If you’ve lost a tooth or two over the years, you’re in the same boat as 120 million Americans. Despite the latest innovations in dentistry, tooth loss is still a common problem. Thankfully, you now have more options than ever to replace missing teeth. Dental implants are the preferred choice because they replicate the entire structure of the tooth from the root up. Although you might believe they are all the same, there are 3 types of dental implants. Here’s what you need to know to make the best decision for your smile.
Single-Unit Dental Implant
A single lost tooth can be treated with one dental implant, which consists of a titanium implant post, an abutment, and a restoration. The post is surgically placed into your jawbone to serve as a root. Your bone will fuse to it through a process called osseointegration. After your jaw has healed, an abutment is placed in the post to connect your restoration. Your replacement tooth is customized to match your natural teeth to blend in seamlessly.
Consecutive missing teeth are often treated with a fixed bridge, which involves bonding dental crowns over the adjacent teeth to support it. Although this method is effective, it requires you to permanently alter healthy teeth. Over time, the abutment teeth can start to suffer the effects of supporting the bridge. As an alternative, 1-2 dental implants can be used to anchor the bridge in place, you won’t have to treat each tooth individually. Not to mention, it doesn’t require healthy teeth to support it, allowing them to remain unchanged. With the right aftercare, your implant bridge can thrive for decades, so you won’t have to pay for a new one every few years.
A traditional denture rests on top of your gum tissue and is held in place using suction or an adhesive. They’ve undergone several improvements over the years to enhance their fit and function; however, they will always have their limitations. Supporting your new teeth with dental implants resolves the common complaints associated with a full denture. 4 to 10 dental implants secure your denture to your jaw, eliminating slipping and irritation. You can reinstate as much as 70% of your natural biting force to enjoy your favorite foods again. Overall, an implant denture is a cost-effective option because it has over a 95% success rate to last for a lifetime. You won’t need to pay for a new denture every 5 to 7 years, like using the traditional method.
Benefit from a Complete Smile
If you have missing teeth, don’t settle for anything less than the best. Your implant dentist will rebuild a beautiful, functional smile using state-of-the-art solutions.
About Dr. Richard Bradshaw
Dr. Bradshaw earned his dental degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine. He has completed advanced training in many specialties, including endodontics, restorative dentistry, and dental implants. As a member of the Academy of General Dentistry, he has the qualifications you can trust. If you’re interested in dental implants, contact our office today to schedule your consultation.