With many dental restoration options sharing similarities, it is easy to see why people become confused about what each of them does and which problems they can be used to resolve. When it comes to replacing missing teeth, we are fortunate to be able to offer our patients a number of different solutions. Two that are often mistaken for one another implant over-dentures and implant bridges. To help you understand more about them, including how they differ, here are the most frequently asked questions we are posed about each.
One of the most common questions we are asked is why many conventional dental treatments for tooth replacement are now being replaced with implant-based techniques. There is a very important and simple reason for this. Dental implants are the only current solution that enables patients to replace the root of their missing tooth with an artificial alternative. By replacing the tooth root with a titanium post, patients can reap a number of benefits which include:
Prevention of deterioration of the jaw bone. The titanium post can halt the natural deterioration of the jaw bone that occurs when teeth are missing.
Implant-based solutions are more stable and secure than other tooth-replacement devices.
There is no pressure placed on natural, healthy teeth to support the devices that could result in damage and the need for further dental work.
Implant-supported solutions don’t require removal for cleaning, enabling you to brush your teeth normally and reducing the risk of damage from dropping them.
Implant-supported devices have been shown to be longer-lasting than other alternatives.
Implant over-dentures are recommended for patients who have all or most of their teeth missing in either their upper or lower arch. While traditional over-dentures are supported on existing remaining teeth, implant over-dentures are placed onto dental implant posts that have been pre-inserted at specific locations in the jaw.
Just like conventional dentures, implant over-dentures are removable appliances. However, they cannot be removed by the patient, only by your dental professional if maintenance is required. You can brush your teeth, including your prosthetic teeth, just as normal to keep them in excellent condition.
If you already have an existing denture, it is likely that you will continue to wear this while your implants heal and fuse to the jaw bone. After this time, you will be created a new denture that has special attachments to connect it securely to the implanted posts. In some instances, it may be possible to retrofit an existing denture with the necessary attachments, but this cannot be guaranteed.
As the name suggests, implant bridges are a solution that combines the design of a conventional bridge with the benefits of dental implants. Conventional dental bridges comprise of a series of false teeth that are attached to one another in a row. While in a traditional bridge you can expect the device to be attached by placing the crowns either side of the fake tooth over your natural teeth, dental implant bridges are instead attached to previously inserted implant posts. It is important to note that implant bridges are used to replace just a few missing teeth rather than a partial or full arch.
An implant bridge is typically recommended in the following scenarios:
To replace a broken tooth
To replace a tooth that has very poor bone support
To replace an infected tooth
To replace a conventional bridge
One of the biggest concerns of patients is that their prosthetic teeth will be obvious and have a negative effect on the appearance of their smile. However, both of these solutions involve custom-designed teeth that are designed specifically to resemble your natural teeth as closely as possible in shape, size, and color.
If you would like to find out more about implant over-dentures or implant bridges, or if you would like to schedule a consultation to discover if you are a suitable candidate for either of these solutions, please don’t hesitate to contact our New York offices where our experienced team are waiting to help you transform your smile.