No More Natural Teeth: Deciding Between Implants and Dentures

Dental Implant Approaches: Things To Consider

by Jeremiah Barnett

When you hear about dental implants, you might automatically assume that implants are only for full-mouth reconstruction and a long-term process. However, there is more to the implant process and your options than you might think. Here's a look at some of the things that you should understand about dental implants and the applicable situations.

Single Lost Tooth

You can choose a dental implant to replace a single lost tooth. This is beneficial in many cases because it helps to protect your jawline, reduces the risk of bone loss from the missing tooth, and preserves your overall dental structure. These implants provide a viable alternative to a single-tooth bridge or similar dental appliance, especially if you are uncomfortable having something anchored to neighboring teeth. Your implant will stand alone with a crown over the post, so there is no exposure to any other tooth in the process.

Implant-Supported Dental Bridge

If you are missing more than one tooth in an area of your mouth, an implant-supported dental bridge might be a better solution. With these dental appliances, the bridge is held in place by the implant instead of anchoring to existing teeth. This provides you with the stability of the bridge without involving other teeth in the process. The implant-supported dental bridge provides you with fixed, secure alternatives when you've lost teeth and are looking for a more efficient solution.

All-On-Four Implants

This type of implant provides a full reconstruction of your upper or lower arch, and it can be used to reconstruct both when necessary. This system creates a series of implanted anchors with a removable denture that attaches to those implants. Removable dentures are designed for convenience so you can clean them more effectively. This is an ideal solution when you need extensive reconstruction work.

Bridge-Based Reconstruction Implants

When you need extensive reconstruction but want a more cost-effective solution than the full implant-supported denture, consider bridge-based implants. These implants rely on a series of implant posts to secure multiple dental bridge sections. It is more cost-effective than implant dentures, and the individual bridge sections can be easier to maintain and keep clean for some patients. 

Talk with your oral surgeon about the dental implant solutions that could work for your situation. The more proactive you are about your care, the sooner you will have that restored smile and confidence that you have wanted. Consider these options as you choose the best implant for your teeth.

For more information about implants, contact a local dentist.