Dental Implants are "root size" Titanium Cylinders inserted directly in the jaw - ostensibly replacing a lost root. The Implant is designed, following nature’s guide, to be very similar to the size, shape, and function of a natural tooth root.
After a 2 to 6 month healing period the bone integrates (heals and bonds) with the Implant surface, firmly anchoring it. Dental Implants are used as a direct tooth root replacement which – after Integration -- a crown, bridge, or denture is secured (either via cementation or screws) to the Implants.
In the case of the Implant Retained Denture, Implants are used to support and retain a loose denture by placing retaining attachments on the Implants and inserting retention snaps/clips into the underside of the denture. Thereby providing the patient with enhanced stability and retention for an otherwise loose denture. An Implant retained/stabilized denture will not move, will not create sore spots and will not come out until the patient uses their fingers to physically remove it. Utilizing Dental Implants to stabilize/retain loose dentures is the solution for those irritating loose dentures that move or dislodge at always the wrong times.
Arches with as few as 2 Implants can stabilize an otherwise loose or floating denture, securing it sufficiently to allow for more stability and retention when speaking or eating.
In cases where people want to have a full denture replaced by a fixed replacement, as few as 6 to 8 Implants per arch can be used to secure a full arch of replacement teeth.
One thing to remember when considering a Dental Implant to replace 1 tooth up to a full arch of teeth is that each patient and case is unique and due to differing circumstances -- both in physical form and medical conditions -- a prospective Implant patient must have a thorough examination and evaluation prior to being able to receive a direct treatment plan and fee quote.
Beyond the obvious benefit of replacing a lost tooth (up to a complete arch of teeth) Dental Implants provide a subtle but extremely desirable long-lasting benefit -- this is that the stimulation the jaw receives from functioning on a root-like implant, or set of implants, is very similar to that which is delivered from natural teeth. It is this kind of stress that stimulates the jaw to continually repair itself -- this, nature's designed function, is what is lost when the natural teeth are removed. It is the loss of the teeth and their natural stimulation to the jawbone, substituted with the more irritating stimulation from dentures, that is responsible for ridge shrinkage. So, replacing the natural root stimulation to the jaw in the from of implants aids in resisting ridge shrinkage which is the ultimate cause of loose dentures.
1. Titanium is the metal -- Biologically neutral and readily accepted by the body -- that is used for Dental Implants and a multitude of joint replacements and pin/post/plate supported bone repairs.