Dental implants are designed to support multiple types of dental restorations. A single implant root is so strong that it not only can support an individual crown, it can also help anchor a bridge or even a full mouth denture. Some dental patients will have their implant surgically placed by an oral surgeon, and then return to their dentist for the final implant restorative procedure. Or, patients with existing dental implant restorations may find that they need a new restoration for whatever reason. Here is a brief run-down on the types of restorations available for dental implants:
The abutment is a separate part of the implant that supports the restoration. It is screwed into the implant root after the implant has been exposed following a few months of bone integration. Abutments are usually implant specific, but any type of restoration can be placed onto it.
Dental crowns are cemented directly onto the abutment of the dental implant. Most implant crowns are made completely of porcelain, and are color matched to the adjacent teeth. The final crown is similar to a regular dental crown, and it looks and functions just like a normal tooth.
Implant bridges are different from standard dental bridges, because they can replace more teeth at one time. A traditional bridge can only replace one or two teeth, but implant-supported dentures can replace 3 or more teeth. An implant bridge is supported on either end by the implant, supporting the pontic crowns across the open space.
An “all on 4” denture is an implant supported denture that is permanently anchored into place. It is horseshoe-shaped, eliminating the need for an acrylic plate across the top of the mouth. This makes it easier to talk and eat!
Posted on behalf of David Kurtzman
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