There are a few ways to replace multiple missing teeth, which include bridges, partial dentures, and multiple dental implants. Of the three, multiple dental implants are one of the most effective and durable methods. Multiple bridges have several advantages over partial dentures and dental bridges, which make them the preferred option for those who are good candidates.
WHY ARE MULTIPLE DENTAL IMPLANTS RECOMMENDED?
THE ADVANTAGES OF MULTIPLE DENTAL IMPLANTS
- Multiple dental implants replace more than one missing tooth by anchoring them firmly into the jawbone.
- Multiple dental implants not only improve a person’s ability to talk and eat, but also help preserve the jawbone from shrinking.
- The crowns fixed on the implants look and feel like natural teeth.
- Dental implants can last for a lifetime with proper care.
WHY YOU NEED TO GET TEETH REPLACED
Leaving the gap where teeth have gone missing untouched can not only affect your smile, your speech, and the way you eat, but can also cause structural problems. When a tooth goes missing, the jawbone that held it originally starts to get resorbed by the body. As this bone starts shrinking it causes the teeth on either side of the gap to also start shifting. Eventually, this can lead to a number of other problems with the teeth and gums.
By filling the gap, the teeth can be prevented from shifting and the alignment of the teeth can be preserved. However, procedures like putting dentures or dental bridges don’t stop the bone from shrinking. Multiple dental implants on the other hand, replace some of the missing roots as well as the teeth, preserving at least part of the bone. Multiple dental implants help to maintain the structural integrity of the jaw, preserving facial features and making patients look younger.
WHO IS A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR MULTIPLE DENTAL IMPLANTS?
You are a good candidate for multiple dental implants if:
- You are missing several teeth in a row.
- You are a healthy adult with a fully developed jaw.
- You have sufficient bone tissue to support the implants.
- You do not suffer from any other dental problems like gum disease.
- You do not have any other medical conditions.
- For certain medical conditions, we will need the go-ahead from the practitioner you are under before we proceed.
The implants are titanium cylinders that are like screws. The implants are fixed into the jawbone to span across the gap. Once placed, it takes a few months for the bone to fuse around the implants and anchor them firmly in place. The gum also heals during this time. Once the healing is complete, you will be called in for the second stage of the procedure.
During this stage, we make small incisions in the gum to expose the tops of the implants. We then fit a second piece called an abutment into the implant so that we have somewhere to place the crowns eventually. After the abutments are fixed in place, the gum needs time to heal again and to grow around the abutments. This also takes a few weeks.
Finally, once the gum is fully healed, we are ready to fix the crowns onto the abutments. The crowns are prepared out of ceramic or porcelain and look and feel exactly like natural teeth. All the missing teeth are joined together like a bridge, but the teeth on either end are fixed onto the abutments instead of adjacent teeth. Once the procedure is complete the replacement teeth cannot be told apart from the natural teeth.
HOW TO FIND OUT IF YOU ARE A GOOD CANDIDATE OR NOT
If you believe that you require multiple dental implants, we invite you to book an appointment with us at the San Anselmo Family Dentistry clinic. When you come in for a checkup, we will give you a full oral examination and note down your medical history. We will also need to take X-rays of your jaw to check if there is enough bone to anchor the implants.
If you are otherwise a good candidate for the implants but are lacking sufficient bone, we can first do a procedure called bone grafting to build up the tissue. The procedure involves, us taking a bit of bone from another part of the jaw or body and transplanting it into the areas where it is required. It takes a few months for enough new bone to grow around the graft and be strong enough for the implants. We can then proceed with fitting the implants.
The titanium implants can last a lifetime and with the right care, the crowns can too. Avoid eating any hard food that could damage the crowns and always practice good oral hygiene.
To find out more about multiple dental implants or to book an appointment with us, give us a call at one of the numbers listed below and we will be happy to help.