Permanent prostheses cannot be removed by the patient, as they are permanently anchored to the dental implants. Only your dentist can remove them. Depending on how many teeth need to be replaced, an implant can support different types of permanent prostheses:
An artificial tooth (or crown) is secured to the implant, leaving adjacent teeth intact. The artificial tooth looks and functions just like a natural tooth.
An implant-supported permanent bridge replaces several missing teeth. It is custom-made and permanently secured to two dental implants. With this option, the bridge doesn’t need to be attached to adjoining teeth, which would require removing a layer of tooth enamel.
If your teeth are healthy and your situation allows for it, your dentist may suggest an implant-supported prosthesis, which maintains your natural teeth as much as possible.
Full dentures can also be secured to implants, making them very stable. This option also eliminates pain caused by dentures rubbing on gums, as well as chewing and speech problems. With implants, full dentures can be stable and comfortable.
The number of implants you need depends on specific criteria. For full dentures, four implants are usually enough.
This type of prosthesis is permanent and can only be removed by a dentist. Because full dentures stay in your mouth day and night, they feel like natural teeth. This solution is great for helping patients maintain good self-esteem.
The installation process is usually the same for implant-supported permanent and removable prostheses.
- A complete dental check-up is performed and x-rays are taken
- Surgical phase: One or several implants are installed in the alveolar bone
- A temporary prosthesis is installed
- Bone integration phase: As tissue heals, it gradually fuses the implant to the bone. This step can take two to four months
- Prosthetic phase: After the healing period, the implant is solidly integrated into the bone. The temporary prosthesis is removed and a pillar is installed on the implant. The final prosthesis will be attached to this pillar, which can be secured to the crown, anchors under the bridge or under full dentures. The prosthesis can be permanent or removable
- The last step involves carefully adjusting the prosthesis for comfortable and effective occlusion. The results are both attractive and functional
Advantages of implant-supported prostheses
- Stable: When speaking and chewing
- Comfortable: No more painful rubbing or pressure points; feel just like natural teeth
- Attractive: Matches the colour and shape of your teeth for a natural look
- Durable: Implants can last for many years, even a lifetime, if you practice good oral hygiene and follow your dentist’s recommendations
- Prevent jawbone resorption
- Replace missing teeth without damaging adjoining teeth
- Easy to clean
- Help improve your confidence and self-esteem
How to care for your prostheses
Caring for implant-supported prostheses is easy. Treat them like your natural teeth with a basic everyday routine. Your dentist will give you all the information you need. Maintenance is similar for both permanent and removable prosthesis. The key to success is regular cleaning and gentle care around the implants.
Biannual check-ups are recommended, during which the dentist will carefully check the condition of your prosthesis and the comfort and stability of your implants.