A dental implant is one of the possible options when replacing missing teeth without using a dental bridge, suggests the American Academy of Periodontology. A patient can also opt for partial or full dentures, states the American Academy of Implant Dentistry.
Dental professionals can often replace missing teeth with either endosteal or subperiosteal implants, explains the American Academy of Periodontology. An implant is a fake root that a dentist attaches either in the jaw bone for an endosteal implant or on the jaw bone for a subperiosteal implant. A prosthetic tooth is then attached to the fake root.
Using implants to replace teeth depends largely on the bone quantity of the jaw, states the American Academy of Periodontology. Implants on the upper teeth are difficult to do because there is very little bone in the upper jaw. In some cases, bone can be grown or developed by raising the sinus floor in sinus augmentation. Another option is to add bone or bone substitute in ridge modification.
While dentures are not as effective or stable as implants, they are less expensive, states the American Academy of Implant Dentistry. Sometimes dentures are necessary if there is not enough bone for implants; however, they do not look as aesthetic as implants and can irritate the gums.