Implants are used to replace missing tooth roots and support replacement teeth. Implants can also be used to support ill-fitting dentures.
Implants are not for everyone. You must be in good general health, have healthy gums and enough bone in your jaw to support the implant(s). You must be willing to see your dentist or dental specialist multiple times until the work is done, and take very good care of your implant(s).
It’s normal for bone to shrink if it no longer has teeth to support. Because an implant sticks to bone, the bone is less likely to shrink. But if you have been missing teeth for some time, you may have lost bone. A bone graft can build up the bone so it can support an implant. When a bone graft is done, bone is added to the area where your jawbone has shrunk.
A bridge, also called a “fixed bridge” or a “fixed dental prosthesis,” is a dental restoration that replaces one or more missing teeth. It extends across an area that has no teeth and is typically made up of an artificial tooth fused between two crowns. (A crown is a hollow, artificial tooth that fits over a natural tooth or a dental implant). The bridge is held firmly in place by your own teeth on each side of the missing one(s) or by dental implants. A bridge is permanent and cannot be removed.
Dentures are artificial replacements for your natural teeth and gums. If an accident, a disease, or poor oral health care has left you with only a few healthy teeth or none at all, your dentist or denture specialist might suggest dentures to replace your missing teeth.
There are 2 types of dentures: partial and complete. For both types of dentures your dentist or specialist makes a model of your teeth by taking impressions. The models are used to custom-make your dentures.