If you already know you want to replace your missing teeth with dental implants, you may feel lost when it comes to deciding which type of implant treatment is best for you. In this case, single tooth dental implants or multi-tooth implant treatments.
Should You Get an Individual Implant for All Missing Teeth?
Although you can technically replace all of your missing teeth with their own individual dental implant, that isn’t always the preferred thing to do. This approach would mean additional implant surgeries and fees, compared to utilizing fewer implants overall.
Since dental implants are so strong, it’s extremely safe to pair them together to anchor multi-tooth restorations, such as a 3-4 unit (tooth) dental bridge. Either end sits on top of an implant, replacing more teeth than there are total implants.
When to Get Individual Implants for Missing Teeth
Individual implants are perfect when you need to replace one or two missing teeth, especially when there are healthy teeth on either side. Instead of reshaping those teeth to anchor a traditional bridge, the implant prevents invasive treatment by functioning as an independent tooth.
You can place an individual implant practically anywhere in your mouth, whether it’s a front tooth, between a couple of anatomical teeth, or a back tooth that is used to a lot of heavy chewing pressure.
If you need to replace two teeth side by side, you’ll probably still want to have two separate implants placed in that space. Whereas if it’s three teeth in a row, you would transition into a multi-tooth restoration.
Multi-Tooth Implant Treatment for Missing Teeth
The integrity of fully-integrated dental implants is stronger than even the healthiest teeth. Since they can support extensive amounts of pressure, you can predictably place a multi-tooth restoration on top of fewer implants.
For example, someone with 3-4 missing teeth in a row may have previously only had the option to get a partial denture. But instead, we can install a dental implant on either side of that space and then affix a multi-tooth dental bridge. The implant bridge will fill in all three or four of those teeth at one time, instead of installing individual implants and crowns for each one.
What if You Have Several Missing Teeth?
You’re in luck. If you have multiple missing teeth throughout your mouth, ARCHPOINT implant specialists can still help you retain your natural teeth while restoring the ones that are missing. For example, we might recommend a series of individual implants as well as multi-tooth treatments, depending on which teeth are missing.
Occasionally, therapeutic tooth removal is also needed. Cases of advanced periodontal disease or tooth decay, where teeth are no longer restorable, may require extractions and healing time before dental implants can be installed.
Full-arch reconstruction is another option. If all of your teeth are missing in your upper or lower jaw, an average of 4-6 implants are usually all you need to anchor a full-arch (upper or lower jaw) restoration. Occasionally we can use as few as two implants if you’re having a stabilized overdenture made. But most people prefer a hybrid, streamlined “All-on” approach like All-on-4 or All-on-6. In those cases, we place each of the implants at a specific point in the jaw to support the weight of your extended bridge.
You Have Options
You shouldn’t ever feel like you’re locked into only one type of tooth replacement treatment. Even though we’re dental implant specialists, we are more than happy to discuss other alternative treatments that might be suitable for your missing teeth. We believe the more educated our patients are about their oral health needs, the more confident they’ll feel about their dental-related decisions.
Even if you’ve had a general dentist tell you in the past that you didn’t qualify for implant treatment, that might technically not be the case. Since ARCHPOINT Implant Dentistry has a qualified staff of specialists with added technological resources, we can provide more advanced levels of implant therapy to non-traditional patients. Even if they require bone grafting, sinus lifts, or other supportive therapies. We also offer in-house sedation options during your treatment, so that you can sit back and tune everything out.
What Are You Hoping to Achieve?
Most dental implant candidates want a permanently secured option that looks, feels, and functions like natural teeth. Others simply want better stability for their removable denture, using dental implants to hold them in place throughout the day. When you have goals in mind, we can determine the appropriate number of dental implants you need to make your vision a reality.
Depending on which type of implant system or restoration you choose to replace your missing teeth, some options are easier to care for than others. For example, individual implants are simply flossed and brushed around like a natural tooth. Whereas overdentures (snap-on implant dentures) need to be removed at night, similar to traditional dentures.
What Makes Dental Implants So Strong?
How is it that we can use just a few dental implants for a multi-tooth restoration? The key is osseointegration. This is the natural process where your jaw bone fuses onto the surface of the dental implant and anchors it permanently in place. Once fully integrated, your implant won’t move; it essentially becomes a permanent part of your oral anatomy, almost more so than actual teeth.
On top of the osseointegration process, most implants are fabricated out of a lightweight, durable material called titanium. Titanium is extremely strong when it comes to supporting biting and chewing pressure. It’s almost completely invincible (there’s a greater risk of teeth or bone fracturing than a dental implant.) Even though it’s a metal, the implant is completely covered by your restoration so you won’t see visible silver when you smile. As an added bonus, titanium is hypoallergenic, so even people with metal sensitivities can get dental implants.
Take the First Steps Today
Get a professional opinion from our DFW implant experts as to whether you need a single or multi-tooth implant treatment. Call ARCHPOINT Implant Dentistry today to reserve an exam at our location in Dallas or Ft. Worth.