A dental implant may be used as the foundation for a number of dental applications. The versatile device is situated in the bone of the jaw, where it replaces the natural roots of a missing tooth.
The roots are the portions of the tooth that help to hold it in place. Thus, they provide a foundation for the crown, which is the part of a tooth that is visible in the oral cavity. Likewise, an implant holds other devices that replace the crown of a tooth in place.
Here are some of the devices that the dental implant is used to support.
Dentures replace the crowns of a number of teeth. Full dentures replace the teeth of an entire palate, and partial dentures serve as tooth replacements when some but not all of the teeth of the palate are missing.
Since a denture may not remain firmly in place on its own, dentists may suggest dental implants to support the device. The implants are positioned strategically in the palate to provide the greatest amount of support for the denture. They are also fitted with abutments that connect the implants to mechanisms on the underside of the denture.
The denture still remains removable. The patient can connect or disconnect the denture from the dental implants as needed. Nevertheless, the denture is held firmly in place as long as it is connected to the implants. The stabilization of the implants in the jawbone, which is due to osseointegration, is shared with the denture upon connection.
A dental crown is often used in the replacement of a single tooth. The crown, like the implant-supported denture, is attached to the implant.
After osseointegration is complete and the implant has fully integrated with the bone of the jaw, the dentist adds an abutment to the implant and contours the gums around the device. They then add the crown to complete the tooth replacement. The prosthetic device functions and looks like a natural tooth. It can even support a similar degree of bite pressure that a normal tooth experiences as you chew.
A dentist can use a dental bridge to replace one or more lost teeth. The device is held in the mouth by the crowns that are parts of the appliance structure. The crowns may be attached to the abutment teeth, but they can also be attached to dental implants.
To learn more about dental implants and their uses, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area.