Dental implants are the best solution for many different conditions, ranging from one or several missing teeth to complete loss of teeth in a jaw. In this procedure implants are being introduced into the jaw bone, and they serve as roots which will carry future dental crowns.
The artificial tooth is a common name for three parts of such a tooth: the screw that is inserted into bone, an abutment that connects the screw with the crown, and the dental crown itself. There are less dental screws than there are crowns, as 4-6 screws in one jaw are sufficiently strong to carry all dental crowns in that jaw.
These days, implant insertion is a routine operation that is successful in more than 96% of cases. Even if all the teeth are missing, the procedure is quick. It is done in two phases with a three months break, during which a patient is given temporary dentures, so the procedure itself will not influence the patient’s life in any way.
The number of natural teeth needed for a dental bridge is same as the number of screws needed for an implants based bridge. Usually, crowns anchored on implants are physically separated from crowns on other teeth, but in some cases it is possible to connect implants and natural teeth in the same bridge.
So, implants are one solution for partial tooth loss, dental bridge being the other, but implants are better solutions in several cases:
As a solution for total toothlessness, the complete implant treatment is again one option, while the other is denture anchored to dental implants. The difference between two techniques is explained in sections “Complete implant treatment” and “Dentures anchored on implants”.