What is an implant? An implant is a titanium cylinder like structure placed into the upper or lower jawbone where a patient has lost a tooth or teeth. It is sometimes affectionately referred to as a synthetic root.
There are two main applications of dental implants in today’s restorative dentistry. An implant can either be used to support permanent teeth like crowns or bridges, or it can support removable teeth commonly referred to as partial or full dentures.
In permanent teeth restorations a single implant can be used to replace one missing tooth or multiple implants can be used to replace several teeth. For example if you were to fracture a tooth that cannot be fixed an implant can be placed into the space of the broken tooth, then a crown (a synthetic tooth) can be screwed or cemented to the supporting implant structure. This crown will look, feel and function just as the natural tooth did. We can also place many implants and even entire dentitions of teeth if someone has lost all of their teeth.
The other avenue where implants are useful is giving support to removable dentures. A removable denture is a dental prosthetic appliance that replace one, many or an entire mouth of teeth. This denture is not permanently affixed to the patient’s mouth so it is taken in and out by the patient for cleaning, after meals and at night. Even for the most adaptive of patients, these appliances are typically a struggle to function with. A denture has many drawbacks include reduced comfort and stability when trying to chew properly. With implants a denture can be made to attach to the implants for support. The implant placed into the bone can have different types of attachments placed into the implant and depending on the application these attachments could be shaped like a ball, snap, magnet to name a few, and the corresponding piece will be processed into the denture so that when the denture is placed in the mouth there is support from the implants. Leaving the denture much more stable, and the patient can function much more efficiently.
Patients who wear top dentures sometimes complain that the denture is uncomfortable because it covers the entire palate for support. We can use implants for proper support and as a result we can often remove this palatal coverage leading to a much more comfortable appliance. The diagram below shows an upper denture with full palatal support vs. a much more comfortable open palate because enough implants were placed for support.
Finally implants can be used to support teeth in what is called a hybrid denture. This denture is made to be screwed into multiple implants only by the dentist and it gives the patient stability and function much more closely to a patient’s natural dentition with out the costs of crowns on all the teeth.
For more information and options on how implants can help you or to determine if you are a candidate for implants call the office of South Florida Laser Dentistry. We can discuss your interest and concerns, and all options and costs before any treatment is ever scheduled.
Are you considering dental implants?Call us at 954 726 4511 or complete the online form to schedule a consultation with Tamarac dentist Dr. Seth Pomerantz. Our dental practice in Tamarac welcomes patients from: Coral Springs, Margate, North Lauderdale, Tamarac, Coconut Creek and Parkland.Other Services