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How Many Dental Implants Do You Really Need?

April 24, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — thedentalsmile @ 5:34 pm
Dentist explaining how many dental implants a patient will need

Tooth loss affects millions of Americans every day, but modern dental solutions like dental implants ensure you don’t have to settle for an incomplete smile. If you’re missing a single tooth, it’s pretty clear that you’ll only need one implant and a dedicated crown. But what happens if you’re missing several teeth throughout your mouth or all teeth in one or both arches? You may be surprised to learn that you don’t need as many implants as you’d think!

How Do Dental Implants Work?

Dental implants consist of a titanium post that is surgically placed inside of the jawbone, a restoration that sits on top, and an abutment (or small metal connector) that attaches these components together. Because the implant is so effective at mimicking the roots of teeth, it’s strong enough to hold a restoration entirely on its own. That means you won’t need to worry about modifying existing teeth just so they can hold a dedicated restoration (which is necessary for a traditional bridge).

In the case of a single missing tooth, the process is very cut-and-dry. An implant is placed and given several months to heal and fuse with the jawbone, then an abutment and crown are placed on top. For more complex tooth replacements, you’ll need more implants to hold your restoration.

The Number of Implants Needed for Bridges

If you are missing multiple consecutive teeth, you won’t need as many implants as you may have thought. For example, if you’re missing three consecutive teeth, you won’t need three implants just to rebuild your smile. Instead, only two implants are necessary to hold a three-crown bridge. The implants sit on either side of the gap while the bridge fills the space. In many cases, this technique allows dentists to replace as many as four consecutive teeth as well!

What About Implant Dentures?

The same logic can be applied to implant dentures, whether they are partial or full dentures designed to replace the entire upper or lower arch. It wouldn’t be feasible (or cost-effective) to place an implant for each tooth you intended to replace. For example, an implant denture (for either arch) generally requires just four to eight implants total, even though they are designed to replace 16 teeth.

If you have enough bone tissue available, you may even be able to receive your new restoration the same day as your implant surgery. This treatment is referred to as “full mouth dental implants” or All-on-4. In this instance, only four implants are needed to hold a full arch restoration!

If your main concern with dental implant treatment is the number of implants you think you’ll need, you’ll want to speak with a dentist so they can help you build a personalized treatment plan. You just might be more eligible for treatment without realizing it!

About Orabell Dental Implant Centers

The dentists of Orabell Dental Implant Centers are highly experienced in replacing teeth with personalized, long-lasting, and natural-looking dental implants. Whether you’re missing one tooth or all the teeth in your smile, they hold the skills and expertise needed to ensure your patient experience is comfortable and accommodating from start-to-finish. To schedule an appointment or consultation, you can contact them through their website.

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