Need to replace one or multiple teeth? Getting dental implants is the best way to restore your smile. Whether you’ve experienced gum disease, oral trauma, or didn’t have access to preventative care growing up, today’s dental implant designs allow you to restore your entire smile in a natural, functional, and attractive manner.
Single Tooth Replacement
Most dental implants are used when you need to replace a single tooth. In this case, we install a single implant and top it off with a ceramic dental crown. The implant acts like a natural tooth root, and the crown on top fills in the functional area that you see when you smile.
Conventional single tooth replacement usually requires a bridge. But if you have healthy teeth on either side of your missing one, dental implants prevent non-reversible alteration to those adjacent teeth. Your new implant will replace missing teeth regardless of where they are in the mouth, preventing the need for additional dental work. Each of your dental implants is carefully designed for optimal aesthetics so that it blends in with all of the surrounding teeth. When you’re placing individual dental implants, it helps preserve spacing and limit bone loss, strengthening the integrity of your adjacent teeth at the same time.
Multiple Teeth Replacement Options
What if you have more than just one tooth that’s missing? Maybe you have two, three, or even four teeth that have fallen out or were extracted? Instead of wearing a removable partial denture or installing an individual implant at each missing tooth, we can pair the implants together and anchor a multi-tooth fixed bridge on top of them. That way you maximize the strength of your implants without having to undergo additional surgery, bone grafts, or alteration to the neighboring teeth on either side of the empty space.
How Many Teeth Can an Implant Support?
Dental implants are known for being able to support more weight than a natural, healthy tooth. If you install a dental implant where a single tooth is missing, you’ll be able to bite and chew into any food that you ate previously. Just don’t use your implant as a tool for opening packages or biting your nails! Just like other teeth, you’ll want to treat your new “tooth” the way you would the rest of your smile. That being said, we can usually place a pair of them together to support the weight of 3 or 4 missing teeth without any unwanted side effects. Even if you’ve experienced bone loss in the past, we can incorporate a bone graft to strengthen your dental implants for long-term success.
Should I Get One Implant or Several Tooth Implants?
Dental implants are helpful since you have a lot of different options for replacing multiple teeth. If you have a single tooth that’s between two healthy neighboring teeth, all you’ll need is one implant site. But if you have 3 or 4 missing teeth, we can pair the dental implants together to fill in the space of several teeth at once (fixed dental bridges are installed on top of them.) We don’t want to remove one tooth just to replace multiple teeth. And we don’t usually recommend installing an implant for every single missing tooth. It’s typically less invasive to pair your dental implants together and use a fixed bridge. You’ll be able to avoid wearing a removable partial denture and save on additional dental implant procedures.
How Many Implants Do I Need for a Multiple-Tooth Prosthesis?
Any time we need to replace multiple missing teeth, we want to consider the overall length of the fixed dental bridge. If you’re filling in the space of multiple missing teeth, you may need more than just one dental implant on either end of the prosthesis. Sometimes as many as three implants are recommended. Fortunately, you probably won’t require an implant placement at each location where there is a missing tooth. The implant-supported bridge will still minimize how many need to be installed into the jaw bone.
What are the Most Implants I Will Need?
If you’re replacing all of your surrounding teeth in one arch, the most dental implants that we typically use are 4-6. Hence the term “All-on-4” or “All-on-6”. But if you’re getting several implant-supported bridges, you will need at least one dental implant at the end of every bridge. For example, if you’re getting three dental bridges in one arch, you would need six dental implants. But normally, most people are only getting one or two bridges, with two implants per bridge. Each case is determined on a person-by-person basis, so it’s important that you meet with our Kansas City implant dentist to discuss your treatment options.
Advantages of Single or Multiple Tooth Replacement
Anyone who still has healthy natural teeth should do whatever they can to preserve each natural tooth. If you’re replacing missing teeth, but the adjacent natural teeth are still intact, you don’t want to extract those healthy teeth just to install a full-arch appliance. The best option is to only replace the missing tooth/teeth and leave your surrounding healthy teeth intact. Although an implant acts like an artificial tooth, the standard of care is to preserve adjacent teeth whenever possible, minimizing tooth loss overall.
An implant-supported restoration will outperform a removable prosthesis any day. Your investment will give you the freedom to eat and speak with confidence without worrying about something rubbing, slipping, or feeling uncomfortable. Best of all, implants are healthier for your overall smile since they do not alter the tooth structure next to them. That’s not something you can say about conventional bridges or partials!
Dental Implant in Leawood, Kansas City
Explore your tooth replacement options with a one-on-one consultation at our Leawood dental implant clinic. Your oral health and confidence are important to us! During your evaluation, Dr. Gordon will discuss implants or other tooth replacement options, if applicable. That way you can select the best method of care for your lifestyle and overall oral health. Contact Gordon Dental Implants & Cosmetics today to reserve your next appointment.