Treatment Options & Designs

Treatment options and designs for your new teeth are customized specifically based on your needs, goals, existing dental condition, and the best long-term prognosis. This requires evaluation by a surgeon and your restorative dentist and close collaboration to design a customized treatment plan.

Treatment Options Include:

  • Delayed implant placement: The implant is placed two-three months after tooth extraction. If the extraction site was grafted, then the implant is placed in five to six months.
  • Immediate implant placement: The implant is placed on the same day as the tooth extraction. Some minor grafting may be necessary.
  • Teeth-in-a-Day: The implants and the temporary restorations are placed on the same day.

Treatment Designs include:

  • Single tooth replacements: A single implant is placed to replace single missing teeth. This is the most conservative approach in tooth replacement. Bridges or dentures are not recommended.
  • Multiple teeth replacement: When several adjacent teeth are missing, implants can be used to support either single crowns or a bridge. Typically, for missing teeth in the back of the jaw, one implant should be placed for each missing tooth. In the front of the mouth (smile zone), it is possible and often recommended to place a fewer number of implants to support a bridge.
  • Completely missing teeth: When all teeth are lost, you may have implants to support either a fixed bridge or a removable prosthesis. Typically six to eight implants are needed for a fixed bridge and two to four implants for support of a removable prosthesis.

Connecting Implants and Natural Teeth:

Can a bridge be made by connecting dental implants and natural teeth? The answer is no. There are many studies that advise against connecting implants and natural teeth with a bridge. These studies show poor long-term results. It is best to keep the implants and natural teeth separate.

Do Mini Implants Work?

Mini implants, often offered by less experienced dentists as a quick and less costly solution to replacing missing teeth, have a high degree of complications and failure and therefore care not recommended for long-term tooth replacement. Only standard size implants should be used for teeth replacement to achieve long-term success and longevity. See section on mini implants for more information.