The Number of Implants to Replace Multiple Missing Teeth

Dental Implants Gainesville, GA

To replace missing teeth, implants are a solution that dentists often recommend to their patients. Implants are strong and durable, not to mention natural-looking. If you have good oral hygiene and are cautious about not biting into hard, sticky foods, these artificial teeth can last for more than 20 years. A dentist may recommend this method to replace a single tooth, but often a patient will choose these when many teeth are missing.

An overview of implants

These artificial teeth consist of three parts, including a titanium screw-like post, a smaller piece called an abutment, and a natural-looking crown. An implant acts as the root of the tooth. It provides stability and enables the person to once again have a strong bite force. An implant also restores the person’s smile, filling in embarrassing gaps.

The process

Patients should be aware that traditional implants require a long, multistep process. After a consultation and initial visit that includes X-rays and impressions, the dentist may have to extract damaged teeth. The patient then comes in for surgery, where the dentist opens the gums and inserts the posts deep into the jawbone. There will be a period of healing before the patient makes another visit, this time so the dentist can attach the abutment. Lastly, a few months later, the dentist will place the crown on the abutment.

One implant per missing tooth

One strategy the dentist will discuss with the patient is to place an implant in each gap where a natural tooth was. If the patient is missing multiple teeth, this will require the dentist to place several implants. The surgeries could be long and require extensive healing time. The dentist must also allow enough time for the bone and post to fuse. Following the surgeries, the patient will feel some soreness and pain. It can also take a few weeks for the person to get used to the new teeth.

Implants and dentures

Long before implants were a common method for replacing teeth, people wore dentures. These consist of a gum-colored acrylic base with artificial teeth attached to it. Today, many dentists recommend implant-supported dentures, which combine the two treatments. Instead of the dentures resting on the gums, secured by adhesive, implants keep the dentures firmly in place.

Normally, with implant-supported dentures, the dentist will use four implants. In this treatment, there will be two on the top jaw and two on the bottom. However, if the patient has a full set of teeth in either the top or bottom jaw but is missing teeth in the other jaw, then two implants may be enough. The surgical process is the same.

A choice that makes sense

Losing a permanent tooth can be embarrassing. Having multiple missing teeth can present oral health challenges. Implants are an effective way to fill in these spaces and return the full function of your mouth to you. Talk to a dentist today about whether an implant is right for you. Either by themselves or combined with dentures, you can feel good about this teeth-replacement treatment.

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