There are two types of dental implants for individuals with multiple missing teeth. You can opt for individual implants or implant bridges. Individual implant treatment uses individual implants to replace each missing tooth. Therefore, if you have three missing teeth, your dentist will place three implants in your jaw. Conversely, you can opt for implant-supported bridges to replace multiple teeth. Before choosing either option, you should keep in mind the factors below.
Location of the Missing Teeth
The location of the missing teeth can determine the best type of implant for your treatment. If you are missing multiple front teeth, getting implants for each missing tooth may affect your oral aesthetics. Furthermore, the front teeth have only one root, which leaves little space for the implants. In this case, implant-supported bridges may be an excellent choice. You can use two implants to replace three or four teeth in each jaw.
If you have lost multiple molars or premolars, you can opt for either individual implants or implant bridges. The back teeth have two or three roots; therefore, there is usually adequate space for placing multiple implants. Since the teeth are out of sight, you don't have to worry as much about dental aesthetics. Individual implants also provide better support to the back teeth, which makes chewing easy and effortless.
Dental Care Considerations
Unlike regular dental bridges, implant-supported bridges are connected to dental implants rather than natural teeth. Once the supporting implants are inserted into the jawbone, connecting crowns are placed on the implants to form a bridge. There are no spaces between the crowns, which can complicate dental care. You need to floss underneath the bridges, which may require special flossing products.
Failure to observe proper dental care may cause gum disease around the implant bridges. Therefore, if you are concerned about complicated oral care, opt for individual implants. Since there are spaces between the implants, you can floss between the artificial teeth as you would your natural teeth. The process is fast and easy because you don't require special flossing skills or products.
The Cost of Implant Treatment
Implant bridges require fewer prostheses than individual implants. Therefore, the overall cost of treatment is lower than if you opted to get an implant for each missing tooth. However, bridges may not last as long as individual implants. If you grind your teeth or clench your jaw habitually, the pressure applied to the teeth can cause bridges to wear out quickly. Conversely, individual implants offer more resilience to jaw clenching and teeth grinding. Therefore, if you suffer from bruxism, you should get individual implants.
Consider these factors when deciding between individual implants and implant bridges for your missing teeth. For further consultation, talk to your dentist.