Dental Implants to Stabilise Fixed Partial Dentures

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Losing teeth can be a difficult experience for anyone, regardless of the reason behind the loss. One of the major obstacles a person with missing teeth must overcome is the loss of functionality that tooth loss can incur, which basically means that if teeth in certain locations are lost then it becomes difficult to chew and bite as normal. Fortunately modern dentistry has at its disposal a plethora of different tools which can be used to effectively replace missing teeth, and one of these is the fixed partial denture. Also known as a dental bridge, fixed partial dentures are effective prosthetics that can restore comfort and function to a mouth with missing teeth. In this article we look at how and why these prosthetics can be stabilised through the use of dental implants, another modern staple of the dental world.

Fixed partial dentures and dental implants

Fixed partial dentures earn their name from the fact that they replace a small number of teeth rather than as many as a full arch which full dentures can aim to remedy. They are referred to as fixed because unlike other types of denture, this type of prosthesis is fixed to any adjacent teeth for stability. These neighbouring teeth are shaped to accommodate the fixture, and this particular aspect of fixed partial dentures can make them particularly robust and long lasting.

That being said, even the fixture offered by partial dentures is not quite as stable as that offered by dental implants. This is because implants can bring the structure of artificial teeth closer to that of our natural teeth, which rely on their roots and the jawbone beneath to provide structural integrity. It is this system that lies beneath the gum line which gives our teeth the ability to withstand years of constant use, provided they receive proper care of course.

Dental implants are titanium structures designed to emulate dental roots, and in doing so provide the longevity and robustness their organic counterparts offer our natural teeth. The benefits of implants have been made clear in the years since the development of the technology, and include the fact that the improved stability offers improved bite strength and robustness when chewing. Artificial teeth not supported by dental implants can sometimes restrict the diet of the person bearing them, and this can limit how natural the artificial teeth feel and limit a person’s access to some of the foods they like best.

The stability implants provide is very much derived from the distribution of the forces experienced when biting and chewing down through the implant and into the jawbone. Both the upper and lower jawbone are extremely robust structures, and by anchoring artificial teeth like fixed partial dentures to this dense mass of bone implants exploit this robustness to improve the longevity, functionality and comfort of fixed partial dentures. Each implant is placed in a drilled socket in the jawbone which is created during the implant surgery, and this action allows for improved longevity and robustness. After implants have been placed within the jawbone, they are left to undergo osseointegration, a process by which the titanium of the implant fuses with the jawbone to make an extremely durable structure. This process is key to how implants can effectively stabilise fixed partial dentures and bestow their many benefits on the people who need them.

If you are looking to improve the durability and functionality of your fixed partial dentures then it may be worth talking to your dentist about the option. Your dentist will be acquainted with your individual circumstances and can tell you whether you can benefit from the procedure, which can help you decide whether or not you should go ahead with it. Implant surgeries can be costly and time consuming, and it is important to have all the facts and understand the ins and outs of the procedure before committing to it.

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