Tooth Replacement with Dental Implants
While there are many ways to replace missing teeth (fixed bridge, partial denture, full denture), often the best way to replace a missing tooth is with a dental implant. A dental implant is a titanium “screw” that is comfortably placed into your bone that can later be used to support a crown.
Advantages of Dental Implants
Dental implants have many advantages over fixed bridges. With a fixed bridge, we need to prepare the teeth in front of and behind a missing space, whereas with a dental implant, we don’t need to work on the neighboring teeth. And if you are missing multiple teeth in the same arch (upper left, lower left, etc.) then you might be a candidate for an implant bridge.
In addition, because dental implants are made of metal and not of tooth, they don’t get decay. So unlike a bridge that will eventually need to be replaced after many years, a tooth restored with a dental implant can last for a much longer period of time.
Am I a candidate for implants?
Generally speaking, in order to be a candidate for dental implants you need to have adequate spacing in between the jaws (top to bottom) and enough bone to hold the implant in place. When we discuss treatment options with you, we will discuss whether or not you are a candidate for dental implants. In some cases we will place a bone graft at the time of the tooth extraction in order to make sure there is adequate bone to place the implant.
Dental implants can also be used to help anchor a removable denture. Lower dentures especially are susceptible to becoming loose, as people lose bone in the lower jaw faster than in the upper jaw. You can learn more on our implant denture page.