Dental Implant Options

dental implants

Dental Implant Options

Dental implants can offer an effective way of replacing one or more missing teeth. Dentists recommend that any lost teeth, either due to periodontal disease or due to an accident, have to be replaced in order to avoid damage to jaw bone and further tooth loss. The available treatment options using dental implants are discussed in this article.

What options dental implants offer to help replace missing teeth?

The use of dental implants can provide several options to replace missing teeth and restore the full functionality of the mouth. Dental implant options vary depending on the number of missing teeth, the structural integrity of the jaw bone and the specific needs of the dental patient.

Another important factor in selecting one of the available dental implant options is the cost of treatment. Dental implants provide a permanent solution to the problem of missing teeth but the cost of dental implants can not always be covered by a patient.

If you look for affordable dental implants you can choose one of the dental implant options that provide the best balance between benefits and cost, such as having a 2-implant supported bridge instead of 3 or 4 single dental implants. Of course you can always choose the best option without worrying for the cost if you have dental implants insurance coverage.

Single Tooth Missing - Dental Implant Options

A single tooth implant with crown restoration is the best permanent solution that looks and functions just like a natural tooth. Except of tooth implants, the only other available option for replacing a single tooth is by having a dental bridge. Read implant vs bridge for a comparison of the two options.

Multiple Teeth Missing - Dental Implant Options

If there are multiple one tooth gaps in different parts of the mouth, single tooth implants are needed to replace each of them.

If multiple consecutive teeth are missing they can be replaced either by individual implants or by one or more implant fixed bridges. An implant fixed bridge is like a conventional bridge but it is supported over tooth implants instead of natural teeth. This option requires smaller number of implants than the missing teeth thus it combines the benefits of implants with more affordable cost and without negatively affecting the rest of the teeth. A combination of single dental implants and implant fixed bridges can be used if there are both one tooth gaps and multiple teeth gaps.

All teeth missing - Dental Implant Options

In case of full jaw or full mouth reconstructions when all teeth need to be replaced, there are two main types of dental implant restoration options:

1. Implant Supported Overdentures (Implant dentures) - are the entry-level dental implant option for those who have lost all their teeth, where two or four dental implants are used to anchor and support full or partial dentures. The best benefit of implant dentures is that they provide better stability and patients do not have to worry that they might slip or fall out. Implant supported dentures are a cost effective way for full mouth restoration and offer the comfort and quality of life that conventional dentures can't provide. Having implants to support these dentures also means that the base of the denture can be made much smaller and more comfortable. Recent implant technology breakthroughs such as mini dental implants can be placed and loaded in one day. They can be used to support and stabilize lower jaw dentures and they cost much less than if standard implants are used, due to the easier placement procedure.

2. Implant fixed bridges - this option provides an aesthetic, permanent and stable solution. Typically six to eight dental implants are needed per jaw to provide adequate support for the bridges making it a more expensive option compared to implant dentures. An implant bridge consists of the crowns on the dental implants as well as pontic crowns. A pontic is a crown that is joined together to the anchor crowns of the dental implants to form the implant fixed bridge.

3. Multiple single tooth implants - are the best of the dental implant options for those who want their new teeth to look and feel like their natural teeth, without the unpleasant feel of plastic in their mouth. Unfortunately the cost of treatment will be much higher ranging from $50,000 to $100,000.

There are a variety of dental implant options for replacing single, multiple, full arch or full mouth missing gaps. Teeth implants may be used in combination with crowns, bridges and dentures in restoring missing teeth. Each dental patient has different needs, expectations, and budget. An experienced dental implant dentist will explain the available dental implant options that are suitable for the specific case and explain the advantages and disadvantages of each solution.

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Last update: 01/01/2017