Here at the Dental Health Blog, our singular goal is to educate and inform our Littleton area community about dental health, best practices among prosthodontists, and the latest news about prosthetic dentistry. With this in mind, here are some basic facts about dental implants: their use and effectiveness as a viable tooth replacement therapy.
What are dental implants?
A dental implant is essentially a titanium screw that is inserted into your jaw bone to replace the root of your lost tooth. A dental prosthetic is then attached to the implant to replace your lost tooth, or teeth. They can then be used as a foundation for a single crown, a bridge, or a full set of dentures to replace the teeth you’ve lost, whether due to aging, infection, or from dental trauma. In other words, the implant is basically screwed into the jaw bone, and a dental prosthetic is then installed.
When are dental implants used?
Dental implants can be installed at a healed site, where there is no tooth and has not been for some time; or can be used to replace an existing tooth that requires extraction, called immediate tooth replacement.
If you are missing multiple teeth in a discrete area, say two or three teeth adjoining one another, implants can be used to anchor a bridge which will then span a certain distance, from 4-12 teeth at a time. Implants may also be used to install a single crown, or an entire upper or lower tooth replacement, what is called a “snap-on denture”, to replace all of your upper or lower teeth, using 3-4 implants to secure your new dentures.
If you have recently lost a tooth, or are about to lose one, an immediate implant may be used to replace your tooth on a temporary basis, until the area has healed following your dental implant surgery, and then a permanent tooth replacement will be installed.
It must be said here that not every patient is a viable candidate for dental implants for one reason or another, most commonly due to the amount of bone (or the lack of bone) available at the implant site, and that each patient must be evaluated on an individual basis.
The doctors and staff at the The Colorado Center for Implants and Prosthetic Dentistry, are your full-service Littleton dental implants specialist and are experts in all types of tooth replacement therapy. If you would like more information on your family’s dental needs, make an appointment today.