When all the teeth are missing in one or both jaws,teeth may be replaced with either traditional dentures or implant supported restorations. In the past, dentures were the only options available to the this segment of the population. If you are missing all your teeth in one or both jaws, your are not alone. A recent survey revealed that in there are about 26 million people in the US who are missing all their teeth in at least one jaw. The consequences of missing all the teeth are many and include progressive deterioration of the jaw bone and eventual bone loss which leads to the typical collapsed “denture face”.
Options for Replacing All Missing Teeth
Traditional dentures rest of the gum tissue of the toothless jaw. As such, they have many disadvantages and tend to interfere with the daily life activities of patients.
- Dentures are uncomfortable and often painful to wear
- Dentures do not look natural, especially when eating or speaking
- People without their teeth and supporting bone visibly age much faster which explains the ‘denture look”
- Wearing dentures usually undermines a person’s self esteem and daily quality of life activities such as eating, speaking, and can affect relationships.
- As the bone continues to deteriorate, the dentures become loose, and can fall out when laughing, sneezing, or coughing without the use of adhesives
- People with dentures cannot eat certain foods, such as steak, corn on the cob and apples
- People with dentures generally have bad breath
These problems can be solved with implant supported replacement teeth, which are stable (securely fastened to the implants) and maintain the integrity of the facial structures by preserving the bone.
There are several available solutions to replace all missing teeth. This includes removable implant overdentures or fixed (Stationary) implant restorations. The removable implant overdentures are typically supported by two or more implants and the implants are used as anchors to help secure the denture in place. This provides a significant improvement over the traditional gum supported denture and solves many of the problems discussed earlier. The minimum number of implants for this treatment options is 2 implants in the lower jaw and 4 implants in the upper jaw. The upper jaw generally requires more implants that the lower jaw because of its lesser bone density. The overdentures are secured to the implants with special “snaps” that can provide anywhere from 5-30 pound of retention force depending on the number of implants and the chewing demands of the patient. Occasionally, these retention elements need to be changed as they become worn out. Periodic follow up and maintenance is paramount to ensure long term longevity and success. The bone, gum, space, and underlying tissue have to be appropriate and suitable for this treatment options. When you schedule your FREE CONSULTATION, we can determine if you are a suitable candidate for such a treatment.
The fixed implant restoration option relies on implants to secure a full complement of replacement teeth to the jawbone. These restorations feel, look, and function like natural teeth and eliminate all the problems associated with removable dentures. They typically require a larger number of implants (anywhere from 4 to 8 implants). The implants can then be used to secure a a full set of replacement teeth or multiple bridges that will make up an entire dental arch. The benefits of these replacement include:
- Improved comfort, security, and chewing capacity
- It stops the bone deterioration caused by tooth loss
- Restores the collapsed structures of the face. No more “denture face”
- Teeth feel and look as close to natural teeth
- It is not needed to cover the roof of the mouth with these restorations. This allows for a much better eating experience with taste, temperature, and texture.
- They require the least amount of maintenance as compared to implant overdentures.
Periodic follow up, excellent oral hygiene, and professional care are paramount to long term success and longevity of these restorations. The bone, gum, space, and underlying tissue have to be appropriate and suitable for this treatment options. When you schedule your FREE CONSULTATION, we can determine if you are a suitable candidate for such a treatment.