Dental implants are widely praised as a superior choice for tooth replacement if you have a tooth that’s either missing or too damaged to be saved. But what if you’re missing not just one tooth, or even a few teeth, but all of your teeth? It’s easy to think that dental implants probably aren’t for you in that case. You may think that it’s too complicated or too expensive to have dental implants installed for your entire mouth. But before you resign yourself to a life of ordinary dentures, here’s the truth about full mouth dental implants, and why they may be right for you.
What Are Full Mouth Dental Implants?
A few implants can act as anchors for a full set of teeth.
First, it’s important to understand what full mouth dental implants, sometimes called implant-supported dentures, are not. They are not a replacement for each single tooth individually. You will not get 28 separate implants. Instead, your dentist will use a few strategically placed implants to hold a denture-like device in place.
This way, you’ll get a full mouth of teeth with a minimum of surgery. This is more practical than replacing each tooth individually — that would be expensive and would require more recovery time as well.
How Are Full Mouth Dental Implants Placed?
Before recommending implants, your dentist will need to perform some diagnostics. You’ll have an examination and CT scan, which will help your dentist determine the correct placement of the implants. There are computer simulation programs that your dentist will use to map out the surgery and position the implants ahead of time. This allows for a smoother and more accurate surgical process.
If you still have teeth that need to be extracted, or if you need bone shaping, your dentist can do those things at the same time that the implants are placed. After that, you may receive a temporary tooth replacement device to use during the healing phase, which will eventually be replaced with the extension piece that will be permanently attached to your titanium implants. Alternatively, you may receive implants that come with the permanent extension already attached, giving you the full set of teeth in one procedure. Your dentist will help you determine whether a one-procedure solution is right for you, or if you would be better o having your implants installed in stages.
Why Are Full Mouth Implants Better Than Dentures?
Dentures are definitely better than nothing, but dental implants may be better for you.
There are a few reasons why implants are a better choice for many patients. For one thing, you’ll get more of your natural bite power back, because the teeth will be anchored to roots that are attached to your jawbone, similar to natural teeth. You’ll also nd that it’s easier to speak with teeth that are anchored into your mouth.
Implants are also a healthier choice for your jaw bone. Your natural teeth stimulate the bone and cause bone growth whenever you chew or touch your teeth together. That doesn’t happen when you wear dentures, as there are no tooth roots to stimulate the jaw bone. Because dental implants are anchored to the jaw bone, they both stimulate growth and prevent bone loss.
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