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Dental Implants

Dental Implants

Missing teeth can hinder a person’s ability to chew and cause the surrounding teeth to tilt, crowd or chip. Dental implants are ideal if you are looking for a permanent solution.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants look, feel and function like natural teeth and are secured in the jaw. They are permanent replacements that restore tooth appearance and function.

What is Involved in an Implant Procedure?

Titanium anchors are placed within the upper or lower jaw during a surgical procedure. They act as artificial roots to which the replacement teeth are fixed. Once fixed, dental implants have a natural appearance and are indistinguishable from the other teeth.

Dental implants are ideal for most people but may not be suitable for everyone. Your doctor will assess the suitability of dental implants for you.

What are the different types of dental implant procedures?

The different types of dental implants procedures can be broadly classified as:

Dental Implants for Single Tooth Replacement

Missing a single tooth can be a result of traumatic injury or a birth-related abnormality. It can also occur due to dental caries (tooth decay) or a failed dental procedure. The missing tooth can be replaced with various options such as fixed partial dentures, resin-bonded bridge, fixed bridge or single dental implants. The best option for single tooth replacement is a single dental implant with ceramic crown.

Single dental implant procedure: Your dentist will examine your teeth with the help of X-rays and prepare for the procedure. An implant will be inserted into the jaw bone with a temporary tooth placed over it. After the implant bonds with the jaw bone, a permanent ceramic tooth called a crown will be placed on the implant and will immediately start functioning as one of your natural teeth.

Other alternatives include:

  • Tooth-supported fixed bridge
    This procedure involves reducing the adjacent two teeth to place crowns which will support the bridge with the false tooth between them. It is easy to install and provides good aesthetic appeal.
  • Removable partial denture
    The partial denture is made of plastic and is removable, but is a temporary option.
  • Resin-bonded bridge
    This type of bridge can be installed quickly and provides a high aesthetic appeal. It consists of a metal framework with wings that attach to the back of the adjacent teeth with a false tooth bonded to the framework. The downside is the resin-bonded bridge may fall off and need replacement after a few years.

Dental Implants for Multiple Teeth Replacement

Loss of several teeth can induce lack of confidence and aesthetic appeal. Multiple tooth loss can also lead to many oral health problems such as gum disease, tooth damage and issues of misalignment.

Implant supported bridges can be used for multiple teeth replacement. First, multiple implants are embedded in key locations within the jaw. Over 2-6 months, the implants bond firmly with the jaw bone to form stable anchors. Temporary teeth may be placed over the implants during this time for better esthetics. The final step of the procedure involves placement of fixed bridges that contain teeth over the implants.

Various other options to replace multiple teeth include:

  • Multiple single-tooth implant restoration involves insertion of an implant into the jawbone to replace the tooth root. When this heals, an abutment is added which is covered by a crown.
  • Conventional Removable partial denture (RPD): This denture can be removed daily to allow for cleaning of teeth. It consists of a metal framework, denture teeth and acrylic.
  • Removable partial denture with implants: The implant used increases stability and support and prevents display of the metal framework such as with conventional RPD.
  • Fixed partial denture: Two teeth on either side of the missing tooth/teeth is reduced for the placement of crowns which will be connected to the artificial teeth between them for support. Replacement may be required in future.
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