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Dental Implant Treatment Options
Dr. Gray DMD, MD Carson Valley Oral SurgeryReplacing a Single Missing Tooth
When a single tooth is missing, the two most common treatment options are the traditional tooth supported bridge and an implant supported crown. When a traditional bridge is used to replace a missing tooth, the adjacent teeth are cut down into peg shapes in order to fit the cemented bridge in place. This method of tooth replacement can be very esthetic and functional for a period of time. However, a tooth-supported bridge does not replace the bone that previously surrounded the root. Since there is no longer a root to hold the bone in place, the bone deteriorates or melts away.




There are many advantages to replacing a single missing tooth with an implant-supported crown:
  • It looks, feels and functions like a natural tooth
  • It is much more esthetic long term
  • It does not decay
  • There is no need to grind down the adjacent natural teeth
  • The bone is preserved, preventing a visible bony defect
  • It is more hygienic (easier to clean) than a tooth-supported bridge

Dr. Gray DMD, MD Carson Valley Oral SurgeryReplacing Multiple Missing Teeth
When more than one tooth is missing, there are three common treatment options: the traditional tooth supported bridge, a removable partial denture, and an implant supported bridge. In this situation the benefits of implant-supported teeth are even more obvious.

A removable prosthesis, such as a partial denture, actually accelerates the bone resorption (deterioration) process that occurs naturally when teeth are lost or removed. In addition, the clasps that hold the partial denture in place put significant pressure on the natural teeth they hook onto, loosening them and, in many cases, eventually leading to the loss of those teeth. Most patients with partial dentures state that they are uncomfortable and that they rarely wear them.


The advantages of replacing multiple missing teeth with implant-supported bridges include the following:
  • They look feel and function like natural teeth
  • They are much more comfortable and stable than partial dentures
  • Natural biting and chewing capacity is restored
  • They virtually stop the bone resorption (deterioration) process
  • The integrity of the facial structures is maintained
  • Adjacent natural teeth are not compromised (ground down into peg shapes or loosened)

Replacing all of the Teeth. In the past, people missing all of their teeth had no option but dentures. This prosthesis has numerous disadvantages, such as:
  • Dentures are uncomfortable and often painful
  • Dentures do not look natural, especially when eating
  • As the bone continues to melt away, the dentures become loose, and can fall out when laughing, sneezing, or coughing without the use of adhesives
  • People without their teeth and supporting bone visibly age much faster
  • Wearing dentures usually undermines a person's self confidence (they have missing body parts and do not feel complete or natural)
  • People with dentures cannot eat certain foods, such as steak, corn on the cob, and apples
  • People with dentures generally have bad breath

Dr. Gray DMD, MD Carson Valley Oral SurgeryThese problems can be solved with implant supported replacement teeth, which are stable (securely fastened to the implants) and maintain the integrity of the facial structures by preserving the bone.










Some of the many advantages of implant supported replacement teeth include the following:
  • They are more comfortable and stable than traditional dentures
  • They virtually stop the bone resorption (deterioration) process
  • Integrity of the facial structures is maintained
  • Appearance is improved
  • It is not necessary to cover the roof of the mouth, so food can be tasted
  • Relines and repairs are infrequent compared to traditional dentures
  • Natural biting and chewing capacity is restored
Carson Valley Oral Surgery. Oral and Maxillofacial Services Northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe, and the surrounding area.
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