natural teeth. The custom piece is cemented or screwed onto the abutments.
Removable implant supported tooth replacement
If you’re missing all of your lower teeth, two to six implants may be used to support a denture. If you’re missing all of your upper teeth, you’ll need a minimum of four implants to support a denture. A dentist will evaluate your dental situation to determine the number of implants needed. Removable dentures are used to replace significant bone, tooth, and gum tissue loss and provide adequate support for the cheeks, lips, and facial skeleton. Many people like the ease of use that a removable denture offers.
With the right care, dental implants will last a lifetime. Maintain good oral hygiene, and visit dentists for regular check ups. During these checkups, your dentist will inspect the implants to ensure that the integration is stable and that the crowns, dentures, or bridgework is functioning properly.