Whether you are missing one tooth, multiple teeth or all your teeth, dental implants can restore your smile. When replacing more than one tooth with dental implants, you don't even need one implant for every missing tooth. That's because implants can support bridgework or a fixed denture. This means a full row of teeth (top or bottom) can be anchored by as few as four implants. And as few as two implants can be used to stabilize a lower removable denture. Implants can be used to:
Replace One Tooth — When you have one tooth missing, a single implant is inserted into the bone to replace the root part of that tooth; a crown then goes on top to simulate an actual tooth. This treatment choice has the highest success rate, making it the best long-term investment for replacing a single missing tooth. Even if the initial cost is slightly higher than other options, it is the most cost-effective solution over time. An implant will never decay or need root canal treatment, and feels just like the tooth that was there. Learn more about replacing one tooth with a dental implant.
Replace Multiple Teeth — When you have more than one tooth missing, implants provide an ideal replacement mechanism. For example, if you are missing three teeth in a row, a 3-unit fixed bridge can be created. This consists of two implants, one on either side of the gap, and a crown in between that has no implant underneath. That way, you won't need to use any of your remaining natural teeth as bridge supports, which could weaken them and make them more susceptible to decay. Learn more about replacing multiple teeth with dental implants.
Replace All Teeth — Implants can anchor a removable full denture to keep it from slipping or, better yet, an entire arch of upper or lower replacement teeth that are fixed into the mouth and are never removed. These teeth can take the form of fixed bridgework, which is a full set of replacement dental crowns; or a fixed denture, which contains crowns as well as realistic-looking prosthetic (replacement) gum tissue. Sometimes a new arch of teeth can be supported by as few as 4 implants. It's comparable to the structure of a table, which only needs 4 legs to hold it up. In cases where jawbone density and volume have deteriorated, 5 or 6 implants might be needed to support a row of 10 to 12 teeth. Dental implant replacement teeth protect your jawbone, won't slip, and should last a lifetime. Learn more about replacing all teeth with dental implants.