3 Types of Dental Implants (Which One Is Best for You?)
Are you missing one or more teeth?
If so, you’ve come to the right place!
First, let’s get started with a brief background…
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a small, titanium post (screw) that is surgically placed within your jawbone beneath your gum line. This post will fuse with your jawbone, creating a stable foundation for your tooth restoration.
A dental implant post is a replacement for your missing tooth’s root. Not only does it fuse with your bone like a root, but it also stimulates and preserves your bone structure.
On top of a dental implant post sits a restoration. Typically, it’s a single crown replacing one tooth. But dental implants can also support multiple missing teeth with a bridge and even secure dentures.
With proper care, dental implants can last for a lifetime. Dental implants have a Opens new tab to WebMD website98% success rate.
For this reason, and it’s many benefits, dental implants are widely recognized as the #1 recommendation to replace missing teeth permanently.
So, which type of dental implant is best for you?
Check out the three different types of dental implants below and discover the pros and cons of each.
3 different types of dental implants
1) Replacing a single tooth: Use a single dental implant
Most often, a dental implant is used to replace a single missing tooth. It requires one post and one crown.
What’s the dental implants process?
Here’s what you can expect with dental implants in Bellevue and Issaquah, WA:
- You will meet with one of our dental implant experts to determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants (keep reading to find out what qualifies you as one). If so, a custom treatment plan will be created.
- The post will be placed within your jawbone using surgical-guided technology. You should not feel pain during this procedure, and we will make sure you are comfortable throughout. The healing time for your post to fuse with your bone is typically 3 to 4 months.
- Once healed, your new custom-designed crown is connected to your post with an abutment. Your new tooth will look and feel just like your surrounding teeth.
Unlike other restorations, a single tooth dental implant replaces your entire missing tooth from root to crown.
If you have one missing tooth or multiple that are not adjacent to each other, then a single tooth dental implant may be your best option.
If you have multiple missing teeth adjacent to each other, then this may not be your best option. Additionally, the next type of dental implant may save you money if you have multiple missing teeth.
2) Replacing several teeth: Use an implant-supported bridge
When you have multiple missing teeth adjacent to each other, you may find your best option is an implant-supported bridge.
What is a dental bridge?
Typically, a bridge consists of two crowns on either side of your missing tooth gap with an artificial tooth held by those crowns in between.
Now, instead of having the crowns attach to teeth, an implant-supported bridge has crowns that connect to dental implants.
The process is similar to a single tooth dental implant. However, the teeth missing in the middle of the gap will not receive a dental implant.
The benefits of an implant-supported bridge are you can securely replace multiple missing teeth in a row – without the cost of replacing each tooth.
The downside is that not all teeth will receive an implant, and therefore you will lose some bone mass.
What happens if a majority or all of your teeth are missing?
3) Replacing all your teeth: Use an implant-retain denture
If you are missing a majority or all of your teeth in an arch (upper or lower), then an implant-retained denture may be your best option.
What is an implant-retained denture?
A denture is an artificial arch of teeth. It rests on your gum line and gives you the appearance of a full set of teeth. The problem with traditional dentures is they are removable, which means they can slip, slide, click, fall out, and make daily tasks uncomfortable like eating and talking.
To fix this problem, you can permanently secure your denture with dental implants.
How does it work?
Our Bellevue and Issaquah implant specialists will strategically place four dental implants along your arch. While they heal, your current denture may be modified so it can be worn without disrupting the healing process.
Once healed, you will receive a new, custom denture that fastens to the dental implants. The result is a permanent, secure denture custom-designed to fit your facial aesthetics.
If you wear dentures, this may be the solution to all your denture problems. And if you have a lot of missing teeth, this may also be an excellent option to restore your smile and confidence.
But the key thing to all these types of dental implants is whether or not you are a good candidate for dental implant surgery. How do we determine that?
Am I a good candidate for dental implants?
At Implant & Periodontic Specialists, we evaluate Opens new tab to the American Academy of Periodontologycandidates for dental implant surgery on the following:
When a tooth is missing, the surrounding bone begins to deteriorate. You need a certain amount of bone present so the post can fuse with it. If you have been missing a tooth for a while, there may not be enough bone to perform dental implant surgery.
To determine this, we use a CBCT scanner. This modern technology gives us a 3D view of your mouth and jawbone so we can evaluate your bone quantity. If you have enough bone, we will move forward with your personalized treatment plan.
If you don’t have enough bone for dental implants, then we can often perform a bone grafting procedure. This procedure can help your body regenerate bone and tissue. When you have sufficient bone, you will be able to move forward with the surgery.
Dental implants are most successful if placed in adults who are done growing and developing.
If you or your child are too young, you may need to wait until your facial structure has developed. This is typically around the age of 16 for girls and 18 for boys.
Like most surgeries, good general and oral health is required for dental implant surgery. If you suffer from certain conditions like diabetes, are a heavy smoker, or have gum disease, then dental implants may not be viable.
Rest assured, our dentists will evaluate you on an individual basis and if necessary, will work with your physician to find a solution.
Questions about the types of dental implants?
Whether you are missing one tooth or multiple teeth, dental implants can help you restore your smile!
What type of dental implant do you think is your best option?
- Single tooth dental implant
- Implant-supported bridge
- Implant-retained denture
If you have any questions about the different types of dental implants, feel free to contact our office.
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