It might be said that the mission to replace missing teeth follows a single path, but this simply isn’t true. There are many choices ranging from a single crown or a full set of dentures, to tooth implantation using a sophisticated and more natural implant system.
One of the attractions of dental implants is that they replace both the tooth and the root. Giving you back your smile while minimizing bone loss at the same time. While crowns don’t generally affect other teeth, the old-fashioned dental bridge requires adjacent teeth be cut down to fit and support the tooth-bridge that is set in place. Unfortunately, a long-term disadvantage of bridges is that bone around the supporting tooth often begins to deteriorate or resorb. This can have a negative affect both visually and structurally.
An implant procedure, on the other hand, replaces the root of your tooth (or teeth) and effectively integrates with the jawbone. This ultimately preserves the surrounding bone structure and adjacent teeth. Even though each patient will have different needs, the procedures used to replace a missing tooth or missing teeth are fairly routine for experienced dentists.
Replacing Missing Teeth With Implants
The first step in replacing missing teeth with implants involves minor implant surgery during which a titanium implant is placed in the upper or lower jaw bone in the missing tooth area or socket. Over the following four to six months, the bone and implant are left to bond or integrate so that there will be a reliable anchor for the dental tooth replacement. If your missing tooth or teeth are in your smile line (the front of your smile) a temporary stayplate or temporary partial denture is worn to hide the space. Once the implant crown is in place, you can abandon the stayplate. After the dental implant has healed or integrated with the bone, the gums are adjusted to make room for the implant abutment and crown. The last step of the tooth implantation process involves fitting the replacement or dental implant crowns and the custom abutment. The purpose of the custom abutment is to make sure the implant crown is held securely in place and fits snug up against the gum line to look like a natural tooth. At this point, there’s a lot to smile about.
Replacing Missing Teeth With Implant Bridges
Unlike traditional fixed bridges that rely on support from the adjacent remaining teeth, implant supported bridges enable dentists to replace missing teeth without any support from natural teeth. More importantly, the dentist does not have to cut down natural teeth to bond on the missing teeth bridge. The steps to place a implant bridge are essentially the same as individual dental implants. The only difference is in the final step. This is where a solid ceramic multi tooth bridge is bonded on to two dental implant abutments, one at either end of the bridge. However, some situations call for a cantilever bridge or other methods to replace the teeth.
Replacing Missing Teeth With Implant Dentures
If the patient has no teeth, the missing teeth can be replaced with a full set of dentures or a full bridge supported by titanium implants. Titanium implants are medically coated to ensure that the natural bone around them fully integrates.
The benefits are essentially the same as those for any other dental implants that replace missing molars or other missing teeth: • They look and function like natural teeth, enabling the patient to bite and chew naturally. • They are designed and made to last a very long time. • The implant system helps to preserve the jawbone. • Dental hygiene is improved.
Additionally, implant dentures are considerably more stable and comfortable than traditional dentures. Improved technology also enables dental technicians to make dentures that look more natural than they did in the past. “The color gradients, luster and translucency are perfect,” says Dr. Greg Roos of Roos Dental Care. In fact, he says, today’s dental implant crowns look so natural, even a dentist with a trained eye is likely to have a tough time identifying the so-called teeth!
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Dr. Greg Roos Replaces Missing Teeth with dental Implant Retained Dentures and OverDentures, Denturist, Dental Implants, LANAP Laser Periodontal Therapy, affordable Dentures, invisalign and Family Dentistry in Redwood City, Menlo Park, Atherton, Woodside, Palo Alto, and the Bay Area