When dental implants were first developed over thirty years ago, there was essentially just one type. Since then, the science has continued to advance so that many more patients can experience the benefits of dental implants. The type of dental implant that we use is based on the type of dental restoration that the patient needs. Dental implants can support a single replacement tooth, a few teeth in a row, or a full arch of upper or lower teeth. Some implants are designed to be loaded immediately, which means that you leave our office with a dental restoration in place on the same day as your dental implant surgery.
Patients have two choices when it comes to replacing a single missing tooth. The conventional treatment is a dental bridge. This type of tooth replacement is supported by crowning the teeth on either side of the gap, which means that the teeth must be ground down. The bridge is then cemented in place. However, we can use a single implant instead to support a single dental crown to replace the tooth. An implant-supported crown is a more permanent solution that doesn’t require reducing natural teeth. The crown may or may not be placed at the same time as dental implant surgery, depending on the individual case.
This type of restoration is used when multiple teeth are missing in a row. Since two dental implants can support a three-unit bridge, it allows us to use fewer implants in lieu of placing one implant for each missing tooth. Sometimes we may recommend an implant-supported bridge instead of individual implants if the patient tends to clench or grind their teeth, because it spreads the pressure across the bridge. Compared to a traditional bridge, an implant-supported bridge is a much more stable, long-lasting solution.
Although traditional dentures can be a good solution, many patients find them unstable and uncomfortable. For this reason, a significant number of patients who have dentures do not even wear them. Fortunately, we can now fit patients with implant-supported dentures for complete stabilization. Instead of resting on the gums, your dentures will be attached to dental implants that are fused with your jaw. Once treatment is complete, you can experience unprecedented comfort and function, as well as improved aesthetics.
This treatment was developed to allow more candidates to receive implant-supported dentures. The technique allows a full arch of replacement teeth to be supported by just four to six dental implants that are placed at optimal angles. All-on-4 allows patients to have replacement teeth affixed at the same time as their dental implant surgery instead of waiting for months for the bone to heal. It is also a more cost-effective solution, since fewer implants are needed, and additional bone grafting procedures are not required.
There are several factors that go into determining what type of implant is right for you. We are dental implant specialists, and we can fully explain your options when you contact us for a personal consultation.