A dental implant can be applied to complete many different types of dental restorations. The implant, which replaces the roots of a lost tooth, can be topped by a number of prosthetic devices that are used to replace the natural crown.
Here are two prosthetic devices that may be paired with implants.
Implant-Secured Top Dentures
A traditional top denture is held in place by suction. The device rests against the soft tissues of the roof of the mouth. Since the denture is fabricated from an impression of the patient's oral cavity, the device is flush against the tissues, creating suction.
Nevertheless, the suction may not be sufficient to prevent the device from shifting in the mouth when the patient chews or speaks. As a result, the patient may be unable to eat a wide variety of foods or feel comfortable communicating in social settings.
Dental implants can be placed in the upper jaw and used to hold the top denture in place. Each implant is drilled through the gums and into the bone of the jaw. During the next few months after the implant's placement, the bone cells of the jaw grow around the device during a process called osseointegration. As the cells fill the spaces between the jawbone and the implant, the device is secured in position.
Implant-supported dentures are fitted with a mechanism that allows the dentures to connect and disconnect from abutments that are added to the implants. The implant stability is shared with the denture as the denture is connected to the dental implants.
When a single tooth is replaced by a dental implant, a dental crown is used to cover the device. After osseointegration is complete, the implant is fitted with an abutment, or connector. The crown is added to cover the implant and complete the restoration.
The dental crown is designed to fit the contours of the patient's mouth. Additionally, if the crown is made of porcelain or resin, the color of the material may be matched to that of the patient's other teeth. The shape and color of the crown create a seamless restoration. In addition, since a dental implant can withstand the same bite force as a natural tooth, the patient's ability to chew is fully restored.
If you have one or more missing teeth and are considering a dental implant restoration, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area.