Getting a dental implant as an adult isn’t as uncommon as one might think. Whether it is due to oral disease or injury, these are some of the possible reasons to invest. Daily activities can become difficult when a single tooth or multiple teeth are missing. You can experience painful chewing, see a difference in your speech pattern, and your level of self-confidence might be lower than normal. Making a decision that is best suited for you, you have to understand the various options for teeth replacement and dental implant procedures.
For the majority of individuals, dental implants are the most common way to remedy and replace a missing tooth. A dental professional will use the dental implant, a tooth made of artificial material, and implanted into the jaw. The process involves surgically inserting a small metal rod in the bone beneath the individual’s gums, whether it is for a single tooth or for multiple missing teeth. To give a natural appearance of a smooth tooth, a dental replacement (a crown), is attached to the metal rod in the jaw. For a long lasting replacement, dental implants are a great way to go due to their titanium structure.
An accident leading to direct injury of the mouth is the most common reason for losing a single tooth. In a single tooth replacement, a dental implant can use a built-in connector. This connector will attach the implant to the new tooth. The dental implant is placed first so it can merge with the jaw bones. This step has to happen in order to create a strong foundation for the replacement tooth. The connector, known as an abutment, is placed after the implant. Finally, a custom made crown is placed on top of the connector. For most patients, recovery time is short.
A single tooth replacement has a few options you can choose from. The first is a same day implant, also known as an immediate load dental implant. The second procedure can be done over the course of a few visits. With the first option, a temporary crown is set the same time the implant is placed. A permanent replacement is set three to six months down the road. This allows for the restoration of function and appearance while the dental implant fuses with the jaw bone. In the more traditional method, the placement of the dental implant is done first. The permanent crown is then placed in a following appointment.
Similar to the single tooth replacement, multiple teeth replacements resembles its procedure. However, multiple visits are necessary for multiple dental implants to occur. The patient also has to decide whether they would like individual crowns or a fixed bridge. Individual crowns may be used for each tooth replacement like a single tooth replacement. However, some patients may need or prefer a fixed bridge of multiple crowns supported by the implant as one structure. In either case, the dental implant must fuse with the jaw bones in order to create the most natural look.
Mini dental implants, known as MDIs, may also be used for multiple teeth replacements. MDIs are slightly smaller than conventional implants and are inserted for a less invasive procedure than standard size implants.
Full replacements are less common than other replacements, but the same procedures apply. As the dental implant fuses with the jaw bone, temporary crowns are commonly placed. The permanent replacements would be set during a following appointment. Although single crowns can be placed, it isn’t as common as a full fixed bridge or implant-supported over-denture.
For some individuals, an all-on-four approach can be completed instead of more conventional replacements. This involves the placement of four dental implants into the jaw bone with special connectors. This allows a temporary replacement set to be inserted the same day as the implants. The permanent full replacement is set around six months after the initial procedure.
Due to deterioration of supporting bone in the jaw, not everyone is a candidate for dental implants. Bone augmentation may need to be done if this is the case. If this can’t be done, then sticking with conventional methods of replacement will be the other option.
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