A dental implant is often used as a replacement for a single lost tooth. However, implants are also used in dental restorations that involve multiple teeth. Here are a few ways that dental implants can be used to replace more than one tooth:
Dental bridges are dental devices that include a dental crown on each end of the device. In the center of the device, there are one or more false teeth. The false teeth are suspended there to replace the missing tooth or teeth. However, the bridge crowns are placed over existing teeth or dental implants to help secure the dental bridge in place. The dental bridge is considered permanent. The bonding of the crowns must stabilize the bridge in a way that will support the longevity of the device.
In some cases, a dental patient has natural teeth bordering the gap left by the missing tooth or teeth. However, in other instances, there are no teeth available to secure the dental bridge in place. In such instances, dental implants can be used instead of natural teeth.
The implant screws are implanted into the jawbone, where healing must take place to allow the cells of the jawbone to fuse with the biocompatible metal of the implant. After this fusion is complete, the bridge crowns can be properly connected to the implants so that the missing teeth can be replaced.
Dentures can also be used to replace multiple missing teeth. Traditional full dentures are held in place using the natural suction of the mouth. Still, these dentures may be prone to some slipping as the patient eats or speaks.
Another type of denture, which is called an overdenture, is still removable but is held in the patient's mouth by connectors. These connectors are designed to attach to remaining natural teeth or to dental implants. The underside of the overdenture contains the connectors that allow it to become stabilized by the dental implants. The connection can be released by the dental patient whenever he or she pleases so that the dentures can be properly cleaned and cared for.
If you are missing multiple teeth but would like to have a secure appliance in your mouth, there are dental options available that include the use of one or more dental implants. Schedule a consultation with a dentist in your area to learn the best options for your particular situation. Visit a practice, such as the Dental Services Of Rochester, for more information.