If you have thought about replacing your teeth or dentures with dental implants, there are several different types of implants to consider. Which you choose may depend on your dentist’s recommendation, the condition of your mouth, the cost and what you are looking for as far as your smile and oral health.
Single Dental Implants
If you have just one or a few teeth that need to be replaced, single implants can be used. An implant involves the surgical placement of a titanium post into your jawbone, and the placement of an artificial tooth on top of the post. In order for single implants to work, you must have enough bone left in your jaw for the implants to be surgically placed. Your dentist will give you a preliminary exam to determine if you have enough jawbone, and will ask you questions about your health to determine if you are a good candidate for this type of implant.
Several teeth can be replaced with the insertion of only a few posts. Multiple implants can replace a few missing teeth in a section of the mouth. Ultimately someone with no teeth could get all of them replaced with multiple implants. Like single implants, this type of implant requires enough jawbone for the implants to be placed. This procedure is similar to a bridge but instead of using shaved down teeth to attach the set of teeth, it uses two implants in the jawbone on either end to place the row of 2 or 3 teeth.
All-on-4 is an option for replacing all the teeth in your mouth and is only applicable to those who obviously don’t have all of their teeth or use dentures. With this process, only four posts are implanted; four on top and four on the bottom, and artificial teeth that are similar to denture plates are affixed to the posts. Unlike dentures, these artificial teeth are permanent. The good news for people who do not have enough jawbone for regular implants is that they may be able to get All-on-4 implants as the process uses existing bone to place the implants.
Implant Supported Dentures
The most secure type of dentures involves implants that the dentures snap onto. The implants are often only placed in the lower jaw, since most denture wearers have more problems with their lower denture slipping than their upper denture. It usually takes two implants to support the denture. These dentures are removable like regular dentures, but will stay in place securely and need no adhesives. Sometimes this procedure is referred to as “mini implants.”
Implants can be expensive no matter which route you go but the cost of different types of implants is something that you should discuss with your dentist. Insurance usually doesn’t cover 100% of implants, but many Babcock dentists offer financing and flexible payment plans. Compared to regular dentures, bridges or individual false teeth, implants offer much more stability and the look and feel of natural teeth and can be a great option for many people.