Which Teeth Can Be Replaced by Dental Implants?

The short answer is: all of them!

Dental implants are versatile and provide many different treatment options for replacing missing teeth.  There are certain requirements for each different option.  This blog will discuss some of those options to show how valuable dental implants are to the restoration of cosmetic, functional teeth.

A Single Missing Tooth

This is the most common use of dental implants today.  There are several reasons a single tooth needs to be extracted.  When your dentist evaluates a tooth with a dental problem, he or she is making a diagnosis and also considering all of the treatment options to treat the problem.  Each of these options has a prognosis, which is basically a prediction of how successful the treatment will be.  In dentistry, prognosis is closely tied to how long you will be able to keep the tooth and use it for chewing.  When a tooth has a very poor or hopeless prognosis, the best treatment is to extract it.  The following list includes examples of teeth with poor or hopeless prognoses.

There are many options for replacing missing teeth, and dental implants are always the best option.

Replacing a single missing tooth with a dental implant has multiple advantages over all the alternative treatment options.  The most important advantage is that dental implants do not require any support or changes to the neighboring teeth.  A dental implant actually reduces forces and risk of more dental problems on the neighboring teeth.  When you replace a single missing tooth with a dental implant, you improve the overall health and function of your entire mouth!

Multiple Missing Teeth in a Row

If you have three to four missing teeth in a row, dental implants are a wonderful treatment option to replace these.  What many people do now know is that you do not have to have an implant for each missing tooth.  Implants can act as support for a multiple-tooth bridge, so you can replace three to four missing teeth with only two dental implants.

This treatment option is an implant-supported bridge.  Because dental implants cannot get cavities, this treatment has a longer lifespan than a tooth-supported bridge.  Your dentist will make sure that the implants can withstand the amount of force created by all of the new teeth.

There are some stricter rules for oral hygiene with an implant-supported bridge as compared to a single dental implant.  They cannot get cavities, but they CAN get gum disease.  Your dentist and dental hygienist will give you all of the tools you need to keep your new bridge in tiptop shape!

Many people wonder whether it is important to replace missing teeth that do not show when you smile.  You should know that if you are missing multiple back teeth in a row, your bite collapses.  This is not just a problem with chewing.  It creates a cosmetic issue, too.  This collapsing between the upper and lower jaws causes the cheeks to sink in, the face to look shorter, and the development of more wrinkles.  Missing back teeth make you look older whether you see them or not!

An Entire Arch of Missing Teeth

The word “arch” in dentistry means all of the teeth in one jaw.  So the upper arch is all of the upper teeth.  Some people are missing one arch, but they still have teeth on the opposite arch.  The reason this matters is that the chewing forces between real teeth and a removable denture are very different.  Most people have a hard time chewing when they have real teeth on one side and plastic teeth on the other.

Dental implants provide chewing forces that are much closer to that of natural teeth.  When a patient has natural teeth on top and an implant-supported option on the lower, or vice versa, the chewing function is far superior!

When all of the teeth in an arch are missing, there are a few different ways to replace them using dental implants.  You can continue to wear a removable denture by upgrading to our trademark Click-Tight system.  Dental implants contain locator attachments for the denture to firmly latch onto.

If you do not want something removable, you can consider an option like All-on-Four, which uses four uniquely positioned dental implants to support a full arch of teeth.  An All-on-Four set of teeth is connected to the implants and only removed about once a year by your dentist for cleaning.

Are You Considering Dental Implants to Replace One or More Missing Teeth?

You can’t go wrong with dental implants, no matter what your dental situation is.  Call your nearest Wellness Dental location to schedule a consultation with one of our implant experts.  We will help you choose which implant solution is right for you.

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