Replacing missing single tooth
An implant used to replace a single missing tooth can easily and predictably achieve the desired aesthetic result in the presence of abundant bone and gum tissue. An implant crown placed over the single implant will look, feel and function like a natural tooth. By placing the implant in the missing tooth area, the neighboring teeth will not require shaving down to act as abutments, it will maintain the natural bone contour which would otherwise develop under a bridge, maintain a natural tooth and gum contour.
Replacing multiple missing teeth
When multiple teeth have been pulled one next to another, bone deterioration occurs to a greater extent than with a single missing tooth. By using implants to replace the missing teeth, we are essentially replacing the missing tooth roots, which help maintain proper bone contour. Preserving the jaw bone and preventing permanent bone deterioration will help maintain gum tissue to avoid further gum collapse and prevent the “sunken-in” look. It will also help maintain the outer facial features by maintaining cheeks and lips in a natural and aesthetic position.
When replacing multiple missing teeth, dental implants can be used to support an implant bridge, which is either permanently cemented over or screwed into the implants and will not move around like dentures or partials.
An entire jaw of missing teeth can be restored with dental implants placed in strategic positions with a single or multiple bridges, overdentures or hybrid dentures. Patients that have been long time denture wearers with currently loose dentures or unable to have a denture stay in place would benefit from dental implants the most. Depending on the budget, a 2 implant overdenture would be the basic and most economical option to address a loose or poorly fitting denture. The 3 or 4 implant overdenture would provide an even greater overdenture stability and retention, keeping the prosthesis fixed in position yet allowing easy maintenance and home care.
A non-removable option to replace a denture is also available but depending on the quantity and quality of bone, bite and other factors, 6-8 implants should be utilized and spaced strategically for the restoring dentist.