If you’ve got missing teeth, don’t worry. You’re in good company.
Around 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth – and about 40 million have no natural teeth at all. Thankfully, dental care has moved on from dentures! Dental implants can make a huge difference to anyone with one or more missing teeth.
What’s right for you – partial dental implants or full dental implants? What’s the difference, and how can you make the right choice?
Read on to find out whether you need partial or full dental implants.
Dental implants can be a little confusing. The implant part refers to a post that is implanted into the jawbone below the gumline.
After this has healed, a small abutment is screwed into the fitting. Then an artificial tooth – a crown – is attached to the abutment. This gives the appearance of a natural tooth.
The amazing thing about dental implants is that you can attach more than one tooth to a single implant. Your dentist can sometimes attach two teeth to a single implant. Alternatively, five teeth can be attached to two implants.
What if you need full dental implants? This might make you think that you would need to have an implant for every two teeth! However, the reality is much simpler.
Using a method called ‘all-on-four’, your dentist can attach full dental implants – an entire span – to just four implants. When they are strategically placed, these four implants can provide the stability for the entire top or bottom set of teeth.
Before dental implants were an option, dental bridges were the main treatment for missing teeth.
Dental bridges are still a great treatment for many people. They use the teeth at either side of your missing teeth to create a bridge to support one or more artificial teeth.
Dental bridges are usually a more affordable option. They stop your teeth from leaning to fill the gap left by your missing teeth. They also fill unsightly gaps with natural-looking artificial teeth.
However, if you’re looking for a more permanent solution, partial dental implants are a great choice. They prevent bone loss in the jaw, support the other teeth, and do not put pressure on your other teeth.
Dental bridges can wear out over time. Dental implants are more permanent, and also give a more natural final appearance.
Whether you have partial or complete tooth loss, dentures have been the way to go for many years. Dentures are affordable, they allow you to eat a varied diet and have the aesthetics of a complete smile. However, most people would rather have something that looked and felt more natural.
In the battle of dental implants vs dentures, there is only one winner.
Dental implants look more natural. They are embedded into the jawbone and give you a much more natural and comfortable eating experience. You can chow down on a wide range of foods without having to worry about your dentures.
Dental implants are permanently attached, so you do not have to take them out for cleaning.
Whether you have minimal or complete tooth loss, dental implants can make a big difference to your quality of life.
The choice between partial dental implants or full ones will depend on the extent of your tooth loss.
If you have lost all of your teeth, then clearly full dental implants are the way forward. As mentioned earlier, you may be a candidate for all-on-four dental implants. Your dentist will perform a thorough assessment of your oral health to see if this is an option for you.
If you have lost almost all of your teeth, then your remaining teeth may still be at risk. Over time, the strength of your jawbone may also diminish. In this case, your dentist may discuss removing these remaining teeth and replacing them with full dental implants.
What if you only have one tooth missing, or just a couple of adjacent teeth? In this case, partial dental implants could be a great option. You may only need to have one implant to restore two adjacent teeth.
Dental implants will give you the closest feeling to natural teeth. They will stand up to great pressure, so you will be able to enjoy your favorite foods again. They also look much more natural than dentures.
The whole process from start to finish takes a few months. However, the recovery period after the initial appointment to fit the implant is brief. The process that takes several months is happening below the gumline.
After the dentist has fitted the dental implant, the jawbone will unite with it. This takes a few months, but the wait is well worth it. This forms solid support for your new tooth, much like the natural root of a tooth.
The costs of dental implants vary, depending on a number of factors. These include whether you need bone grafting and how many dental implants you need.
Talk to your dentist about potential costs during your initial consultation. You can also investigate whether your dental insurance can cover any of the costs.
Whether you need full dental implants or just partial ones, they can make a big difference to your quality of life.
Unlike dentures, they do not move or chafe. You can eat a huge range of foods – including hard, sticky, and chewy foods that were previously off-limits. They also look much more natural and can boost your confidence.
At Forest Park Dental, we provide high-quality restorative and cosmetic dental services. We have extensive experience in dental implants and offer partial and full dental implants according to your needs. Our experienced team will be happy to advise you about the right course of treatment for you.
We are proud to serve the good people of Central West End, St. Louis, and Clayton Missouri. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or request more information about our services.