Parts—dental implants typically have three parts.

  1. The Implant: a screw that serves as a root for your new teeth. This is inserted into the jawbone and is usually made of high-quality metal such as medical-grade titanium.
  2. The Abutment: a component that attaches to the implant and extends through the soft tissue to support the replacement tooth.
  3. The Crown: the part of the replacement tooth you can see. It’s usually made of porcelain or zirconium for durability and a natural-looking appearance.

Single-Tooth Replacement Dental Implants—replacing a single missing tooth is very important to the surrounding teeth and the bone structure under the missing tooth. If the missing tooth is not replaced the surrounding teeth will begin to shift towards the open space (the other teeth with likely move as well), and the bone under the missing tooth will begin to erode. The adjacent teeth will not move and this bone erosion is lessened when a dental bridge or partial is used to replace the missing tooth instead of an implant.

If the missing tooth is in your ‘smile zone’, the dentist placing the single-tooth dental implant needs to understand the aesthetic importance of matching your other teeth so that the end result looks completely natural.

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Single-tooth replacement options

Option 1
Option 2

OPTION 1—Replace the tooth with a single dental implant, abutment and crown. The dental implant will look, feel, and function like your original tooth. It may last a lifetime and should prevent any further bone loss.

OPTION 2—Natural-tooth-supported bridgework—a bridge from the teeth on each side of the missing tooth. This should look natural; however, it may allow for more bone loss to develop and may allow food to get under it. This procedure requires the adjacent teeth to be filed down.

Single missing tooth
The implant is placed into the jawbone
The abutment and crown are added

Benefits of Single-tooth Dental Implants

  1. function better than any other solution (eat most any food)
  2. feels like your own tooth (maintain same as natural teeth)
  3. most permanent solution (over 95% success rate)
  4. minimize bone loss (helps to save surrounding teeth)
  5. resist gum disease
  6. implants do not get cavities
  7. implants never need root canals
  8. last a lifetime (first implant patient ever placed died 40 years later with the implant still in place)

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Multiple-Teeth Replacement—the best way to replace multiple missing teeth is also with dental implants for all of the same reasons: helps prevent further bone loss, easy maintenance, looks natural and functions like your original teeth.

Implant Secured Partial—often only two implants are required to secure a partial designed to replace six to eight teeth in a row.

Implant Secured Dentures—a full arch, upper or lower, is often secured with four or more dental implants. Some implant secured dentures are patient removable and others can only be removed by the dentist.

Benefits of Implant-secured Dentures

  1. function better than any other solution (eat most any food)
  2. don't develop odors or need special cleaning or adhesives
  3. won't shift, fall out or feel uncomfortable
  4. easily chew and speak; smile proudly

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