One thing people wonder about is why these fixtures on top of dental implants are called “restorations.” It’s because they are designed to restore your teeth to their former appearance. Some of them, like dental crowns and dental bridges, can even be placed on top of your natural teeth, where they were used for decades before dental implants became available. New versions were developed to fit on top of dental implants, but they retained the name.
Dental crowns are used to replace a single lost tooth. Crown is also the name for the visible part of the tooth, so it’s appropriate that the visible portion of the implant should be known by the same name.
Dental crowns are normally designed to be permanently affixed to the dental implant. Sometimes, they are affixed directly to the implant, but in other cases there may be a small connector piece, known as an abutment, that connects the crown to the implant.
Dental crowns can be made of a variety of materials. The right one for you depends on the balance between durability and attractiveness that you need. These crowns are very strong, so they can last in most environments, but they are also less flexible, so they’re more likely to break when subjected to excessive pressure. A TMJ dentist can analyze your bite forces to make sure they are within the proper range for the dental implant.
A dental bridge, sometimes called a fixed partial denture (FPD), is designed to replace two or more teeth in a certain area of the mouth. A dental bridge is usually supported by two or more dental implants, depending on the number of teeth being replaced and the amount of force your bite exerts in this area.
Dental bridges are often made with just artificial teeth, but sometimes they are made with artificial gums as well. These cover over your natural gums and can help conceal gum recession related to gum disease or thin gums that may appear discolored because of the implant showing through.
As the name FPD implies, most dental bridges are fully fixed, but recently there has been more of a call for more removable partial dentures supported by dental implants.
Full Denture Restorations
Full dentures are used in restorations when dental implants need to replace a full arch of teeth, such as all your top teeth or all your bottom teeth. Sometimes these are sold under trade names like All-on-4, but neuromuscular dentures are an ideal match for dental implants. These dentures are designed to fully replace the proper dimensions of your lost teeth and jawbone so that your face is restored to its youthful proportions, which can eliminate a sunken facial appearance and reduce facial folds, wrinkles, jowls, and turkey neck.
Dentures can be made either as removable dentures or fully fixed. Removable dentures have to be taken out nightly for cleaning, but they’re less expensive and easier to replace.
Fixed dentures are designed to remain in your mouth at all times. They are stronger and can function just like your natural teeth. They might help with jaw problems and may even help you to breathe and sleep better at night.
Dental hybrids are a compromise between the two types of restorations. Hybrid restorations are secured to dental implants with hidden screws. You can’t remove these restorations at home–and you don’t have to remove them for daily maintenance–but we can remove them. Hybrid restorations give you the strength and security of fixed dentures on a daily basis. But they are less expensive to adjust and repair than fixed dentures.
To learn more about your dental implant restoration options, please call (912) 234-8282 for an appointment with a Savannah implant dentist at Beyond Exceptional Dentistry.