Cosmetic dentistry has come a long way in the last decade. In the past, patients with missing teeth had to rely on uncomfortable dentures or sacrifice good teeth to have a bridge installed. When dental implants entered the market, however, everything changed. This procedure gave dentists a permanent way to replace missing teeth, and patients appreciated how realistic implants both look and feel. Implants quickly became the first choice for both dentists and patients. There are now different types of implants offered, depending on the patient’s needs.
Perhaps the most common usage, single implants are recommended when a patient is only missing one tooth. The implant is surgically placed in the empty socket, where it adheres to the jaw bone. Once the healing process is complete, a porcelain crown is securely placed on the post. Most people cannot visually tell the difference between an implant and a real tooth. Patients can still enjoy their favorite foods and speak with ease.
When a patient is missing several teeth in a row, an implant bridge may be the best option. While traditional dental bridges require the dentists to grind down surrounding, healthy teeth, this is not the case with an implant bridge. Instead, the bridge is permanently secured into place with two implant posts. Since only two posts are needed, there is less healing time for an implant bridge versus multiple, separate implants.
Many patients avoid dentures because they are notorious for being uncomfortable and ill-fitting. However, implant-supported dentures are changing the game. Several titanium posts are surgically implanted into the patient’s jaw. A row of dentures is then fitted over the top of these posts. The dentures literally snap into place, so there is no worry of them moving around while eating or speaking. The dentures are only removed by the dentist during yearly cleanings. There is a lot less hassle involved with implant-supported dentures.
No matter if a patient needs a single tooth replaced or is missing an entire row of teeth, implants may be the best option for them. Single implants, bridges, and denture-supported implants are all growing in popularity due to their functionality and resemblance to natural teeth. Anyone missing teeth should discuss the possibility of getting implants with their dentist.