Just like your own natural teeth, dental implants are both long-lasting and durable. They’re considered permanent with good oral care, because they’re fused directly to your jawbone. Implants replace the tooth root as well as the external tooth, and they strengthen your jawbone and the bone surrounding it.
What are Implants?
There are a number of different types of implants, each of which is created for a particular purpose, whether to replace multiple teeth or replace just one missing tooth.
All implant types have three components: an artificial tooth root acting as a base for the artificial replacement tooth; a metal frame attached to that root that holds an artificial tooth; and that tooth itself, filling in any gap between missing teeth.
Implants support and enhance the health of both your jawbone and other teeth, and they don’t require any special kind of cleaning or maintenance. Implants are treated just like your natural teeth. And, unlike dentures, they allow you to eat anything you’d like, and can improve speech clarity, too.
To care for your implants, just use the same good oral hygiene you practice for your natural teeth. That means:
- Brush and floss twice a day
- Schedule regular 6 month check-ups and cleanings with your dental team
Different Types of Implants
There are four main types of implants, including:
- Single Tooth Dental Implants
- Implant Supported Bridges
- Implant Supported Dentures
- All-on-Four Implants
Single Tooth Dental Implants
A single tooth dental implant is the most typical implant type. Like every implant, it’s made up of three parts: the implant or metal post inserted in the jawbone; the abutment or metal frame; and the crown which that abutment anchors. Inserted surgically into the jawbone, the implant replaces a missing tooth without causing any damage to surrounding teeth. The single implanted tooth looks and functions just like a natural tooth.
Implant Supported Bridges
If you have three or more missing teeth that are adjacent, an implant-supported bridge can be used.
The implants themselves replace the two outer missing teeth, with a porcelain bridge then covering the gap between them. Implant supported bridges won’t damage surrounding healthy teeth, unlike traditional bridges, which can.
Implant Supported Dentures
As an alternative to traditional removable dentures, implant supported partial dentures also require two dental implants for support; a full dental arch requires a minimum of four implants. In either case, the dentures themselves can be either placed permanently in the mouth or inserted as removable, snap-on, dentures.
Anchored by sturdy metal implants, with implant supported dentures there’s no need for the adhesives used with traditional dentures. The result is more comfort and enhanced functionality, too.
Missing all teeth an upper or lower arch? All-on-four implants can be used as anchors to support a full replacement arch using just four implants!
All-on-4 implants are both functional and extremely durable; they also support the jawbone, maximizing available bone to likely prevent the necessity of a bone graft. Once the implant posts are placed, then artificial teeth are attached. This type of implant is often recommended for comfort and functionality instead of dentures.
Ready to Learn More about Implants?
Both attractive and permanent, whatever type of dental implant you choose makes an excellent, permanent replacement for any damaged or missing teeth. If you want to learn more about implants, reach out today!