Options for Missing Teeth
Treatment options for missing teeth using Dental Implants
Dental implants can be used in most places of your mouth to replace or repair teeth that are missing. They can be made as a single tooth or many teeth or even fitted to help hold dentures in place. The variations and possible combinations are numerous, which makes dental implants one of the most flexible ways of replacing missing teeth.
Single-Tooth Replacement. If you’re missing an isolated tooth, consider a single implant that’ll compliment your natural teeth. Additionally, single implants can be used to replace several missing teeth.
Multiple-Teeth Replacement. Single implants can be used to replace several missing teeth. Multiple teeth can also be replaced with a dental bridge or a implant-supported bridge.
Full-Mouth Reconstruction. With full-mouth reconstruction all of your teeth are either replaced or restored to health. This involves extensive dental restoration of the entire mouth. It not only creates a beautiful, healthy smile, it also enhances overall facial appearance.
Implant-Supported Bridges. A dental bridge is a device used to fill the space where a tooth has fallen out or been removed. An implant-supported bridge uses dental implants to stabilize the bridge.
Implant-Supported Dentures. A conventional denture is hard to use for some people because they tend to move around. An implant-supported denture is a removable denture that snaps onto implants placed in the jawbone. An implant-supported denture fits over a ball and socket or a bar and is securely clipped into place.
Advantages of Dental Implants
- Implants are one of the best and most reliable methods to restore your mouth and provide you with a great smile and a good bite
- Implants allow you to chew and exert pressure just like with natural teeth
- Implants deter bone loss that occurs when a tooth is lost
- Placing an implant is really less painful and traumatic than having a tooth pulled
- Implants are longer lasting and more stable than other replacements for missing teeth, such as bridges or partial dentures
- The implant procedure can be done for bridges, multiple crowns or in most places where you are missing teeth
- Removable dentures and fixed bridges usually need to be replaced every seven to fifteen years compared to an implant, which can last a lifetime
Are You a Candidate for Implants?
The ideal candidate for an implant is an adult who is in good oral and general health with adequate bone in their jaw to support the implant and who has healthy gum tissues that are free of periodontal disease.
You are a good candidate for implants if you:
- Have good oral health. Dr. Flowers will check to make sure that you are free of gum disease or any other oral health issues before scheduling you for implant surgery. He will be able to help you with any oral health issues that arise, and will want to do so before your implant procedure.
- Are in good general health. Implants require surgery, so you will need to meet the same basic general health requirements you would need to have for any surgical procedure. Be sure to let Dr. Flowers know about any medications you are taking, or any existing health problems that you are experiencing. He will be able to tell you if those things affect your ability to have dental implant surgery.
- Have sufficient bone in your jaw. Implants include a post made of surgical titanium that needs to be completely embedded in the jaw. When you lose a tooth, the bone where the tooth was tends to be reabsorbed by the body. If you have been without a tooth in a location for a while and are now considering an implant, you may need to have an additional surgical procedure, a bone graft, before your implant surgery.
- Have reached full adult dentition. Regular teeth and jawbones will grow and change. The implant should match them once they have reached full growth. Ask Dr. Flowers about alternatives to implants if your teen or child is missing a tooth.