Improved dental care has greatly reduced the number of people suffering tooth loss over the years. Even so, it is still a common issue that affects millions of individuals all across the country. In the event of tooth loss, replacement is recommended as soon as possible. One of the most preferred restoration options for replacing teeth is with dental implants.
Dental Implants for a Single Tooth
Dental implants can be used to replace an individual tooth, taking the place of a traditional bridge. It is possible to have more than one of these restorations. For instance, you may receive two single tooth implants if you are missing a tooth at the front of your top arch and one near the back of your bottom arch. Single tooth implants can also be used side by side. With this type of dental implant, your replacement crown is held by one implant post.
Replacing Several Teeth with Implants
A dental implant can take the place of a partial denture as well as a bridge and can be used to support a section of replacement teeth. This is also known as an implant-supported bridge. Based on an assessment of your mouth and your jawbone, we can determine just how many posts are necessary for supporting your new teeth.
Replacing a Full Arch
Implants can even replace an entire arch of teeth. This type of restoration may also be called an implant-supported denture. Unlike a traditional denture, your implant-supported denture is fixed securely into place. The crowns are affixed using small screws. Typically, this restoration relies on the support of anywhere from 6 to 8 posts. The restoration is much more comfortable, keeping pressure off of your gums, and feels more natural. You also do not have the same concerns that you have with a traditional denture. Your teeth are secure, so you do not have to worry that they will fall out at the wrong time.
What Happens if I Don’t Have Enough Jawbone?
A big factor in determining your candidacy for dental implants is the amount of bone remaining in your jaw. Insufficient bone mass does not necessarily mean that you cannot receive implants. Instead, a bone graft may be suggested.
In cases where all teeth in either arch are being replaced though, you may not need a bone graft. Instead, there are full arch alternatives that make implants possible without additional surgery. These treatments include bar-retained implant-supported dentures and the All-on-4® Treatment Concept. Bar-retained dentures involve the use of a titanium bar that is attached to your implants. Your clip onto this bar and are removable. With the All-on-4® Treatment Concept, your teeth are fixed into place using screws, just like a regular implant-supported denture.
The biggest difference between the two treatments is the number and placement of the implant posts. All-on-4 uses fewer posts, four to be exact. The posts are also placed in such a way as to take full advantage of the bone you still have in your jaw. This allows for osseointegration to occur even without a bone graft.
For more information on dental implants, contact Tim Perry, DDS at (318) 322-0576 today.