Dental implants are a great technology for replacing missing teeth. They can replace one tooth or an entire arch. If you’re considering dental implants, you know that the number of dental implants affects the cost of dental implants as well as your procedure and recovery.
So how do you figure out the right number of dental implants to replace your teeth? Here are a couple important factors to consider.
How Many Teeth Are You Missing?
At most, you will need one dental implant for each missing tooth, but in many circumstances you can get by with many fewer implants than you have missing teeth.
This depends on where the missing teeth are. If you have three missing teeth scattered throughout your mouth, you’ll need three separate dental implants. But if you have three missing teeth together, you might only need two dental implants to support a dental bridge.
At an extreme case, we can replace an entire arch (all the teeth on either the top or bottom) with just four dental implants supporting dentures.
How Healthy Is Your Bone?
Another key issue is the state of bone in your jaw. If you have good, strong bone–and plenty of it–in your jaw, we can use strong implants and therefore use fewer of them.
If you have less bone, we might have to rely on mini dental implants, which are not as strong, and take more implants to distribute the same force.
Is Your Bite Balanced?
If you have a well-balanced bite that evenly distributes force in your mouth, we can usually get by with fewer implants. Balanced forces can be distributed well with a large bridge so that there’s less force on any individual implant.
But if you have an imbalanced bite–often a prelude to or consequence of TMJ–we may have to put down more dental implants to help handle the forces. However, we can also work to balance your bite at this time to reduce the amount of force that your dental implants have to bear.
Bruxism can also be a problem for dental implants. If you are clenching your teeth, it can damage bone around the dental implants, increasing the risk of implant failure. More implants can help guard against this, but we may also need to address the cause of your bruxism.
The best way to learn how many dental implants you need is to talk to a San Diego implant dentist. Please call (619) 299-5925 today for an appointment at Strober Dental.