In modern dentistry, there are quite a few different ways in which we can replace missing teeth. Dental implants happen to be, not just the best, but provide the longest-lasting results. When one loses a tooth, it causes the tooth-supporting bone to degenerate naturally.
However, if we replace the lost tooth/teeth with an implant, it will preserve the tooth-supporting bone, thereby, halting the degenerative process.
Replacing a missing tooth/ tooth requires a minor, regular surgery in which just local anesthesia is administered in most cases. The implants, which replace the root part of a missing tooth, has the form of a small, screw-shaped titanium post.
After surgery, it takes time for healing to occur after which the implant is then capped with a life-like crown uniquely made to match the already existing natural teeth. Dental implants take a massive lead in the tooth replacement options with a success rate of over 95%.
How Dental Implants Work
Dental implants are inserted during a minor surgical procedure, directly into the jawbone in the gap left by the lost tooth/teeth. The implants fuse to the bone surrounding it, and when healing is complete, the final crown is attached to the implanted tooth.
Tooth Replacement Options Using Dental Implants
There are different ways that implants can be used to replace missing or lost teeth. They are:
Replace One Tooth — When a tooth is lost, a single implant compensates that missing tooth. The implant, which would replace the root part of the lost tooth, is inserted into the bone, which overtime fuse together.
A crown, which would serve as the actual tooth, is subsequently attached to the already healed implant. This single tooth replacement option has the highest success rate. Though the starting price is quite higher than the others, it has proven to be the most economical solution you can get overtime.
Dental implants neither decay nor require a root canal treatment. The feeling you get from the implant is the same as if it was the natural tooth that was there.
For instance, if you were to replace three teeth in a row, instead of having three implants, you get 2. That is one at each end of the gap with the middle crown not having any implant. The two teeth having an implant would hold the middle one in place.
In this way, the remaining natural teeth are not needed to serve as bridge support, as this could make them weak and prone to decay.
Depending on the state of the jawbone density and volume, as few as four implants can be used to support either of the upper or lower replacement teeth.
In situations where the jawbone density and volume have deteriorated, more implants would be necessary to support a row of 10-12 teeth. Dental implant replacement teeth can last a very long time; they won’t slip, and also, they protect your jawbone.
Support Removable Dentures — We can also utilize implants to support removable artificial teeth and even make them more comfortable, effective, and healthier to wear. Traditional dentures cause the jaw to shrink due to bone loss and consequently, the dentures slips. This is as a result of the pressure on the underlying bone as the dentures rest directly on the gum. To solve this problem, the dentist affixes a removable denture to an implant, thereby transferring the pressure into the bone structure and not on the bone surface. This implant holds the denture firmly in place so that it does not slip while eating or talking while also keeping the bone beneath it from destruction or decay.
Dental Implant Care and Maintenance
Poor oral hygiene and the excessive biting force cause an implant to loses its attachment to the bone and fall after it had already joined together with the bone. ‘Peri-implantitis,’ – a bacterial infection caused by inadequate oral hygiene and not cleaning the teeth regularly but can be prevented by flossing, regular brushing and professional cleaning of the teeth.
Not getting the correct number of implants to support your denture results into excessive biting force because the number of implants is insufficient to handle the effect produced by the bites. Also clenching and grinding of your teeth can cause excessive biting force, and in such cases, a nightguard should be used to protect the implants.
The excessive biting force could cause harm to your implants and consequently, your smile. So, you should protect them as they are an investment in your health and well-being.