The ability of dentists to use dental implants has revolutionized the care and treatment of a wide range of dental needs. A dental implant basically is an artificial tooth that is anchored in your mouth and is used to support false teeth to replace missing or damaged ones. Dental implants are commonly used by people who have lost one or two teeth for any number of reasons but who have otherwise healthy teeth.
Endosteal (in the bone): This type of implant is by far the most common. With this sort of set up, each individual implant that is secured into the jaw bone holds the prosthetic teeth that are used to replace the missing ones. This style of implant is common with patients who have partial bridges already or those who have removable dentures.
Subperiosteal (on the bone): These types of implants are generally used for those who cannot use Endosteal implants and they are placed on top of the jaw. They are secured in place with metal framework and a series of posts poke through the gums and are used to hold the replacement teeth.
WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE LIKE?
The process of replacing missing teeth is a team effort that involves you, your dentist, and the oral surgeon who will be performing the procedure. You will work together to determine what is the best course of action for you and what will work best for you right now and in the long term. There are three basic procedures that can be done:
Single Tooth Replacement – If only a single tooth is missing, one implant with the accompanying tooth crown can replace it and fill the gap.
Several Teeth Replacement – If several teeth are missing in a row that need to be replaced, implant-supported bridges or a set of false teeth that are fused together and secured as one solid piece can replace them.
Total Teeth Replacement – If all of your teeth are missing or need to be removed, then you will be going with full bridge work or dentures to replace the teeth.
TAKING CARE OF DENTAL IMPLANTS
As is the case with your real teeth, oral care and hygiene go a long way in keeping your teeth and mouth healthy. Just because you have implants does not mean you can ignore their care. You must still brush and floss and care for the implants as you would your regular teeth. This keeps them looking great and working as they should.