3 Dental Prosthetics Supported by Dental Implants

When it comes to replacing missing teeth, dental implants are considered to be the gold standard of tooth replacement options. This is because they are aesthetic, durable, and long lasting. They also can restore chewing and biting functions, so that the fake teeth can function almost like natural teeth. As a final benefit, they provide the necessary stimulation of the jawbone needed to maintain healthy bone tissue. This ultimately means that the shape of your face will not change shape over time like it would with other tooth replacement options. 

Dental implants can be used to replace one missing tooth, multiple missing teeth, and an entire mouth of missing teeth. They can also be used to replace teeth that are severely damaged or decayed and are in need of extractionThe reason why dental implants can be used for so many different purposes is due to the fact that they can support different types of dental prostheses. Therefore, when having dental implants placed, you and your implant dentist will need to decide which dental prosthesis is best for you. Here are the three main options to consider when choosing a dental prosthetic to use with dental implants: 



A crown is a tooth-shaped cap that normally fits over the top of damaged or decayed teeth. An implant-supported crown, however, fits over the top of the abutment, or connector piece of the dental implant. Implant-supported crowns are used to replace a single missing tooth and only require the placement of a single dental implant. To place an implant-supported crown, a minor oral surgery is needed. First a tiny incision will be made in the gums to access the jawbone. Then the implant will be placed in the jawbone. Until the implant heals and fuses with the surrounding bone, the permanent crown cannot be placed. Instead a temporary crown is used until the permanent restoration can be fabricated. 



A dental bridge is composed of two dental crowns on either side with one or more fake teeth in between. Implant-supported bridges have the same structure, however they are stabilized in place by two implant-supported dental crowns. This means that there will need to be an oral surgery to place two dental implants in order to secure an implant-supported bridge. Your implant dentist may recommend the placement of an implant-supported bridge if you are missing two or more teeth that are adjacent to one another. 



A denture is composed of fake teeth supported by an acrylic base made to look like gums. They use suction to sit atop theggum tissue and are removable. However, when used in coordination with dental implants, dentures can be fixed in place. Implant-supported dentures, also known as all-on-four dentures, are usually supported by placing four dental implants. In some cases, however, more than four implants may need to be used. It is also important to know that implant-supported dentures require the removal of any remaining teeth and are recommended for people with little to no remaining teeth. 


With the versatility of dental implants, there are a variety of ways to replace one or more missing teeth. Dental crowns can be mounted on a dental implant to replace a single missing tooth, while bridges and dentures can be used with multiple dental implants to replace multiple teeth. With so many options available, you are sure to find one that works best for your smile. To learn more, schedule an appointment with your local dental implant specialist. 


Dr. Kramer earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in 1978 from the University of Maryland School of Dentistry, and has maintained his private practice in the Newport Beach area since 1985. His expertise stems from extensive high-level post-graduate study with the masters in the field in the areas of advanced cosmetic reconstructive dentistry, implant dentistry, and sedation dentistry.Dr. Kramer holds current membership with the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation and is recognized as a Fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implantology for his dental implant work.


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