When you have a dental implant, you generally have a tooth permanently fixed to the implant post. However, you can also have a removable implant denture.
Here, the implant post goes into your jaw bone as usual. However, the tooth that ultimately attaches to this post is removable rather than stuck on to it. You can snap the tooth on and off the implant's fixings.
When is this a good idea?
You Need an Easier Clean
If you have a permanent implant tooth, then you treat it much like your natural teeth when you clean it. However, standard tooth-brushing and flossing doesn't always do the job with implanted teeth.
You may find it hard to keep the tooth as clean as you should. For example, negotiating floss around an implant tooth on a bridge isn't always a simple process. You may find it hard to effectively floss all around the tooth
It is, however, vital that you keep implant teeth as clean as possible, especially if you've had gum problems in the past. If you don't maintain good levels of oral hygiene in these areas, you risk getting infections in the gum and even in the bone around the implant post.
If you can't control these infections, you could lose the implant. You could also end up with damage to your gums and the underlying bone.
If you have a removable tooth denture, then you simply take the tooth out to clean it. You can brush all its surfaces easily. You also get space to clean the gum area when the tooth is out to remove any bacteria or food particles that might have got trapped there.
You Grind Your Teeth
If you grind your teeth at night, then implants can be problematic. Your nightly grinding habits may damage these teeth.
While implanted teeth are strong, you may break, crack or even dislodge this kind of false tooth if you put enough force or pressure on it. Implant teeth aren't designed to put up with the kind of regular wear and tear that persistent grinding can cause at night.
Your dentist may not be keen to put in a permanent implant tooth at this stage. They may feel that a removable tooth is a better bet. Here, you can simply take the tooth out at night to protect it from grinding action.
If you think that you'd prefer a removable implant denture, then have a chat with your dentist. They can tell you more about how these teeth work and whether this is a good solution for you.