When you've lost multiple teeth due to trauma or decay, it might be difficult to figure out which dental replacement options are right for your situation. Many people don't realize that a wide variety of dental implant styles exist to deal with this type of loss.
Why dental implants? However the implants are used in the treatment, their jaw-implanted roots offer a source of stability that prevents the artificial teeth from shifting around when biting. This in turn makes chewing feel as close to natural as possible.
There are a few different teeth implant options that you can discuss with a dentist, such as those at Dental Images.
A traditional dental bridge involves using two healthy neighboring teeth as anchors. Artificial crowns are created for those teeth and bonded onto the top. Then, an artificial tooth is hung between the crowns to fill the gap. Traditional bridges depend on the neighboring teeth, which is problematic if you have several missing teeth in a row.
An alternate option is a fixed bridge. Instead of using crowns on existing teeth as the supports, a fixed bridge snaps onto dental implant roots embedded in the jawbone. There is typically one implant root at each end of the bridge, while the artificial teeth in the middle hang above the gums.
The number of implants required will depend on the number of teeth needing to be replaced. The dentist will want to close the gap as much as possible using the implants, then finish the process with the hanging bridge teeth.
Traditional partial dentures have a supportive plate that fits down tightly over your gums. The fit and removable nature of the dentures means the plate can slide around over the gums, causing irritation and an unnatural feel to the teeth. A more stable alternative is over-dentures.
Over-dentures use the same screw-shaped metal root structures as dental implants, but instead of fastening a single artificial tooth to each post, an entire plate of dentures is snapped down on all of the posts. This technique gives the dentures a firmer foundation while keeping the cost of the total teeth replacement fairly low.
Multiple Traditional Implants
Multiple missing teeth aren't always near each other in the mouth. If you have missing teeth spaced widely away from each other, a few traditional dental implants might be your best option.
Traditional bridges might also be possible, but those bridges are susceptible to failure if the supporting teeth suffer major decay or trauma. Dental implants would provide a better long-term solution if you have a history of tooth decay.