Dental implants are a long-lasting solution to lost or damaged teeth, whether you need just one or an entire set. Unlike dentures and other solutions, implants keep replacement teeth firmly secured to the jawbone with a metal post. This post, which is made of biocompatible titanium, functions like a natural tooth’s root, keeping the implant secure. A strong porcelain crown is then fixed to the top. This allows for a fully functional replacement tooth that involves none of the lasting discomfort that other methods might have.
But which dental implant is best for you? Ultimately, it depends on the number of teeth you need replaced, where they are situated, and how your overall oral health looks. There are three types of implants to choose from: single implant, implant bridges, and All-On-4 implant dentures.
If you have lost a single tooth, or if the teeth you have lost result in scattered single-tooth gaps throughout your mouth, a single implant is the solution. With this, a titanium post is implanted into the jaw bone with an abutment on top. A replica of the tooth fashioned from sturdy porcelain is then placed on the abutment.
A dental implant bridge is used to replace several lost teeth in a sequence. Often, you have one implant (titanium post) per lost tooth, though bridges with one post on each end are also used in some situations. For example, if drilling a post would endanger a nerve, that space may be left empty on the bridge.
On a dental bridge, the replacement teeth are connected together, creating a strong structure. This distributes stress evenly throughout the bridge, reducing the strain on individual posts and preserving the overall integrity of the implant.
All-On-4 Implant Dentures
If you have lost all teeth in an arch, then an All-On-4 implant denture is a quick, easy solution. This implant uses only four posts to secure a full arch (i.e. all the teeth on the top or bottom jaw), making it a highly economical method for restoring your smile.
In the past, it took up to a dozen implants to secure a full arch of teeth. With All-On-4, only four posts are needed since they are arranged in a way that ensures maximum stability.
An implant takes two visits: one to place the post, and the other to place the crown on the abutment after the post has had a chance to fuse with the underlying bone. Once the crowns are in place, your new smile is permanent.