Missing teeth can cause negative changes in the mouth that affect the surrounding teeth and soft tissues. Missing teeth also leave gaps in your smile that can affect your confidence. When you have two missing teeth side by side, the negative impact on your oral health and appearance is too severe to ignore. Dental implants are quite versatile. But can one dental implant replace two missing teeth?
Cantilever bridges can replace two missing teeth
A cantilever bridge that uses a dental implant consists of a dental implant and a false tooth, which attaches to the dental implant crown. The dental implant provides support for the false tooth and allows patients to chew food and smile normally without the hindrance of missing teeth.
Unfortunately, cantilever bridges that use one dental implant to replace two teeth have limitations.
Cantilever bridges can't replace two back teeth
Your back teeth or your molars, require a lot of force when you chew your food. Your natural molars can withstand the heavy pressure placed on them during chewing because they are embedded in your jawbone and have two or more roots for support. However, a cantilever bridge with an implant and a false tooth doesn't have the same support. Eventually, the bridge will fail.
Cantilever bridges often work best in the front of the mouth.
Cantilever bridges can replace two front teeth
The teeth in the front of the mouth, such as the central incisors, perform much less chewing than the back teeth do. Because of this, cantilever bridges that utilize an implant and a false tooth are suitable for replacing two front teeth. For instance, if you are missing a central incisor and a lateral incisor, a dental implant could replace the central incisor and provide support for a false lateral incisor.
You may need bone grafts or gum reshaping
Before you can get a dental implant, your dentist will need to check that you have enough bone to support a dental implant. If your jawbone depth and width are insufficient to support a dental implant's titanium screw, you'll need a bone graft. Once the bone graft has healed, which can take several months, your dentist can place a dental implant.
In some cases, to ensure the false tooth looks like a real tooth, dentists will do some gum reshaping. This reshaping process simply helps to disguise the false tooth and help it blend into your smile.
If you are missing two front teeth, speak to your dentist about replacing those teeth with a cantilever bridge. Your dentist can then examine your mouth and find out if you are a good candidate for the treatment.
For more information about dental implants, contact a local dentist.