Although there is no difference in technique, in necessary materials or in price per teeth, making just one or a few artificial teeth is much easier than replacing more teeth, because a few artificial teeth will easily become integrated in the jaw, while the whole implant work is a very complex system. Whether you need to replace just one tooth with an artificial one, or you need to replace several teeth, the procedure will be quick, teeth will be completely functional and aesthetically pleasing, as well as compatible with all eventual future interventions. Implants will be the same shade as other teeth, or in any tone you want, especially if you plan a wider dental work later, and you would like for your crowns to be light in color.
Each implant is made of a screw that goes into the bone, the abutment that connects the crew and the crown (the only visible part). If you plan to get one or just a few implants we recommend you to use best quality implants, abutments and crowns, because there is no large cumulative difference in cost between ordinary and premium types. This difference is only 200 euros if you get just one implant and one crown but goes over several thousands in case of full implant treatment. If you need to save money, it is not advisable to save on the screw, but rather on abutment and the crown – especially as some screws come with free abutment. In each case we will give recommendation where it is possible to save up – usually it will be on abutment or on a crown.
Insertion of artificial teeth is divided into two phases. After insertion of screws there is a break of three of four months, which is the time needed for screws to become fully integrated into the bone. When the doctors are sure that the screws are absolutely firm, crowns are installed on top of them, but first it is important to determine how many crowns each screw will carry. If teeth have been missing for a long time the neighbouring teeth have been moving, and in that case the number or size of crowns will be different than when tooth was recently lost.
In case that the patient needs 1-4 artificial teeth, these are general guidelines:
If one tooth is missing, one screw, one abutment and one crown is needed;
If two teeth are missing, two screws, two abutments and two crowns are needed;
If three teeth are missing, two screws, two abutments and three crowns are needed;
If four teeth are missing, 2-3 screws, 2-3 abutments and three crowns are needed;
If we leave out the financial aspect (dental bridges are somewhat less expensive), in most cases implants are a better solution overall. When constructing dental bridges, often healthy teeth have to be scraped to be in shape to receive the bridge, and the feel the patient gets from implants is much better and more natural than with bridges. There are some situations when implants are preferable, mostly when there are some indications against using implants and when there is some chance implants will not adequately integrate into the bone. You can read more about dental bridge here.