Many people think that dental implants are just single crowns attached to an artificial root. However, that is just one type of dental implant currently available. In fact, you are probably surprised to learn that dental implant technology is not being utilized in a number of different ways, giving patients more choice for their restoration than ever before.
Here is what you need to know about each type of dental implant and the benefits that they can offer to patients who choose them.
By far the best known of all dental implant solutions, single crowns are exactly as they are described – individual, custom-crafted crowns designed to fill a single gap in your smile caused by tooth loss. These are not loaded onto the implant immediately, but instead you are fitted with a temporary crown until osseointegration – the process whereby the jaw bone heals around the implant post – is complete. Each single crown requires a single implant post to be placed to support it. This is nearly always directly beneath the gap left by the missing tooth.
Benefits of single crown dental implants include:
Minimal surgery required as only one implant post is needed
The artificial tooth is supported entirely on the implant post, with no stress or pressure on surrounding natural teeth
Since it is anchored to the jaw, your replacement tooth is completely secure and stable
The custom-designed crown means that your artificial tooth will blend seamlessly with your natural teeth, making the restoration extremely discreet.
An implant bridge combines the design of a conventional bridge with implant technology to produce a superior version of this type of restoration. The bridge itself is comprised of a series of custom-designed crowns. However, rather than being supported on natural teeth, they are secured onto implant posts. Implant bridge can typically be secured on just two implant posts.
In addition to the benefits of single crowns, implant bridges can also offer patients:
Replacement of multiple missing teeth on fewer implant posts
Greater stability of the restoration
Conventional bridges require natural teeth to be filed down so that the supporting crowns, known as abutments can be placed over them. However, since implant bridges are attached to titanium posts rather, there is no need to perform any invasive treatment on your healthy teeth.
Snap-In implant-supported dentures
Dentures have long been used to replace partial or full arches of missing teeth. Fortunately, rather than relying simply on adhesive, it is now possible to retain dentures on implant posts. Often, between just six and eight implant posts are needed to secure an entire arch of prosthetic teeth. Bar-retained dentures involve a thin metal bar that follows the curve of your jaw being attached to the implants that are placed in your jaw bone. Clips or other forms of attachment are fitted to the bar or denture, or both. The denture then fits over the bar and snaps into place using the attachments. You may hear it referred to as an overdenture.
Bar-retained snap-in dentures tend to be considered to be superior since they give greater retention than ball-retained varieties. However, both hold the teeth in place very securely, allowing for virtually no movement when eating and speaking and helping the teeth to look as natural as possible. However, the denture is still removable for proper, effective cleaning.
All-On-4 dental/Teeth in a Day permanent dentures
They may go by several different names, but All-On-4 or hybrid screw dental implant dentures are a very popular way of restoring all of the teeth in the upper or lower jaw in just one day. This is possible due to the unique angles at which the hybrid screws that support the denture are placed, which is at 45-degrees. This allows for immediate loading of the denture since the angle gives the implants greater stability. Osseointegration will still occur, but there is no need to wait and your permanent denture can be secured in place immediately. Better still, All-On-4 can be utilized by patients who have bone loss in the jaw which would ordinarily prevent them from getting conventional, vertical implants.
If you are considering dental implants and would like more information about any of the implant types listed above, please don’t hesitate to speak to our knowledge dental implant team by calling our offices in Corpus Christi, TX today.