If you are missing teeth, you may be considering dental implants as a replacement. Dental implants are the most natural-looking, long-lasting option for replacing missing teeth. But how many do you need? That depends on the number of teeth being replaced and the type of restoration being used in coordination with the implants. In this blog post, we will discuss how many dental implants you need for each type of restoration. We will also explain how dental implants are placed, step by step. Keep reading to learn more!
When it comes to placing dental implants, some cases are more straightforward than others. For example, if you are only missing a single tooth then you know you would only need a single dental implant to replace that tooth. However, when there are multiple missing teeth combined with other damaged or decayed teeth, it can be harder to answer the question of how many dental implants are needed.
While only your dentist can tell you for sure how many dental implants you will need, there are some ways to estimate how many implants will likely need to be used. In order to estimate the number of dental implants needed, we will look at three different factors: the number of teeth being replaced, the type of restoration being used, and the amount of bone.
The Number of Teeth Being Replaced
If you are missing multiple teeth, the number of dental implants you will need will largely depend on how many teeth are being replaced. For example, if you are only missing a few teeth then you may be able to get away with using fewer implants, especially if the missing teeth are next to one another. This is because there are still other existing teeth that can help support the restoration.
On the other hand, if you are missing most or all of your teeth then you will likely need more implants. This is because there will be no other teeth left to help support the restoration. In cases where all of the teeth are being replaced, it is not uncommon to place eight to ten implants per arch (upper or lower jaw). However, there are also cases where less implants may be used.
The Type of Restoration Being Used
Another factor that will affect the number of dental implants needed is the type of restoration being used. The three most common types of dental implant restorations are crowns, bridges, and dentures. Let’s take a closer look at each one:
A dental crown is used to replace a single tooth. This means that a single implant is all that is needed to support the crown. However, if there are multiple missing teeth that are far away from another or in a different arch, multiple implant-supported crowns may be needed.
A dental bridge is used to replace two or more consecutive missing teeth. For bridges, two to three implants are typically needed. The number of implants will depend on the size of the bridge and how many teeth are being replaced. Shorter bridges generally only require two implants, while longer bridges may require three.
Dentures are used to replace all of the teeth in an arch (upper or lower jaw). For dentures, six to eight implants are typically needed. However, in some cases, as few as four implants may be sufficient. The number of implants needed will depend on the size and shape of the denture.
The Amount of Bone
Another factor that can affect the number of dental implants needed is the amount of bone. When there is more healthy bone in the jaw, less dental implants are generally needed. However, a lack of bone can require more implants and/or the use of specialized implants, such as mini dental implants (MDIs).
In cases where there is not enough bone, a bone graft may be necessary before placing the implants. This is because the implants need to be placed in an area of the jaw where there is strong bone in order to be successful. When a bone graft is necessary, it will usually add an extra three to six months to the overall treatment time. However, it is important to note that this will vary from case to case.
In this blog post, we looked at three different factors that will affect the number of dental implants needed: the number of teeth being replaced, the type of restoration being used, and the amount of bone. As you can see, there are many factors that can affect the number of dental implants needed. In order to get an accurate estimate of how many implants you will need, it is best to consult with a qualified dentist. They will be able to assess your individual case and give you a more accurate estimate.
Dr. Alina Huang has been practicing dentistry in Manhattan for the last eight years. She was born in New York City, and raised in California where she received her Bachelor’s degree at UCLA, and her D.D.S. at the University of the Pacific in San Francisco. She then made her return to NYC where she completed her General Practice Residency at Montefiore Medical Center and has been working in private practice ever since. She continues her learning by attending courses to stay current with the latest advancements in dentistry and refine her skills.