A desirable alternative to tooth supported bridges or conventional dentures are dental implants. Implants are artificial tooth roots that are added permanently into the jaw. Dental implants can be used to replace one or more teeth and do not interfere with neighboring teeth. The experience of having dental implants is very similar to having natural teeth. They are brushed and flossed, and allow you to eat, speak, and have confidence in your daily life.
As implants fuse to your jawbone, they provide stable support for artificial teeth. For a patient to be a good candidate to receive implants, they need to have healthy gums and enough bone height to support the implant.
There are three main types of “teeth” that can be used with implants:
- Single Tooth: — For this type of replacement, one implant is placed and is used to support a single tooth. These are especially useful when patients are born without a tooth and do not want a bridge.
- Implant Bridge: — Two or more implants can be placed in a segment of missing teeth to support a fixed bridge. This is a good alternative to a conventional removable partial denture.
- Implant Supported Denture: —This alternative uses anywhere from 2-8 implants to support a full arch of teeth. The denture can either be removable and “snaps” onto the implants or screw retained and not removed by the patient.
Any type of implant requires continued at-home oral care (brushing and flossing) and regular dental visits. After treatment, you should allow your periodontist and dentist to develop the best individual care plan. Follow-up periodic visits will be scheduled to monitor your teeth, gums, and implants to make sure all is going according to plan.