In the past, there were only a handful of options for replacing missing teeth. Since the advent of dental implants, a whole new world of possibilities has opened up. In fact, dental implants are so versatile, they can support crowns, bridges, and dentures. Today, our team at Silverwood Dental will explore the many uses of dental implants and explain how patients can improve their oral health and quality of life with this type of treatment.
An overview of dental implants
Before we explore the versatility of dental implants, we will take a brief look at the basics. Dental implants are small threaded posts crafted from titanium, designed to replace the roots of missing teeth. Before the emergence of dental implants, traditional teeth replacement options only replaced the crowns of the teeth – the portions visible above the gum line. In contrast, implants restore the roots, providing a strong foundation for a variety of restorations.
Single-tooth replacement with dental implants
In decades past, there were only two options for replacing a single missing tooth: a removable partial or a traditional bridge. Neither of these options are ideal, as partials can be uncomfortable long-term, and bridges require the removal of healthy tooth structure. A dental implant is a one-tooth solution to a one-tooth problem. Therefore, the adjacent teeth can be left fully intact, helping to preserve your oral health. Once healed and restored with a dental crown, an implant can be used just like a natural tooth.
Multiple-teeth replacement with dental implants
If you have a row of missing teeth, implants can be used to fill in the gap. Fortunately, not every missing tooth will require an implant. In this scenario, an implant-supported bridge can be used. Similar to its traditional counterpart, an implant-supported bridge consists of two dental crowns with artificial teeth in between. The difference is, a traditional bridge is anchored to natural teeth while an implant-based bridge is supported by implants. The result is a stable, natural-looking smile that can last for years to come.
Full-arch restoration using dental implants
Before dental implants, traditional dentures were the only option for full-arch teeth replacement. While dentures can restore the bite and some function, they cannot preserve existing jawbone. As a result, the underlying bone ridge gradually deteriorates over the years. This can have a negative impact on the fit, causing the dentures to shift or slip out of place.
Today, dental implants can be used to stabilize loose and wobbly dentures. Using two to six implants per arch, the prosthesis can be “snapped” firmly into place. Therefore, while implant-supported dentures can be removed for easy cleaning, they will also stay put when you need them to.
Fixed full-arch restoration
Implants have also made fixed full-arch replacement possible for those who want a permanent, non-removable option. Instead of a removable denture, the implants can be restored with a fixed hybrid bridge. Connected to the implants with screw-retention or dental cement, the prosthesis cannot be removed by patients, but only by a dental professional. Those who choose this type of restoration will need floss threaders or specialized brushes to clean around the implants.
Learn more about dental implants in Saskatoon
Whether you are missing a single tooth, several teeth, or a full arch of teeth, dental implants can deliver the long-term results you desire. To find out if you are eligible for implant treatment, schedule a consultation at our Saskatoon, SK practice. Contact us online or call us at 306-242-5233.