Dental implants are the strongest and most natural-looking replacement option for missing teeth. However, there are several types of dental implants to choose from, and your specific needs will determine which type is best for you. Here is a comparison of three common types of dental implants.
Single implants consist of a titanium screw that is inserted into the jawbone, an abutment that is attached to the top of the screw and emerges through the gums, and a dental crown that is attached to the top of the abutment to replace a missing tooth. The screw fuses with the jawbone through a process known as osseointegration to create a permanent bond.
Single implants are an excellent choice for replacing missing teeth, as the porcelain or ceramic crown will be virtually indistinguishable from a natural tooth. The downside of single implants is that replacing several teeth with them can exceed many patients' budgets.
The base of a subperiosteal implant is a metal clip rather than a screw. The clip is inserted below the gums and clamped onto the top of the jawbone, instead of fusing with the jawbone. As with standard single implants, an abutment emerges through the gums and holds a dental crown. Subperiosteal implants are typically used in patients who have already experienced significant jawbone resorption and are not good candidates for bone grafting to replace the lost material.
An implant-anchored bridge is a dental prosthetic that is supported by dental implants. The implants are usually installed on both sides of the bridge, and the main body of the bridge can be a row of dental crowns or a plastic prosthetic that is similar to dentures. The bridge body rests on top of the gums in the gap created by lost teeth.
Unlike dentures or standard clip-on bridges, implant-anchored bridges are non-removable. These bridges are a good choice when you are missing several teeth that were adjacent to each other. Because implant-anchored bridges require only two implants, they are the most affordable option if you are missing three or more adjacent teeth. One risk of implant-anchored bridges that you should consider is that the body of the bridge does not stimulate the jawbone like dental implants. Sections of the jawbone that do not hold teeth or dental implants can wear away over a number of years, possibly allowing nearby teeth to fall out.
Now that you understand the differences between common types of dental implants, you can have an informed discussion with your dentist to find the tooth replacement option that will work best for you. Contact a dentist like Scott W. Murphy, D.M.D., P.A. to learn more.
Up until a year ago, I did my best to keep my teeth and gums clean. But after securing a new job, I began to work late into the night and didn't have the time or energy to brush and floss before I retired to bed. My busy schedule and poor dental hygiene finally affected my teeth and gums. After experiencing severe pain in several of my teeth, I made an appointment with my dentist. My dentist examined my mouth and discovered three large cavities in my molars. After four long weeks, my dentist finally completed my dental work. I learned a very painful lesson during that time. No matter how busy you are, always brush and floss. I started this blog to inform other people about the importance of good dental care. I hope you find the time to read it. Thanks for visiting.