A dental implant is an artificial tooth root used to support restorations that resemble a single tooth or a number of teeth. Almost all dental implants placed in the 21st century appear similar to an actual tooth root and are placed within the bone.
Dental implants can be used to support crowns, implant-supported bridges, dentures and other dental prostheses.
Dental Implants for Dentures
A full denture is difficult for many patients to wear and get used to. Sore spots and difficulty chewing are caused when a denture moves around in the mouth. Over time the dental ridges required to support a denture shrink, making it difficult for the dentures to stay in place.
Implants can be utilized to hold the denture in place and improve fit and function.
Lower dentures require 2 implants to properly hold them in place for normal function, one on each side. Additional implants, will provide additional stability. Although implants are usually placed for stability of lower dentures, implants can also be placed to add to the stability of upper dentures.
Dental Implants: The Procedure
In its most basic form the placement of a dental implant requires a preparation into the bone using either hand osteotomes or precision drills with highly regulated speed to prevent burning or pressure necrosis of the bone. After a variable amount of time to allow the bone to grow on to the surface of the implant, a tooth or group of teeth can be placed on the implant. The amount of time required to place an implant will vary depending on the experience of the practitioner, the quality and quantity of the bone and the difficulty of the individual situation.