Implants are the modern way to replace missing teeth. The implant, which is made of titanium, is fitted in bone where the tooth root would normally be. When fully integrated to the bone, a post (or abutment) is attached to the implant and a crown, bridge or denture is then placed over the abutment to replace the missing tooth or teeth.
Dr. Jonathan Miller fits dental implants at his practice in Norwood, Johannesburg. Missing teeth often lose the surrounding soft tissue and bone and if the loss is significant, soft tissue and/or bone grafting may also be required either at the same time as implant placement or beforehand. Dr. Miller will also do the grafting procedure at his Norwood practice.
Implant Supported Bridges
The big advantage of a single tooth implant over a bridge is that it can replace the tooth without interfering with teeth on either side, unlike a bridge. Bridged teeth are joined together and floss cannot be passed in between like natural teeth or implant crowns.
If multiple teeth are missing then, very often, there are not enough teeth to provide long term support to bridges anyway. Implants are therefore essential to support multiple implant crowns or implant supported bridges.
If most or all of the teeth are missing then implant supported dentures may be an option. For full denture wearers, retention is often a big problem as bone support recedes. Even the best fitting dentures can feel loose. A full upper denture also requires a large area over the palate to obtain suction which can interfere with taste and the enjoyment of food. Implant supported dentures on the other hand are firmly clipped in and do not require the palate to be covered for suction.
Dental implants are incorporated with other treatments such as crowns, bridges and veneers as part of full smile makeovers or full mouth reconstructions following the same processes of smile design.