Elements of Implants
- An Artificial Root
- An Implant-supported Crown
- Implant-retained Dentures
- “All-on-4” Implants
A dental implant is an “artificial root” that is set into the jaw completely independent of other teeth. This gives the dental implant a secure fit with a very realistic look; without affecting the surrounding teeth.
The cross-sectional diagram shows the key components of a dental implant.
The abutment connects the implant, through the gum, to the prosthesis or crown (the artificial tooth.) An implant treatment will require multiple visits with healing time in-between. Surgery is required to place the implant itself. Other surgeries like bone regeneration may be required. Dental implants are permanently fixed and not removable.
A single tooth can be replaced with an implant-supported crown instead of a traditional dental (or fixed) bridge.
A traditional dental bridge requires crowns (shown in blue above) to be fitted to adjacent healthy natural teeth that have not had any prior work. The crowning process removes healthy material from these anchor teeth.
A dental implant is literally a conservative alternative. Adjacent healthy teeth are not affected in any way. An implant is independently anchored into the jaw on its own titanium post, with the prosthetic crown fitted on top. In some cases, one or two implants can hold a bridge that replaces multiple teeth.
Dental implants can also anchor a full or partial denture.
Typically, four to six implant posts are secured into strategic locations in the jaw, where bone is most dense and the implants can endure the most pressure. The denture is then attached to these posts.
Implant-retained dentures generally do not slip, loosen, or wobble. They offer optimal stability and security and can greatly improve the quality of life of denture patients.
Implant-retained dentures may be permanently fixed in place or removable. The implants themselves are not removable.
An “All-on-4” system has been engineered to effectively secure a full denture (single arch) on just four implants.
The “All-on-4” procedure uses a specially fabricated guide during surgery to ensure the precise placement of the implants.
There is a strict selection process for candidate suitability.