Dental implants have become the treatment of choice to replace teeth that are missing or failing. While dentures can pinch and slip, dental implants are anchored in the jawbone, replacing the tooth roots. You can speak, laugh, and eat with confidence, and even chew tough foods such as steak. Dental implants also stimulate jawbone growth, reversing the natural deterioration that occurs when teeth are lost. Yet there are so many different options for dental implants that you may become confused and even overwhelmed. Here is what you need to know.
Single Tooth Dental Implants
Those missing a single tooth once needed to wear a partial denture, which anchors with metal clasps that can show when your mouth is open, and may be uncomfortable. Today, a single dental implant topped with a custom crown is a highly aesthetic and functional option for those who are missing one tooth.
Implant Supported Bridges
For those who are missing multiple teeth in a row, a traditional dental bridge was once the treatment of choice. However, a traditional bridge is anchored to crowns secured to the adjacent teeth, forcing us to remove healthy tooth structure and putting the supporting teeth at risk. An implant supported bridge is anchored to dental implants at each end, leaving the neighboring teeth undisturbed.
Implant Supported Dentures
Traditional dentures are supported solely by the gums and upper palate, putting them at risk for shifting, pinching, and poking. As the name implies, implant supported dentures are secured to dental implants, locking them in place. We can reduce or even remove the palate from your upper denture, improving both taste and mouthfeel. While traditional dentures restore only about 25% of bite strength, implant supported dentures restore more than 90%.
We can use just two dental implants to secure a removable upper or lower denture, or a handful of implants to support a full, fixed bridge of highly aesthetic and functional replacement teeth that never leave your mouth.
Immediate Load Implants
While the traditional dental implant process requires you to wear a temporary denture for several weeks during the healing process, immediate load implants allow you to avoid the denture altogether. There are two options: All-on-Four or mini implants.
An All-on-Four allows us to secure a fixed arch of teeth with just four immediate load dental implants. This set of teeth is beautiful, functional, and natural in appearance, but it is lightweight. If desired, you can return in several months for a final set of teeth of the highest quality.
Mini implants are a great solution for those who do not have sufficient jawbone for standard implants and want to avoid bone grafting, as well as those with small jaws and those who simply want to avoid the surgical process. Mini implants use a minimally invasive procedure with virtually no healing time. In most cases, we can modify your existing denture and attach it to the mini implants on the same day. Please note that this is a removable, rather than fixed, solution.