Once, there used to be two solutions to this problem. One was replacing the missing tooth using a removable partial denture. Another option was a bridge, i.e. many interconnected crowns. An abutment tooth on one side and an abutment tooth on the other were prepared to allow the bridge to be installed. In certain cases, root canal treatments would also be done on the abutment teeth, not because there was an inflammation necessitating the treatment, but for restorative purposes.
However, in the past decades another, advanced solution was developed – the dental implant. The implant is effectively a threaded post that is inserted into the jawbone, serving as an anchoring point for installing a crown. The solution is an elegant one, that does not involve damage to adjacent teeth.
When multiple teeth or all teeth are missing, dental implants may certainly be used
as a solution. The number of implants is not a function of the number of missing teeth, i.e. it is not necessary to replace every missing tooth with an implant. In the case of missing teeth in a whole jaw, a denture may be fitted on up to ten implants. The method of restoration (internal link to the denture on implants page) will be determined by the number of implants and the patient’s requirements.
After installing the implant, a process begins, which ends with the jawbone being connected to the implant. The process of integration between the bone
and the implant takes time, and of course, it also depends on whether we need to augment the bone (internal link to bone augmentation). We have no way
of making the process work faster. Dentures may only be built on implants if the implant is stable.
There are two terms in the implant world that must be learned, one is immediate implantation and the other is immediate loading. Immediate implantation refers to the situation in which a tooth is implanted, and an implant is inserted in the same procedure.
Immediate loading refers to the state in which as soon as the implant is installed, a temporary denture is fitted to it (temporary crown, temporary bridge), which will be used as a transitional restoration. Another name for immediate loading is “implantation in a single day”, i.e. if the inserted implants have adequate initial stability, they may be loaded on the same day, and the temporary denture will be connected to them.