Dental implants are becoming increasingly popular. There are several good reasons for that. Not only can dental implants restore a youthful smile, but they can also improve and maintain a person’s ability to chew by replacing missing or lost teeth, while simultaneously preserving the integrity of the jaw bones. Healthy jaw bone density is vitally important for proper chewing and speaking throughout the life course.
Because a dental implant basically replaces a missing tooth, receiving an implant requires a minor surgical procedure. A dental implant is a titanium cylinder that replaces the tooth root. Implants are surgically implanted into the jaw bone where they fuse, or “osteointegrate,” with the patient’s natural bone, creating a stable foundation for what comes next. In order for the implant to function properly, other components are attached, such as an abutment that rises slightly above the gum line and connects the titanium root to the prosthetic tooth, creating a beautiful, natural-looking, and fully functional smile.
Dental implants can be used to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth, or to support a full denture prosthesis. Our dentists in the greater Portland Maine area can help you with these needs.
Single Tooth Replacement with Dental Implants
At Morgan Dental Care we can replace a single missing tooth using dental implant technology. Typically, a single implant is installed where the natural tooth once was. Because a period of healing and bone fusion is necessary, a temporary “healing cap” may be placed until osteointegration is complete. Once healing and fusion occur, a permanent crown made especially for the patient is placed, producing a stable and fully functional tooth where there was none before.
Oftentimes, a single implant can be placed immediately after a tooth extraction. However, whether or not immediate placement is reasonable depends on level of infection around the extracted tooth, location of the extraction, condition of surrounding teeth and bone, and, of course, patient comfort. This can be determined with our dentist in the greater Portland Maine area.
Multiple Teeth Replacement with Dental Implants
There are two ways to proceed when a patient requires multiple teeth replacement using dental implants. The first option is to simply replace each missing tooth with single tooth implants. This is the usual choice when there are a number of missing teeth.
The second option is to place two or more dental implants that can support a dental bridge that has prosthetic teeth connected to it. In this option, the prosthetic teeth are not surgically implanted into the jaw bone, but rather are a part of the bridge that fills the gap where natural teeth once were. In this case, there may be two implants supporting a bridge comprised of three or four teeth. The teeth that are attached to the dental implant roots are known as the “abutment teeth,” while the teeth that fill the gap where there are no teeth or implants are called “pontics.” Implants can also be used with a denture, wherein the denture “snaps” onto special attachments in the implants, securing the denture to the implants, which are in turn anchored to bone. This particular application of dental implants can make a loose denture much more stable, allowing better function when it comes to chewing and speaking.
Both single and multiple tooth replacement options are considered permanent solutions to lost teeth. These types of implants cannot be removed by the patient like a denture can. Because of their permanent state, dental implants provide a level of stability and confidence unattainable with other tooth replacement options.
To learn more about tooth replacement options using single or multiple dental implants at Morgan Dental Care, click any of the links on this page or call our dentist in the greater Portland Maine area . The team at Morgan Dental Care looks forward to meeting you!
Contact Morgan Dental Care today and schedule an appointment (207) 839-2655.