Types of Dental Implants
Why Replace Missing Teeth?
Missing teeth should be replaced as soon as possible to maintain dental health. After a tooth is lost, the jawbone that used to house the tooth root quickly begins to resorb or melt, back into the body. The tooth root serves a vital function in stimulating and keeping the jaw bone strong through continues daily use like chewing.
Once the jawbone has started to resorb, the teeth on either side of the gap left by the missing tooth will shift and attempt to fill the gap. Eventually, these teeth will become loose, and the process is repeated in a domino effect in each consecutive pair of adjacent teeth. This affects your bite pattern and can even create unwanted changes in the shape of your face. We recommend seeking a restoration as soon as possible after a tooth has been lost.
Materials: Titanium and Zirconia
Dental implants are typically made of either titanium. The titanium screw of the implant easily bonds to your jaw bone in a process called osseointegration, thus revitalizing and even strengthening your jaw bone. The arrests the resorption described above. Titanium implants provide a base for a natural looking tooth restoration called a crown.
Zirconia implants are a tooth-colored alternative to titanium implants, often marketed as non-metal or “ceramic.” Zirconia implants are made of one solid piece and can be more prone to fracturing during adjustments. Zirconia implants are also typically smaller than titanium implants. Patients who require only a single implant, and are concerned with aesthetics, may prefer Zirconia implants.
Single Tooth Implants: Post, Abutment, Restoration
Single tooth, titanium, implants are comprised of three parts: the post, the abutment, and the restoration. The implant, which resembles a small screw, is inserted into an opening in the jawbone. The abutment works as a connector, joining the implant post to the crown. The crown is custom made to match the rest of your smile.
A single tooth implant is one that is used to replace an individual tooth. It consists of three components.
|•||The post. The post is the actual implant part. It is surgically placed into your jawbone. As you heal, your bone fuses to the post, stabilizing it within your jaw and turning it into an artificial root.
|•||The abutment. The abutment is also called the connector. This small piece is placed on the top of the implant post. It functions to provide stability for your dental restoration.
|•||The restoration. The restoration is the replacement tooth, also called the crown. Typically made from ceramic, the restoration is made to look exactly like the missing tooth. It restores the functions of your missing tooth and improves the quality of your smile.|
Multiple Tooth Implants: Bridge, Denture, All on 4
Multiple tooth implants replace several missing adjacent teeth, up to and including a full arch denture or the popular All-on-4 method. With an implant supported bridge, two implants on either side of a missing tooth serve as anchors for one or more prosthetic teeth.
An implant supported removable denture provides the stimulation needed to retain jaw bone density, allowing patients to maintain their natural face shape and contribute to greater oral health. The denture will fix to the implants but can still be removed daily for cleaning.
The All-on-4 method refers to a system of implant-based restoration that can support a full arch of fixed dentures on only four implants. All-on-4 can be completed in as little as one office visit and combines all the benefits of implant treatment coupled with full denture restoration.
Dental implants are an incredible treatment for replacing missing teeth. With so many different types, we can meet some different needs. For more information, and to find out if dental implants are right for you. Our team is happy to answer your questions surrounding the types of dental implants. Contact our oral surgeon, Joseph Radakovich, DMD, at our Portland, OR 97213 office for more information. (503) 455-4673