Types of Dental Implants
Dental implants have revolutionized the way in which we can provide treatment for tooth loss. Implants involve the use of small titanium posts to support dental restorations. The posts are surgically placed directly into your jawbone, where the bone then gradually fuses to the material to create a stable root. Once you have fully healed, your restorations are secured to them, providing you with a long-term, even permanent, solution. Dental implants are extremely versatile, and they can be used to replace any number of missing teeth. At Greater Charlotte Oral and Facial Surgery, we can help to determine the best type of dental implants to meet your specific needs.
Single Tooth Implants
Much like the name implies, a single tooth implant is made to replace an individual tooth. We use a single post as well as a single crown. It is possible to have multiple single-tooth implants in your mouth. They can be in different areas of the mouth, or single tooth implants can be right next to each other.
An implant-supported bridge is made to replace two or more consecutive missing teeth. The number of posts required for this treatment relies on a few different factors, mainly how many teeth are being replaced and the condition of your jawbone.
Full Arch Restorations
Dental implants can even be used to replace an entire arch of missing teeth, providing you with an alternative to traditional dentures. A typical full arch restoration or implant-supported denture uses six to eight implant posts to provide support for an entire arch of replacement teeth.
Bar Retained Implants
In some cases, the jawbone may not be strong enough to support the posts necessary for a typical implant-supported denture. While a bone graft can be used to restore missing bone mass, this requires an additional surgical procedure and recovery time. There are options for replacing an entire arch of missing teeth that can help you to avoid the need for a bone graft. One of these options is a bar retained implant or bar attachment denture. This type of implant uses four posts, which are connected by a titanium bar. Your replacement teeth then clip into place on the bar.
The All-on-4® Treatment Concept
The All-on-4 Treatment Concept is another option for replacing a full arch of missing teeth when your jawbone is too weak for a regular full arch restoration. This treatment uses four posts to support an entire arch of replacement teeth. These posts are strategically implanted into your jaw. Two posts are placed vertically at the front of your jaw, where there is naturally more bone mass. The other two posts are placed at the back of the jaw. These posts are placed at 45-degree angles, an angle which maximizes the contact between the posts and your existing bone mass, allowing for optimal osseointegration. The teeth are then screwed into place. In addition to avoiding the need for a bone graft, your sinus cavities are protected, preventing the need for a sinus lift.
Mini implants are dental implants with a much thinner diameter. They can be used to replace teeth in narrow spaces or teeth that are small. Additionally, mini implants can also be used when you do not have sufficient bone mass in your jaw. Mini implants can replace a single tooth or multiple teeth. Where regular dental implants have an abutment that sits on the end of the implant to provide stability for the restorations, a mini implant has a ball at the end, and the restoration is secured into place with a socket and elastic O-ring.
Schedule An Appointment
To learn more about the benefits of dental implants or to find out if you may be a candidate, check out our Dental Implant FAQ page. No matter if you are missing one tooth or you are missing several, dental implants can help to restore the functions of your mouth, your smile, and your life. Contact Greater Charlotte Oral and Facial Surgery to schedule your appointment to discuss your options today.