Multi-Tooth Dental Implant
Tooth loss is a serious concern for Americans. Many of us are missing our permanent, adult teeth. Nearly 70 percent of all adults over the age of 35 are missing at least one tooth, and the number continues to climb. Nearly 40 million Americans are missing all of their teeth, which means that the demand for a reliable, durable, and attractive dental restoration option is greater than ever.
We here at Toomin & Bieber Aesthetic Comprehensive Dentistry know that tooth loss is a serious concern, and it needs to be addressed with both skill and compassion. For our valued patients who are missing multiple teeth, multi-tooth dental implants can be the permanent restoration that can restore their confidence and their smile.
What is a Multi-Tooth Dental Implant?
There are two main types of multi-tooth dental implants. These include implant supported bridges and implant supported dentures. Both of these are a permanent restoration option, which means they can very easily last a patient for the rest of their life. This is in contrast to other restoration options, which may need to be replaced every few years.
Implant supported bridges consist of a single dental implant. Getting an implant supported bridge includes the placement of a titanium post directly into the jawbone of the patient. This implant acts as an abutment to the attached pontics (the prosthetic teeth), lending support to the bridge. These are quite durable and look and feel just like real teeth.
Another option is an implant supported denture. Unlike single tooth dental implants, which can take a long time to heal and require many individual posts being placed into the jawbone, implant supported dentures typically require just four titanium posts. These posts attach to an abutment, which then has an overdenture placed over it. This restoration looks and feels natural, too, and are much more durable, sturdy, and reliable than traditional dentures.
What are the Benefits of a Multi-Tooth Dental Implant?
There are many clear advantages to choosing a multi-tooth dental implant. Unlike traditional dental implants, which require longer downtime for healing and multiple procedures to place the implants, multi-tooth dental implants are significantly easier on the patient. Instead of surgically placing each implant, we can limit the procedures to just a few.
For instance, an implant supported bridge may require just one dental implant. We can place the implant inside the patient’s jawbone. Then we can attach multiple pontics to the implant. With implant supported dentures, we may be able to place just four titanium posts inside the patient’s jaw. We are then able to place the overdenture.
Healing and downtime are reduced with these multi-tooth implants. Instead of needing to wait several months to finalize the procedure, we may be able to finalize the restoration sooner. Traditional dental implants may also require bone grafts to make sure the patient can get the implants. With multi-tooth implants, we may not require a bone graft, as the existing bone mass may be sufficient.
One particularly fantastic benefit of multi-tooth dental implants is the convenience to the patient. The patient typically has fully restored bite force, which means they do not need to avoid their favorite foods. They can speak clearly and without fear of their denture becoming dislodged and causing embarrassment. Furthermore, taking care of these restorations is quite simple and may be as easy as maintaining a typical oral hygiene regimen. The restorations do not need to be removed to keep clean, reducing the risk of the patient being seen without their teeth.
Alternatives to Multi-Tooth Dental Implants
If a patient is hesitant about getting a multi-tooth dental implant, there are a few other restoration options available to them. These restoration choices are not permanent and may eventually need replacement, but do not require surgery. They can also be quite attractive, making it a good choice for some patients.
These alternatives can include bridges, partial dentures, and complete dentures. A traditional dental bridge consists of one or more pontic. The pontic is attached to a dental crown, which covers the patient’s own real, natural tooth. The tooth is an abutment, giving support to the pontic. This can help the bridge be strong in the patient’s mouth.
Partial and complete dentures can help patients who are missing many teeth or even an entire arch. They can look like real teeth, but they have their disadvantages. They may make it harder to talk, bite force is not fully restored, and they often need to be replaced every seven to ten years. They also need to be removed to be cleaned.
Am I a Candidate?
Many patients might be a good candidate for multi-tooth dental implants. Many people who may not be a good candidate for traditional dental implants may be able to get a multi-tooth dental implant. We advise that a patient is in good oral health before they pursue multi-tooth dental implants and have a mouth that is free from gum disease and infection. If disease is found, we may need to address it before we can place the restoration.
A patient should not be pregnant or breastfeeding, either. The patient should be a fully-grown adult, and they should not smoke or use tobacco products. The use of tobacco products can increase the risk of failure of the implant. While sufficient bone mass in the jaw can help improve the success of a multi-tooth dental implant, it may not be mandatory. We can discuss a patient’s candidacy for multi-tooth dental implants during a consultation to help them make an educated decision about what type of restoration is best for them.
Patients who have lost more than one tooth may immediately notice a serious decline in their quality of life. They may experience pain or discomfort in their mouth. Basic tasks, like eating and communicating clearly, can become challenging. It can be very discouraging and frustrating to lose several teeth. Fortunately, multi-tooth dental implants can be very helpful for those who have lost multiple teeth. To learn more about treatment options for missing teeth, or to set up an appointment with us here at Toomin & Bieber Aesthetic Comprehensive Dentistry, please give us a call today at (818) 748-9998 today!