If dental problems or injuries have led to tooth loss, whether you’ve lost one tooth, several or all of them, most any dentist or oral surgeon will tell you that dental implant based restoration provides the best options for replacing them. That’s because they offer advantages in support of optimal oral health and function, comfort, longevity and aesthetics that no other form of dental restoration can. Among the best options in implant-based restoration are:
Single Tooth Dental Implants
Single dental implants, also known as implant-retained crowns, replace each lost tooth with an individual dental implant, surgically placed into the jawbone and topped with an abutment that holds a prosthetic crown. Typically, this form of reconstruction is done in stages.
First, the dental implant is placed in the jaw and given time to bond with the jawbone, a process that can take between three and six months on average. Once the implant is stable, the abutment is mounted. In the third and final step, the crown, or artificial tooth, is attached to the abutment, either with cement or tiny screws. The end result is an artificial tooth, securely anchored by an artificial tooth root, that is virtually indistinguishable from a natural tooth in terms of function, comfort and appearance.
Implant-supported bridges offer the ability to replace a span of several lost teeth with a self-supporting permanent dental bridge. Depending upon the number of teeth to be replaced, your oral surgeon will place two or more dental implants into the jawbone to secure a dental appliance that consists of connected crowns. Implant supported bridges can be a more practical choice under some circumstances, such as patients who tend to clench or grind their teeth, the use of a bridge distributing the pressure more evenly, or those with some existing bone loss.
Implant-Supported Permanent Dentures
For patients who have experienced the loss of all teeth in one or both jaws, implant-supported permanent dentures are typically the best solution to restoring optimal oral function, comfort and appearance. Dental implant patients who choose this option will have between four and eight implants placed into the jawbone, which will support a full arch of replacement teeth.
The result is a mouthful of stable, attractive new teeth that will look, feel and function like natural ones. Unlike old-fashioned dentures, they will not shift and slip, nor will they interfere with the ability to bite, chew or taste foods. Additionally, they offer protection against the bone loss that is inevitable with traditional dentures, so they won’t loosen and need refitting or replacement every five to seven years like removable dentures do.
So if your goal is a long-lasting dental restoration that offers optimal protection of your oral health, allows you to eat whatever you like and provides a brilliant, natural-looking smile, these are your best options. And, as an added bonus, dental implant restorations are quite easy to maintain too. All they need to stay in great shape for decades – implants have an average lifespan of 25 years – is careful brushing and flossing and regular dental care, just like natural teeth.
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