Cosmetic dentistry can completely transform the appearance of a person's mouth. One of the most radical transformations occurs when lost teeth are replaced. Here are a few ways that dental implants can be used to give the mouth a more uniform, attractive appearance.
The Replacement of a Single Tooth
Although one tooth may seem insignificant, when a tooth is lost in the front of the mouth, it can completely change the look of a smile. A dental implant is a great device for replacing a single tooth.
The implant, which is a false dental root that is made of titanium, is placed into the bone of the jaw. Thus, it is positioned just like a natural tooth root. In fact, it even fits into the space along the jawline, where the missing natural tooth previously resided.
Still, the implant alone cannot complete the restoration of a patient's smile. The crown of the missing tooth, which is the portion that bites, chews and is visible when a person smiles, must be replaced.
Once the implant wound has healed, an abutment is added to the device, allowing the implant to connect to a dental crown. A dental crown that is used in an implant restoration is usually matched to the color of the patient's natural teeth to make the restoration appear as natural as possible.
A Full Mouth Restoration
Dental implants can be used to restore a full set of teeth using dentures or a dental bridge.
Dentures are false teeth that have been secured to a frame. Many patients who have worn dentures in the past complain about the appliance slipping about the mouth. However, implant-supported dentures remain in place.
By installing a few dental implants strategically along the palate, the dentist creates anchors to which a denture can attach for stabilization. Patients can attach and detach an implant-supported denture at will.
A fixed bridge can also be secured along the palate using dental implants. the bridge includes false teeth and strategically placed dental crowns. The crowns connect to the dental implants that have been installed. The bridge, however, is not removable like a denture. Instead, it remains in place like a natural set of teeth.
Even though the false teeth of the bridge cannot decay, it is important to maintain good oral hygiene to prevent gum problems that could affect the underlying implants.
For more information about dental implants, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area.