Dental implants are an excellent option to replace missing teeth and also provide a fixed solution to having a removable partial or complete denture. Recent advances in dental technology and materials have made dental implants a versatile and reliable treatment option for replacing missing teeth.
Dental implants can replace single teeth, multiple teeth, an arch of teeth or support removable dentures. One of the main advantages of dental implants is that they do not require other teeth to properly restore a missing or lost tooth. Dental implants also improve chewing ability, prevent migration of adjacent teeth and enhance the smile.
In most cases, dental implants are a better option than a porcelain crown and bridge. However, dental implants are not the best option in patients who are long-term heavy smokers, uncontrolled diabetics and patients who have undergone bisphosphonate treatment.
- Replacing a Single Tooth: If single tooth is missing, one implant and a crown can replace it.
- Replacing Several Teeth: If several teeth are missing, implant-supported bridges can replace them.
- Replacing All of Your Teeth: If all of the teeth are missing, an implant-supported full bridge or full denture can replace them.
- Preparing the Jaw for Implantation: A dental implant generally comprises of a screw made of titanium and a crown. The procedure is very simple but requires great skill and expertise on the part of the dentist. A small hole is drilled at the place where there is no tooth, to guide the titanium screw which will eventually hold the dental implant.
- Placement of the Implant: The drilled hole is widened enough to hold the screw to be implanted. After the implant has been placed it is covered by a protective screw and the surrounding gum tissue secured too. The first stage is left to heal for about six months after which the protective cover is removed and an abutment is attached. Abutment is what holds the crown in place. A temporary crown is placed over it to allow the surrounding gum to grow & assume natural shape. The final treatment is replacing the temporary crown with a permanent one.
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