Missing teeth are not just an aesthetic problem. There are also many serious dental health problems that are associated with missing teeth. For instance, missing even just a single tooth can make it difficult to eat the foods that you love. In addition, when you are missing teeth, it's common for bone loss and gum recession to occur in the area of the tooth gap. The teeth adjacent to the tooth gap can also shift out of place because the balance has been thrown off along the dental arch.
That's why it's so important to discuss your options for tooth replacement with skilled dental health professionals and oral surgeons. One particularly helpful option for addressing tooth loss is dental implants, which we'd like to examine briefly right now.
About Dental Implants
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are surgically embedded into a patient's jawbone and gum tissue. When in place, these dental implants are able to support replacement teeth with the stability and strength of natural tooth roots. In addition, issues with the loss of tissue density are eliminated since the dental implants give the jawbone and gums some structure to grow around and support.
Ideal Candidates for Dental Implants
The best candidates for dental implants are people who are missing a tooth or multiple teeth and have sufficient tissue density in the jaw and gumline. These patients should be in good overall health since surgery is involved, and they should also have realistic expectations about what dental implants can achieve.
Let's now look at how dental implants can address issues related to varying degrees of tooth loss.
Replacing a Single Tooth with Dental Implants
When a patient is missing just one tooth or individual teeth in different parts of the mouth, the best option is to use dental implants to support individual dental crowns. These dental crowns will be carefully designed to look totally natural and complement adjacent teeth as well as the teeth on the opposite dental arch.
Replacing Multiple Teeth with Dental Implants
When a patient is missing a few teeth in a row, individual dental crowns may not be a viable option any longer. In those cases, two or more dental implants may be placed in order to support a dental bridge. A dental bridge is a set of multiple artificial teeth that spans a gap left behind by a few missing teeth.
Replacing the Dental Arch with Dental Implants
When a patient has suffered from major tooth loss that leave big gaps along the entire dental arch, the best option is to use dental implants to support a partial denture or a full denture. The dental implant
configuration will vary based on the needs of the patient, but the oral surgeon will place the implants with an eye for stability and optimal support.
Learn More About Dental Implants
If you would like to learn more about dental implants as well as your many other options for advanced health and wellness, be sure to contact our Alabama oral / maxillofacial surgery centers today. The entire team here looks forward to meeting you in person and helping you achieve the best possible health and wellness.