If you’re missing teeth, it can have a significant negative impact on your quality of life. Dental implants are a wonderful solution for replacing missing teeth. In fact, they’re considered the longest-lasting, most reliable option. But what if you’re missing multiple teeth? How many implants can be placed at one time? Here, our team at Napa Family Dental in Albuquerque explores this topic.
How Dental Implants Work
Dental implants are small threaded posts, usually made from titanium, that are placed into the jawbone during an oral surgery procedure. Implants actually mimic natural teeth roots and help prevent bone loss over time.
Individuals who are missing just one tooth can replace it with a dental implant and a crown. Unlike a traditional bridge, which requires the removal of enamel, a dental implant preserves the existing tooth structure.
Those who are missing multiple teeth are often concerned about how many implants they’ll need. The good news is that you don’t have to replace every single missing tooth with an implant. Not only could this become expensive, but it’s unnecessary. Patients who are missing all of their teeth can replace a full dental arch on as few as four implants. And in most cases, all necessary implants can be placed during the same surgical visit.
How Many Dental Implants Do I Need?
The answer to this question will vary from patient to patient. Every individual has their own unique set of needs and preferences. Here are a few factors your dentist will consider when planning your implant treatment:
- What are your long-term oral health goals?
- Do you prefer a fixed or removable restoration?
- How much dense, healthy jawbone is available?
After discussing these topics with you, your dentist will be able to design a fully personalized treatment plan to meet your needs. During your consultation, each step will be discussed with you in detail.
Popular Dental Implant-Supported Restorations
Dental implants are versatile and can support a wide range of restorations. Here are the most common implant treatments:
- Single implant and crown: A one-tooth solution to a one-tooth problem, a single implant replaces one missing tooth. A crown is attached to the implant. Once healed, a single implant can be cleaned just like a natural tooth.
- Implant-supported bridge: A row of missing teeth can be replaced with an implant-supported bridge. These restorations are similar to traditional bridges, but they rest atop implants instead of natural teeth. Several bridges can be combined to replace a full arch of missing teeth.
- Implant-supported removable denture: If you’re missing all of your teeth on one or both arches, an implant-supported denture can be an excellent option. Implants are placed into the jawbone and a removable denture is attached to them. This appliance can be removed for easy cleaning and maintenance.
- Fixed implant-supported denture: Those who prefer a non-removable option can opt for a fixed prosthesis. These appliances can only be removed by your dentist, so it’s important to clean around your implants thoroughly every day.
- All-on-4®: Bone loss is a byproduct of tooth loss. If teeth have been missing for a while, then there may not be enough bone density for traditional implants. All-on-4 is the solution to this problem. During this procedure, four implants are placed strategically to maximize existing bone. A fixed temporary restoration can be added during the same visit in most cases.
Just because we can place all implants during the same visit doesn’t mean you have to do it this way. Some patients decide to split up treatment for financial reasons. Others may wish to have work completed on one side first, so they can chew normally on the other while they heal. Any of these concerns can be discussed with your dentist during your initial consultation.
Contact Us for More Information
If missing teeth is taking a toll on your quality of life, consider what dental implants can do for you. To learn more, schedule an appointment at our Albuquerque practice. Contact us online anytime or give us a call at 505-323-7700.