Dental implants provide a durable, long-lasting replacement for your natural teeth. Simply maintaining good oral care, they’re permanent replacements. Because they’re fused directly to your jawbone, implants do a lot more than just replace your external tooth; they’ll also strengthen your jawbone as well as the bone that surrounds it.
What are Implants?
So what are implants exactly? There are several different types of dental implants. They can replace a single missing tooth, multiple teeth, or they can serve as a support system to replace a full dental arch.
But no matter what the type, all implants are made of three different parts: the artificial tooth root that acts as a base for the replacement tooth; a metal frame that is attached to the base, which is designed to hold an artificial tooth; and then there is the artificial tooth itself, which fills any gaps between your teeth. We use a guided technique to make sure the implant is placed smoothly and as easily as possible.
Implants support and assist with the health of your jawbone and other teeth, as well as improving your smile and bite. They don’t need any kind of special cleaning or maintenance. They are just like your natural teeth, and that’s how you’ll treat them, too. Unlike dentures, implants will allow you to eat anything you want. They can also help you to speak more clearly, too.
Caring for your implants is simple. Use the same good kind of dental hygiene that you do for your own natural teeth. This means:
- Brush and floss twice daily
- Schedule regular 6 month or as often as recommended check-ups and cleanings with your dental team
Different Types of Implants
These are the main kinds of implants:
- Single Tooth Dental Implants
- Implant Supported Bridges
- Implant Supported Dentures
- All-on-Four Implants
Single Tooth Implants
The most typical implant is a single tooth dental implant. As is true with all implants, it is made up of three parts:
the metal implant post inserted in the jawbone
the abutment or metal frame
the crown or artificial tooth that the abutment anchors
Inserted in the jawbone surgical, the implant replaces a missing tooth without any damage to surrounding teeth. It looks and acts exactly like your natural tooth in appearance and function.
Implant Supported Bridges
If you’re missing three or more adjacent teeth, then an implant-supported bridge is used.
The implants serve to replace the two outermost missing teeth. A porcelain bridge between them covers the remaining gap. Implant supported bridges do not damage surrounding healthy teeth, unlike traditional bridges which can cause damage.
Implant Supported Dentures
Dental implant supported dentures are anchored with sturdy metal implants so there’s no n messy, time-consuming adhesives used as there are when wearing traditional dentures. More comfortable and functional, implants are a strong alternative to traditional removable dentures. The implant supported partial dentures use two dental implants for support.
If you’re missing all your teeth in either an upper or lower arch, all-on-four implants can be used as anchors. Just these four implants can successfully support a full replacement arch.
All-on-4 implants are as durable as they are functional, supporting your jawbone and making excellent use of available bone to often help prevent the need for a bone graft. Once implant posts are placed, the artificial teeth are attached. This kind of implant is frequently recommended for both comfort and function instead of traditional dentures.
Mini Dental Implants
When a full size implant is not a viable option, due to small spaces or inadequate bone mass in the jaw, mini dental implants are a minimally invasive alternative to standard implants, often requiring only local anesthetic and no sutures, allowing faster placement.
Ready to Learn More About Dental Implants?
If you’d like to learn more about dental implants or schedule a consultation, we’re here to help. Just reach out to us today at Oral and Facial Surgery Centers of Massachusetts!