The number of dental implants required is often a concern of many of our patients that visit us from the local Bristol area and so we thought it would be a good idea to write a blog post regarding the number of implants which may be required in any given situation.
It is not possible to give a definitive answer about the number of implants however we can office and general guidance and advice.
Replacing a single missing tooth.
This is the easiest one to answer, as replacing one single truth requires one single dental implant.
How many implants to replace 2 missing teeth.
Depending on your exact situation we may use either one or two dental implants. If you have two implants then one will be used to support each of your new teeth, very much like a single implant but two of them next to each other. In some cases we can use a single dental implants and cantilever an additional tooth from it. When doing this we need to take into account your bite to ensure that there won’t be undue forces placed upon the implant itself.
The number of implants required to replace three, four or five missing teeth.
Sometimes a dental implant dentist will place a single implant for each of the teeth missing. This gives the advantage that every two can be made to look individual and completely natural however in most cases we would normally bridge the gap between implants by suspending the new tooth.
The disadvantage with doing this is that the dental implants themselves have a tendency to support the surrounding bone, this means that in the gap between the implants this support has not been provided. In some cases this could lead to the false tooth suspended between the implants looking less natural as the gum results from around it over time.
It depends upon your own clinical situation, sometimes there is not enough bone to use a single implant for each individual tooth, sometimes cost is a consideration and sometimes there are other clinical considerations which need to be taken into account which will dictate the exact number of implants used.
How many implants to replace more than five missing teeth.
This is where things become increasingly complicated. Many factors are involved such as:
- The overall cost of the dental implant treatment.
- The amount of bone in which to place the implants.
- The position and angle of existing, remaining and surrounding teeth.
- The cosmetic requirements of you as a patient.
- The ability of you to clean the final dental implant restoration.
Generally speaking though we would typically use an implant at either end of the span of missing teeth, with one or two more dental implants in between.
The number of implants required if you have no teeth at all.
Every dental implant dentist is different and each dental surgeon will decide to restore your smile in a different way. Some dentists will place more dental implants than others. Generally speaking it is possible to restore a completely edentulous (no standing teeth at all) draw, on either the top or bottom, with only four dental implants.
Using four dental implants allows us to provide you with a permanently fixed dental implant bridge which screws onto the implants themselves. This dental bridge is not removable by yourself and the screws will be completely hidden from sight, it is however removable by your dentist for routine cleaning, maintenance and care.
It is also sometimes desirable to provide a removable denture instead of a permanently fixed bridge. Sometimes when all of the teeth have been extracted the bone resorts a considerable amount, this can result in a change in the shape of your face and perhaps additional lines and wrinkles around your mouth. This increase in the lines and wrinkles is caused by the lack of support which is naturally provided by your jaw, gums and teeth.
In order to fully replace this a denture can be used, a denture is preferable in some cases because it has more of the gum added to it to restore this support from your lips and cheek.
If we use a removable denture it will have clips inside it which audibly click into place over the top of the dental implants. This holds it rigid in your mouth and prevents it moving about. The advantage of having a removable denture is that it can be cleaned and maintained by yourself at home and the cost is often lower as there are fewer dental implants involved. Some patients also have an existing denture which they are happy with, sometimes we are able to convert your existing comfortable denture into an implant retained denture by simply placing the implants into your jawbone, waiting for them to heal and then inserting the clips onto the inside of your denture.
Further information on dental implants
Evolve Dentistry are a Portishead-based dental practice offering dental implant treatments for the replacement of missing teeth to the local people of Bristol, Portishead and Cleveland. We offer a free dental implants consultation with our treatment coordinator to discuss your concerns and find out if implants are right for you. Call us today to book your free consultation.