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Implant Supported Crowns and Bridges

 

Dental implants are now considered the state of the art when it comes to replacement of missing teeth. They replace only the tooth or teeth missing without altering or placing additional stresses on adjacent teeth. Implants also help preserve bone in the area it is placed. They can be highly esthetic. They are impervious to decay. Implants act to replace the root structure of missing teeth and provide the base where a crown or bridge can be attached to function as the natural tooth did.

Single Tooth Implants

In the instance of a single missing tooth, the implant may be placed at the time the tooth is removed or may be delayed if infection or other conditions dictate. Once placed, the bone attaches or grows to the body of the implant locking it to the jaw securely. Generally bone takes a matter of 8-12weeks for this to occur (much the same as the time bone takes to heal after a broken bone) and after the implant has integrated (fused to the bone) the crown can be constructed. The crown is held to the implant by a post (called an abutment) which is threaded into the implant. The abutment looks very similar to a natural tooth when it has been shaped to receive a crown. A standard impression is made of the area and a crown is made so that when cemented to place it blends with adjacent and opposing teeth both esthetically and functionally.

Implant Bridges

When a segment of teeth is missing implant bridges are a superior alternative to a removable appliance. Commonly if 3 teeth are missing, two implants act as the anchors (abutments) to support a bridge (segment of replacement teeth). The placement of implants and impression sequence are similar to the above example of a single tooth implant. The bridge once fabricated is cemented to the abutments so the prosthesis is secure and does not come out. Special care is taken in construction of the bridge to mimic natural adjacent teeth to restore esthetics and function

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