Dentists commonly use a dental implant to replace a single missing tooth. Thus, when a tooth is lost to trauma or decay, the dentist may suggest an implant that is paired with a dental crown to restore it.
Nevertheless, implants can also be used in conjunction with other devices to replace multiple teeth at once. The implants are still positioned in the bone of the jaw as they would be for a single-tooth restoration. However, several implants are strategically placed along the palate for optimal stabilization of the crown-replacement device.
When an implant is placed, the dentist inserts the device through the gums into the jawbone. The procedure, which is performed in-office, is not lengthy and is completed after the dentist has verified that the jawbone is healthy enough to support the placement of the device.
After the implant is in position, the tissues around the device must heal, including the bone tissues. The healing process of the bone tissues is one of the reasons why dental implants tend to be so secure in the mouth. As the bone heals, the cells integrate with the implant, filling any gaps between the device and the jawbone.
The resulting stabilization is the reason why implants are often used to support teeth-replacement devices that would otherwise be less secure in the mouth.
Here are a couple of teeth replacement options that implants may support.
Without implants, full dentures are primarily held in place by the natural suction that is produced as the device rests against the soft tissues. Still, this suction may not be sufficient to hold the denture in place as the patient chews or speaks. The resulting slipping can make eating and social interactions difficult.
A denture can be fitted with a mechanism on its underside to attach to implants for stabilization. The implants, which may be placed at various sites along the palate, are fitted with abutments to make it easy for the patient to connect and disconnect the appliance.
Unlike dentures, all-on-six implants are considered permanent appliances. The patient cannot detach the false teeth on their own. The all-on-six implants are attached using screws instead of a detachable connector.
Once the all-on-six implant is attached to the six underlying implants, the device is secure, allowing it to perform much like natural teeth.
For more information about implants and their uses, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area.