For a long time, the only way to replace your natural teeth was to use dentures. Thanks to modern technology, dentures can come very close to replacing the look, feel, and strength of natural teeth, but no dentures can avoid problems like having them fall out as you try to eat or needing to take them out when you go to bed at night.
That’s why dental implants have become popular as an alternative to dentures, especially since new advances are making implants more reliable and cheaper than ever. Like dentures, implants come in different varieties because every mouth is different. The most common types of dental implants include the following:
Single Tooth Implants
This is what you think of when you imagine types of dental implants. The implant itself is a titanium screw that replaces the roots of the original tooth, and like a natural tooth it bonds with the jawbone to anchor itself in place. Once that bond is secure, the dentist can attach a porcelain crown to the implant that has the exact same color and shape as the tooth it replaces.
Just like how dentures can replace more than one tooth at once, so can dental implants. When three or more teeth are missing, a dentist can put an implant at both ends of the gap and then create a bridge appliance to fill it. By using implants, a dentist can put a dental bridge in permanently.
Mini Dental Implants
Mini implants work differently because they’re smaller than normal implants. They aren’t strong enough to support a permanent porcelain crown, but you can use them with a modified set of dentures and snap them into place. Mini implants are much better at keeping your dentures from moving than denture adhesive or suction alone. They’re the best option for patients who already have dentures and whose bone arches have shrunk over time.
Dentures may be cheaper, but all types of dental implants are more effective replacements. Keeping them clean is simple, the rejection rate is very low, and the way the titanium implants work helps to keep your jawbone arches from shrinking the way they do when you have normal dentures. And thanks to mini implants, even people who already have dentures can improve their bite without having to worry about extra procedures like bone grafts or extra expenses like a new set of dentures.
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