Dental implantation refers to the practice of having titanium screws inserted into your jawbone for the sake of replacing one or more natural teeth that were previously at the site of implantation. They are an artificial way to replace tooth roots, and have crowns on top of them to replace the entire tooth. While a bridge needs at least two stable points to go between, a dental implant needs no such thing.
There are situations in which dental bridges are better, however, especially if there is some condition or problem that makes the use of dental implants impossible. Such issues may include:
- Immune deficiencies
- Bleeding disorders or blood coagulation issues
- Certain chronic infectious diseases
- Untreated diabetes
- Poor oral hygiene
- A severe orthognathic problem with the bite
- Tumors in the mouth
Why dental implants?
Smoking and certain lifestyle choices may also be an issue, but are not necessarily a problem. If there are no factors making implantation impossible, dental implants can provide the following benefits:
- There is no need to polish or modify existing teeth. Cutting teeth to shape always involves loss of precious tooth material, but of course different techniques different amounts of tooth material to be rmeoved. With the new, popular zirconium crowns, as much as 40-40%(!!) of the original tooth material can be removed.
- If the missing teeth are replaced with a dental bridge, food detritus can get caught underneath the bridge. This problem does not exist with dental implants. This can lead to halitosis and gum disease in the long run.
- If you do not want to wear removable dentures, but do not have enough teeth left to support a bridge, the insertion of a few dental implants can allow you to have a fixed denture.