MULTIPLE TOOTH REPLACEMENT
SEVERAL TEETH MISSING
For patients missing two or more teeth on a single arch, we create custom implant supported bridges or partial dentures. Unlike traditional partial dentures or fixed bridges, the implant supported versions restore the entire tooth roots and all allowing patients to experience superior comfort, stability, and longevity. For this reason, our team frequently recommend implant supported bridges and partial dentures. However, there are certain situations in which patients may benefit from traditional tooth replacement options including:
- Diminished jawbone density or gum tissue volume making implant placement and retention difficult and increasing the risk of implant rejection
- Poor oral or overall health especially immune compromising disorders like gum disease, diabetes, and immunodeficiency disorders put patients at increased risk for implant failure and make recovery following the procedure more difficult.
- Patients who have experienced difficulty during surgical procedures of any kind in the past are more likely to have adverse reactions to oral surgery.
COURSE OF TREATMENT
There are many options available. Consult your dentist to find out what the best solution is for you, given your specific condition.
IMPLANT SUPPORTED FIXED BRIDGE vs. REMOVABLE PARTIAL DENTURES
Implant supported bridges and partials are placed in three phases: preparation, implantation, and restoration. During the preparation phase, patients’ smiles are thoroughly examined to ensure implant replacement is their best option. Then, we remove or repair damaged dental structures as necessary by pulling teeth, offering periodontal therapy for patients suffering from gum disease, and any other recommended treatments to ensure smile health. Once the patient’s smile is healthy, we’ll use 3D digital x-rays and dental impressions to create a treatment plan and send this information to our lab where a prosthetic bridge or partial is crafted.
During the implantation phase, we insert one or more dental implants below the gum line to support the restoration. The number of implants required depends on the type of restoration, number and location of missing teeth, and size of dental structures being replaced. In most cases, a good rule of thumb to determine how many implant posts will be necessary is to look at how many gaps there are in your smile, and think that every 2 consecutive teeth can be supported by 1 implant. For instance, patients missing 3 consecutive teeth will likely need two implant posts to support an implant retained bridge. Whereas patients with 3 missing teeth on the left side of their arch and 2 on the right will likely only need three implant posts. If all of that still seems confusing, don’t worry, we’re always here to help and we take the time to walk patients through every step of the process. Following the surgical implantation of implant posts, patients undergo a process known as osseointegration. During this process, the supportive alveolar bone fuses to the implant posts creating a solid foundation for a dental restoration.
Finally, patients return to our office to have a custom bridge or partial placed. Dental bridges are fixed implant supported prosthetics, but we offer both fixed and removable implant supported partial dentures. The decision to choose removable partials is almost entirely personal, but some common reasons patients choose this option include:
- Patients who wear a traditional partial find it easier to adjust to a removable prosthetic like the ones they’re used to
- Patients who grind their teeth at night may choose removable partials in order to protect their restoration from this unconscious habit
- Patients who have difficulty brushing and flossing teeth thoroughly or who are prone to decay or gum disease may find it easier to keep their remaining dental structures healthy with removable partials