Tooth loss is more common than you’d think, and it doesn’t just affect senior citizens. In fact, 69% of Americans aged 35-44 have lost at least one permanent tooth.
What are your choices if you fall into this category? Rest assured that there are several different types of dental implants available to suit your needs (and fill that gap).
Read on for your quick guide to dental implant options.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants begin with a titanium screw (post) that replaces your lost tooth’s natural roots. It’s surgically placed into your jawbone to serve as the new “roots” for your replacement tooth.
The new tooth, usually a crown, is then attached to the post to replace the lost tooth. Within a few months, the implant fuses to your jawbone and looks and functions like your natural tooth.
Dental Implant Options
Dentists place over 5 million dental implants each year, with a 98% success rate. If you’re considering implants, here are the three main types to choose from.
1. Single Implant
If you have just one missing tooth (or multiple teeth missing but not next to each other), your dentist will recommend a single implant.
Using the procedure outlined above, you’ll undergo a simple surgery to place the post into your jawbone. Once it’s fully healed, usual in 3-4 months, you’ll see your dentist again to have the crown attached.
When properly cared for, your dental implant can last a lifetime. This makes it superior to dentures, veneers, and other temporary solutions for missing teeth.
2. Implant-Supported Bridge
What if you’re missing several teeth next to or very close to each other? Your best option might be an implant-supported bridge.
A normal dental bridge is two crowns on either side of the gap, with an artificial tooth held in place by the crowns. With dental implants, the crown connects to the implants instead of having the crowns attach to the teeth.
The best thing about a bridge is you don’t need an implant for every missing tooth. Two or three implants can easily secure a bridge to replace many adjacent teeth.
3. Implant-Retained Denture
The final option is for people who have lost all or the majority of their teeth. Rather than dealing with removable dentures every day, your dentist can install a “permanent” denture via implants.
Moving along your top or bottom arch (or both), your dentist will place a series of four dental implants. While these heal, they’ll make sure your current dentures are comfortable and don’t disrupt the healing process.
When you’re healed and ready, your dentist will attach a permanent arch of dentures—customized for your mouth—to the dental implants. Say goodbye to those annoying dentures and hello to your fully restored smile!
Which Are the Best Dental Implants for You?
The answer depends on the number of teeth you need replacing and your overall oral health.
Before you meet with your dentist, refer back to this guide to familiarize yourself with the options. Then you’ll know exactly the right questions to ask!
Now that you know the different types of dental implants, what’s next? Browse our other recent article for more informative reads.