If you are missing one or more teeth, you’ll find that there are a number of great options that can help you to restore your smile. Dental implants, bridges, and dentures are just some of the solutions that your dentist can offer to you. Your dentist will offer you the pros and cons of each of your options so that you can make an informed decision about which option is the best one for you to pursue.
Dental implants have been widely recognised as the optimal solution for permanent tooth replacement. They offer the durability and aesthetic qualities that dentists and patients are looking for.
While payment plans are an option, the overall cost of dental implants can prove to be excessive for patients who may need a full mouth reconstruction. Dentures can be a much more affordable option, but they do come with a lot of negative views. Dentures can also lead to gum irritation and can be a hassle to keep clean. Traditional dentures can also prove to be unstable, and annoying to keep in place even with denture pastes.
Full arch dental implants can offer a viable alternative. Full arch dental implants could be for the upper or the lower part of your jaw. This alternative essentially combines the stability of the dental implant, with the affordability of traditional dentures.
Understanding Full Arch Dental Implants
The full arch dental implant functionality is not much different from what you’d see with a traditional dental implant. With the traditional dental implant, a single titanium post is implanted into healthy jaw bone so that it can fuse to the bone that surrounds it. Once the post has been integrated with the jaw bone, it now serves as a permanent artificial root for the prosthetic that will be attached to it.
What sets the full arch dental implant treatment apart from the single implant is that it uses four strategically placed implants that can support the replacement of the entire arch. With just a few implants, all 16 teeth in the arch can be replaced with a prosthetic, and give you an instantly transformed smile.
This will allow a dental patient to get the restored smile that he or she is looking for, with the benefits and support seen from the traditional dental implant solution, for a much-lowered cost than what is otherwise seen with full arch reconstruction.
Another key point relates to the way in which each of the four implants is placed. In order to get the most support, two anterior implants are set close to the front of the mouth, while two posterior implants are set much farther behind in the jaw.
The anterior implants are set in straight as is seen with any other type of dental implant. The posterior implants are set at an angle so that the patient can avoid needing a bone graft. Bone grafts are quite common with individual dental implant treatment if the patient has suffered from bone loss due to missing teeth.
Without adequate bone in the jaw bone, the titanium post won’t have anything to fuse to, and won’t be able to provide a permanent artificial root solution.
Taking bone grafts out of the mix can help to simplify the overall procedure and can help to keep costs manageable. It can also help with healing time, as bone grafts can take several months to heal.
The Full Arch Dental Implant Procedure
Every procedure will differ, based on the needs of the patient, and based on the type of full arch supported restoration that you and your dentist decide is best for you.
This is a high-level and general description of the procedure, so that you can have an idea as to what to expect during your own surgery.
Full Arch Dental Implant Procedure – Phase 1
During this initial consult, your dentist will evaluate your overall oral health and will help you to determine which course of treatment is the best one for you. If you are determined to be a candidate for full arch dental implants, your dentist will use imaging tools to determine the functional and aesthetic parts of your treatment plan. This could include bite placement, and the length of the prosthetics that you’ll get. Your dentist will also take this time to evaluate whether your jaw bone requires any additional treatment prior to the implants being set.
Some patients may require jaw bone shaping, which is a different procedure from jaw bone grafts.
Full Arch Dental Implant Procedure – Phase 2
Using the x-rays and 3D images taken of your mouth, your dentist will work up a simulation of the surgery and overall treatment plan. This will help to determine precisely where each of the four implants is going to be placed to give the optimal support for the prosthetic.
Full Arch Dental Implant Procedure – Phase 3
During this phase you will have the surgery that will set the implants into your jaw. Typically, patients receive four implants, but some may require up to six implants.
Additional procedures may be needed during this phase. Any remaining teeth, whether decayed or not, will need to be extracted by your dentist. Extracting these teeth will also make sure that there is adequate space for the replacement prosthetic.
Once the implants are set, a temporary denture may be affixed to the implants so that you don’t need to spend your recovery time without any teeth in your mouth. During this healing period, your implants will be fusing to your jaw bone, and your mouth will be allowed to heal from the surgery itself. You may be prescribed a medicated rinse to help control the bacteria in your mouth through this crucial stage of healing.
Full Arch Dental Implant Procedure – Phase 4
At about the three-month mark, after the implants have been allowed to heal and integrate with your jaw bone, you’ll be back in the office to have the permanently fixed denture prosthetic placed.
The prosthetic can be removed at a later stage by your dentist, for repairs or adjustments. But it will provide you with a permanent smile makeover solution. You’ll be able to brush your teeth, and rinse around them with mouthwash.
Benefits of Full Arch Dental Implants
One of the best benefits of this smile restoration treatment is that it can be offered at a much lower cost than if a dental patient were to pursue replacing each tooth with an individual implant.
The procedure itself can also be completed faster than other smile reconstruction solutions. Many patients can walk into the dental office in need of a full smile restoration, and walk out a few hours later with a smile that looks natural. This, of course, isn’t your final full smile, as it will only include the temporary denture prosthetic affixed to the implants. There are no shortcuts for the time that implants need to fuse to the bone in your jaw.
While no dental procedure is going to be without some sort of minor discomfort, you’ll find that this one can be done with minimally invasive solutions that lead to little or no pain during the entire process. Your dentist will always ensure that your comfort levels are maintained, and that you feel no pain.
To find out if you are a good candidate for full arch dental implants, contact us today. Your brand-new smile could be just a phone call away.
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