When you’re dealing with missing teeth, it can mean more than cosmetic issues. Even one missing tooth can affect how you chew your food. Problems chewing food lead to poor eating habits – which in turn can lead to further dental problems. But missing teeth aren’t an unsolvable issue – dental implants are an effective solution. There are a few types of dental implants, so it helps to know the differences to find the best fit for you.
Dental implants may replace a single tooth, several teeth in a row, or an entire mouthful of teeth. Which teeth you are missing and the health of the teeth that remain will affect what your dentist will recommend for you. We will review the types of implants below.
Single Tooth Dental Implants
If you only need to replace one tooth, a single tooth dental implant is the best option. A single dental implant consists of three parts: the crown (which acts as a visible tooth), an abutment (which connects the crown to the implant), and the implant itself (which acts like the root of your tooth). This simple implant is still durable and fully-functioning, while appearing natural and lifelike. Porcelain is often used to create the crown, but it can also be made from metals, resin, or ceramics if necessary.
At Woodstock General and Implant Dentistry, we use BioHorizons® titanium implants with Prettau® Zirconia crowns. We choose to use quality materials with proven success rates to give our patients the longest lasting, best looking tooth replacement available.
Implant-Supported Partial Bridge
If you’re missing multiple teeth, an implant-supported partial bridge might be right for you. This consists of two or more crowns that are anchored by two or more implants to form a dental bridge. The crowns, or artificial teeth, “bridge” the gap between your healthy teeth. Dental implants anchor the bridge in your jaw. The benefit to this is that for the cost of one procedure, you can replace many teeth at once. An implant-supported partial bridge will also stay in place independent of the teeth surrounding it – so it won’t add further stress to those teeth. Traditional bridges anchor on the remaining and so are dependent on the health of those teeth. Implant-supported bridges are free from that limitation.
Full-Arch Implant-Supported Bridge (Full Mouth Bridge)
Removing the limitations of traditional bridges means that even if you’re missing most or all of your teeth, there’s a dental implant solution. Full-arch implant-supported bridges (or full mouth bridges) can replace an entire set of either your upper or lower teeth. A full mouth implant supported bridge is held in place with only a handful of dental implants, usually either 4 or 6. After the implants are placed, the dental bridge gets attached and your smile is complete again. There are a wide range of styles and materials used for these implants, but modern materials like Prettau® Zirconia offer many benefits. Its unique design is durable, comfortable, and resistant to stains, plaque, and odors.
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No matter if you’re looking to replace one missing tooth or an entire mouthful of teeth, there are many types of dental implants that could be right for you! Now that you understand some of the options, it’s time to consult an implant dentist. We can help you find the best solution for your health and budget. Let the team at Woodstock General & Implant Dentistry help you find the best fit for you today!