If you've lost several teeth, you might feel as if getting multiple dental implants is outside your budget. This can leave you in a situation where you feel like there is no way to use implants to permanently restore your smile. Thankfully, you do not need to go all in with dental implants with an implant for each missing tooth, since the procedure can be combined with other techniques to fix a smile. Be aware of how implants work with dentures and bridges.
Implants and Dental Bridges
The way that a traditional dental bridge works is that it requires two healthy teeth to surround the gap where a tooth is missing. Your dentist creates two crowns that attach to the healthy teeth, and it suspends a fake tooth between them using a technique that look similar to a bridge. It is an effective way to replace a missing tooth without using surgery.
If you are missing several teeth in a row, you may not think that a bridge is possible without anything to hold to fake tooth in place. That is not true, since you can use both a dental bridge and an implant to fill in the gap.
The way it works is that a dental implant can be used to stand in for what is typically a healthy tooth in a dental bridge. The crown that is fitted over the implant will be the piece that has the fake tooth and the crown for the nearby healthy tooth. This allows you to replace two missing teeth without having two dental implants.
Two dental implants can even be used to create a bridge to fix three missing teeth.
Implants and Dentures
Dentures are typically used to replace a full row of teeth that are missing. However, over-dentures require some healthy teeth to support the dentures. This gives the dentures more stability than they otherwise would have, since the dentures connect to the teeth to prevent slipping.
Even if you are missing an entire row of teeth, over-dentures can be supported by strategically placed dental implants. This gives you the ability to use dentures with some significant benefits that you would not otherwise have, such as improved confidence when speaking or eating with the dentures in your mouth.
Not sure if you can use dental implants with other techniques? Schedule a consultation with your dentist. They'll let you know what will work best for your dental situation.