A tooth implant, or dental implant, is a metal replacement for a missing root. It consists of a small titanium screw surgically inserted into your jawbone under your gum tissue. As you heal from the procedure, the bone and implant fuse together, creating a stable foundation for tooth restoration.
There are three types of tooth implants, each with pros and cons. Although not every patient is a candidate for implants, learning about them will help you decide which type is best for you.
Types of Tooth Implants
After meeting with an implant expert, you’ll know whether you are a good candidate for tooth implants. Your dentist will create a customized treatment plan based on your needed procedure.
Single Tooth Replacement
A single tooth implant is a reasonable solution when you are missing one tooth or multiple teeth that aren’t adjacent.
During a single tooth implant procedure, the dentist inserts the implant into your jawbone. Afterward, the implant needs three to four months to fuse with the bone. Once it has healed, a customized crown is connected to the screw using an abutment. This artificial tooth replicates a natural tooth and will match your surrounding teeth.
When multiple adjacent teeth are missing, your best option is an implant-supported bridge. This procedure is similar to a single tooth implant. However, this restoration has two crowns on either side of the missing tooth, with an artificial tooth placed between the crowns. An implant-supported bridge connects to dental implants for support.
An implant-supported denture may be ideal if you’ve lost most or all of your teeth in one arch. Traditional denture-related problems like clicking or sliding are no longer an issue because your denture is permanently secured with tooth implants.
In this procedure, the dentist strategically places implants along your arch to prepare it for your custom denture. You’ll have a healing period where you continue to wear your current denture, but once the implant sites have healed, your custom denture will fasten onto them, securing the denture in place.
What Makes a Good Tooth Implant Candidate?
Anyone interested in implants must receive a thorough evaluation from a qualified dentist. Your candidacy is based on the following criteria.
When you lose a tooth, the surrounding bone slowly deteriorates. Because the implant inserts into the bone, a certain amount of bone must still be present. You may not qualify for tooth implants if you don’t have enough bone.
Dental implants more successfully integrate into the bones of mature adults. Younger adults and children may need to wait until their facial structure is fully developed, which is typically around age 16 for girls and 18 for boys.
Like with any surgery, your health must be good before getting tooth implants. Dental implants may not be feasible if you suffer from medical conditions like diabetes or gum disease.
Which Tooth Implant Suits Your Needs?
Tooth implants are an optimal solution for any patient with missing teeth. Dental implants have a 95% success rate when all criteria are met, according to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry.
Talk to a team member from Scottsdale Dental and Facial Aesthetics to learn more about your options for tooth implants. We have a state-of-the-art facility and the latest technology. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.