Dental implants are frequently the best long-term investment for replacing lost teeth. Many patients know that an implant can take on the role of a missing tooth, but not everyone considers the benefits of implants for multiple teeth
. To better illustrate the benefits of dental implants for multiple and single tooth replacement, Austin dentist, Dan Holtzclaw, provides the following information.
Candidates for Implants
Because a dental implant is affixed within the patient’s jaw, it prevents bone degradation and supports the replacement tooth with natural strength. If you are considering dental implants,
you will need to meet the following criteria:
Patients who still have adequate bone structure to anchor the implants are likely good candidates. Those who lack enough healthy bone in their jaws may sometimes undergo a bone graft to rectify this.
Patients also need to have healthy gums that will properly heal around the implant.
Taking care of an implant is equally as important as taking care of regular teeth. During recovery, hygiene is even more important in preventing infection and disease.
Some conditions that may prohibit the use of dental implants include sustained tobacco use, pregnancy, bones that are still developing, and chronic diseases such as diabetes. A comprehensive discussion and examination with your dentist is the ideal way to determine if you are a good dental implant candidate.
Why Get Multiple Implants?
Patients needing multiple replacement teeth might wonder if implants are better than treatments such as dentures or traditional bridges. The answer is often yes, for the same reason implants are so effective for the replacement of a single tooth.
Advantages over bridges:
Dental bridges rely on a patient’s remaining teeth to support a replacement tooth. If these teeth are not very healthy, or are also missing, the bridge is not a viable option. More importantly, a bridge only sits on top of teeth—it does not fasten into the roots and jawbone as an implant does. Consequently, bridges allow bone loss to continue over time.
Advantages over dentures:
Dentures are a common method of replacing teeth, but carry disadvantages of their own. They can be uncomfortable, unwieldy, and result in complications when talking or eating. Like bridges, they also sit above the gums, allowing the jaw bone to perpetually degrade.
When dental implants are used to support dental bridges and dentures, they offer more security and prevent degradation of jawbone and gum tissue
. In addition, a one-to-one ratio is not required; in most cases, six to eight implants are required to replace all of the upper teeth, and four to five implants are required to replace all of the lower teeth.
Multiple Implants vs. Single Implants?
In many circumstances, there is no discernible difference in the procedure of getting a single implant or multiple implants. Candidacy remains the same, along with its risks and benefits.
However, differences can arise in the alternative methods of receiving multiple implants. If a patient is lacking the necessary bone structure, for instance, or does not wish to receive an implant for every replacement tooth, additional options exist:
For patients whose jaws cannot support conventional implants, this option allows a metal framework to be implanted beneath the gums yet above the bone. From this framework, rows of replacement teeth can be attached. This option is usually reserved for patients who would otherwise require a full set of dentures, but want the strength and stability of implants.
Endosteal implants can be placed at strategic locations within the jawbone to support full or partial dentures.
This option allows the bridge to be supported by one or two dental implants. The benefit is that this approach does not require grinding down or reshaping of the natural teeth. Additionally, bridges supported by implants tend to be held more firmly in place than traditional bridges.
Contact Us to Learn More
Learn all of your implant options via consultation with periodonist, Dr. Dan Holtzclaw. Contact our Austin clinic today to schedule an appointment. We look forward to hearing from you and helping reach all your dental goals!