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Dental implants have a screw shape and are generally made of Titanium. They are inserted into the maxillary or mandibular bone by a surgical intervention replacing the root of the missing teeth.
Once healing has occurred your general dentist will insert a dental prosthesis (crown) that substitutes the missing teeth into the implant . This technique allows to replace a single missing teeth, various missing units or even to replace a full arch in case of fully edentulous patients.
In the past the usual treatment to replace a missing teeth was a dental bridge.
If this option is chosen the adjacent natural teeth must be filled down in order to serve as abutments for the bridge.
This option has some disadvantages in the case that the adjacent natural teeth are intact and only replaces the crown but not the missing root.
Dental implants allow replacing the hole tooth without damaging the adjacent teeth restoring the masticatory function.
Replacing a single missing teeth
In the case of missing a group of teeth, the planning is slightly more complex and must have in consideration the future restoration.
The replacement of several missing teeth may be resolved with dental implants that can be placed simultaneously.
As in the case exemplified, there is usually no need to replaced each teeth with a single implant since the loading forces may be distributed into several implants.
In some cases, however, it may be necessary to replace each tooth with a single implant, this is particularly true for edentulous cases of two missing teeth.
Replacing a group of teeth
This situation occurs when there are several missing posterior teeth.
In this particular situation dental implants may be a valid alternative to a removable dental prosthesis.
Single crowns or implant supported bridges will certainly give more comfort and better function as compared to removable prosthesis.
Free end situation
When several teeth are missing in the upper or lower jaw, an implant supported prosthesis may be also possible.
These fixed dental prosthesis give the impression of natural teeth restoring the function of a group of teeth or even a full arch. In this situation it is crucial to study the bone anatomy to evaluate the bone availability and the possible need of regenerative procedures.
This solution may be also adopted in the cases of fully edentulous patients.
When the patient has all missing teeth in the upper or lower maxilla a removable prosthesis that is supported by dental implants may be also envisioned.
This may be a reasonable option to improve the comfort and function in patients that already have complete removable prosthesis since removable implant supported prosthesis are considerably less extent and lack palate support or long flanges making them a preferable option.
Furthermore, this option requires less implants as compared to a fully fixed option and allows patients to remove them and clean them on a daily basis.
Removable implant prosthesis
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