There are several types of dental implants, and each one is designed for a unique situation and the patients who need it. From individual implants to whole mouth replacements, dental implants can help anyone who has one or more missing natural teeth.
The basic dental implant is a single metal screw that enters the bone arch beneath your gum line right where the old tooth used to be. After it has some time to integrate with the surrounding bone, your dental implant specialist will create a porcelain crown that looks just like the original tooth and attach it to the screw. The implant may wear down after several decades, but until then the implant will stay in your mouth and won’t need any more maintenance than the usual brushing and flossing you should be giving your natural teeth.
Instead of replacing one tooth, you may need several at once. If that’s the case, you may want to get a bridge implant. This type of implant puts one screw on each side of the bridge (possibly more depending on how long the bridge is) and you then get a single bridge implant that replaces all the missing teeth along the way. This implant doesn’t give you all the benefits of replacing each tooth individually, but it’s a lot less expensive than doing things that way.
Of all the types of dental implants, this one is rather unique. Mini implants use much smaller screws, so even if it’s been years since your teeth came out the mini implants can still anchor themselves to your bone arches. The other big difference is that mini implants aren’t big enough to anchor a regular implant crown. Instead, what you can do is fit the implants with balls and your dentures with sockets so you can snap them on and off. Mini implants are much better at anchoring dentures than any kind of adhesive.
With many available types of dental implants, you can find one that works for patients who have one tooth knocked out, patients who have to remove three or four teeth at once, and patients who haven’t had any natural teeth in their mouths for a decade. However, timing is important no matter what when you look at dental implants, so make sure you visit a dental implant specialist as soon as you know you need replacement teeth.
Posted in: dental implant information