There are two types of dental implants: single tooth implants and implants used to replace multiple teeth.
What Are Dental Implant Restorations?
Dental implants work to replace the root or roots of a missing tooth. This may involve only the missing tooth, or the surrounding teeth if more than one tooth is missing or damaged. The appropriate restoration is then custom-fit to the implant to restore the normal appearance and function of the tooth. For single tooth implants, Dr. Schultz and her laboratory will create a custom-made tooth (called a dental crown) that permanently attaches to your implant. Implants used to replace multiple teeth are usually placed to support dental bridges and dentures. A dental implant-supported bridge does not need support from surrounding teeth and relies instead on the strength of the implants.
Do I Need a Dental Implant Restoration?
Dental implant restorations can benefit those who want to restore the appearance or function of one or more missing teeth. Patients might be recommended an implant if the tooth is badly damaged or decayed, and needs to be removed and replaced. For patients who are missing all of their teeth, an implant-supported denture can replace these teeth, while providing more stability than conventional dentures. Because dental implants integrate (fuse) with the jawbone, they also allow for more comfortable biting and chewing with your denture(s).
What to Expect During Treatment
Your treatment process will begin with implant placement. Dr. Schultz works closely with her oral surgery team, who will create an opening in the gum and bone in the area of the missing tooth, and place the implant. Once your implant has fused with the jawbone (4-6 mnths), your crown or other restoration will be made. Dentures and implant-supported dental bridges are custom-made to attach to your implant for the most natural look and fit, depending on your individual treatment needs. During the fabrication of any of these prostheses (replacement tooth or teeth), you may be fitted with a temporary restoration until the permanent one is ready to be placed.
If you have a missing tooth or teeth and are interested in talking about options to replace them, contact Dr. Schultz and her team to see if dental implants may be right for you!