Restorations Supported by Dental Implants
By Stephen Rogers on December 18, 2013
If you have one or more missing teeth, a variety of tooth replacement options are available, each with advantages and disadvantages. By combining the health benefits of dental implants with the cosmetic and practical benefits of other restorations, you may arrive at an ideal solution. Dental crowns, bridges, and dentures may all be supported through implants, allowing single or widespread tooth loss to be effectively and permanently addressed.
At Greater Long Island Dental, we aim to provide you with the most appropriate tooth replacement treatment. Consider how the following restorations may further benefit you through the support of dental implants.
Why Dental Implants?
The primary goal of tooth replacement is to restore a patient’s smile and occlusion, or bite. Although all methods of tooth replacement can accomplish this, not all can fully replace the benefits of a natural tooth. The roots of teeth, for instance, reinforce them and encourage bone tissue regeneration in the jaw. When this support is lost, both the bite and jaw become weakened in time.
Dental implants mimic the functionality of a tooth’s roots, fusing with the jawbone and promoting superior dental health. By using implants in conjunction with other techniques, you can replace teeth without the traditional disadvantages of restorations.
For single tooth loss, a dental implant can be installed prior to a dental crown, creating a replacement that mimics both the appearance and structure of a tooth. As long as a patient is not suffering from gum disease or poor oral health, an implant procedure is simple with little risk of complication:
- Local anesthesia will be administered to the gum and jaw, limiting discomfort.
- An incision will be made in the gum and a small hole made in the underlying bone, where the implant is to be placed.
- The implant will be positioned into the jaw and the incision sutured.
Side effects should resolve within a week after surgery, and over the course of three to six months, the implant will gradually fuse with the jawbone. Once bone fusion is complete, a permanent crown can be placed over the implant, which will be molded to complement adjacent teeth. Because the crown is cemented directly onto the implant, no other teeth are affected. Moreover, the implant’s structural connection with the jawbone ensures that no further bone loss will occur, while preventing neighboring teeth from becoming loose or shifting.
Implant-supported Bridges and Dentures
Similar to crowns, dental bridges and dentures can also be supported through the use of dental implants. Whether you already have bridges or dentures, or are expecting multiple tooth loss in the near future, a few strategically placed implants can provide additional benefits to these restorations.
- Dental bridges: A dental bridge is a replacement tooth, anchored by crowns on either side. Traditionally, the crowns are attached to natural teeth as a means of support. If you are missing multiple teeth in one area, implants may be used to hold the bridge in place.
- Partial or full dentures: Dentures are a tried and trusted method of replacement for multiple teeth. However, when they only adhere to the gums, problems may arise concerning their stability, as well as problems in diet, comfort, and speech. Each of these problems can be abated by securing dentures through implants. For patients who already have implants and may consider dentures in the future, no significant changes will need to be made for a proper fit.
Keep in mind that in order for implants to be installed, an adequate amount of bone tissue must be present in the jaw. This is primarily a concern for patients who have suffered from years of tooth loss without implants, as bone loss may have occurred over time. Consult your cosmetic dentist to see if you are a candidate for implants or, if not, for a bone graft procedure to rectify this problem.
Learn More about the Benefits of Implants
For many patients, dental implants are an optimal way to restore teeth, either individually or collectively. Call or email our office to set up an appointment and learn how implants may benefit you.
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