Implant support constitutes one of the two ways to replace a missing tooth with something that is “fixed,” meaning it is not removable by the patient.
The tooth replacement consists of a crown that is cemented onto a fixture called the implant abutment. The implant abutment is affixed to a titanium-coated, threaded cylinder, called the dental implant. The implant has been previously placed into the supporting bone by one of our area’s finest implant specialists. The implant placement is not a difficult procedure. It is performed in the specialist’s office using local anesthetics, and usually involves minimal post treatment discomfort.
In most cases, the crown cannot be placed onto the implant for a period usually lasting about three months. This time is necessary for the implant to integrate with the surrounding bone. Once this integration has occurred, implant longevity is almost that of a natural, uncompromised tooth. During this period, the patient wears a temporary tooth replacement appliance for cosmetic reasons.
Implants can be used to support single tooth crowns or multiple unit bridges. Implant-supported restorations can be made to look extremely natural. These restorations can support all the load force of a natural tooth, and do not compromise chewing function.
Implant restorations are ideal when there is not a tooth present on both sides of a space, meaning a tooth-supported bridge is not possible. They also represent the more conservative option when it is desirable to avoid permanently altering the surrounding natural teeth.