Replacing A Full Arch Of Teeth
Although many patients have had a conventional denture in the past, dentures are notoriously uncomfortable, difficult to eat with, and often are ill-fitting. Many denture wearers are limited in their food choices and are self-conscious as their dentures become loose at social gatherings.
Traditional Dentures have several downsides:
- Decreased Function: Dentures only have 10% of the chewing force of natural teeth
- Decreased Comfort: Patients often report dentures “dig into their gums” or “make me gag”
- Decreased Taste: Dentures cover up small tastebuds and can make food taste bland
- Decreased Confidence: Dentures often can be “loose” and can be a source of worry when in social settings
Today, ill-fitting and unstable dentures can be a thing of the past with dental implants acting as supporting structures. Never before have those faced with complete tooth loss had so many options to help them regain their confidence and comfort!
What Are The Options?
1. Locator Attachment Denture
One option is to have two implants placed in your lower jaw and a denture made that snaps onto these implants. This option allows your lower denture to be more stable while chewing than without implants. However, there will still be movement of your lower denture, and sore spots will occur if any food particles, especially seeds, are caught under it. As with all removable replacement teeth, you still will need periodic appointments for denture adjustment.
2. Bar Attachment Denture
Another option involves placing four to six implants, depending on your jaw size or shape, into your upper or lower jaw. After healing is complete, the implants are connected with a custom-made support bar. Your denture will be made with special internal retention clips that attach onto the support bar, enabling the denture to snap firmly into place. This is called a “Bar-retained Overdenture.” The advantage of this option is that it is much more stable than the first option and allows very little denture movement. Your denture is still removable for easy cleaning and maintenance.
3. Fixed Hybrid Denture
A third option involves placing four or more implants in your jaw and attaching a permanent denture. Your denture is held in place by screws that secure it to the supporting implants. It is flush with the the gum tissue, but you can clean under the denture without removing it. This denture will replace all your missing upper or lower teeth and will not be removed except at maintenance visits. Although cleaning under your denture without removing it is more time consuming and requires more dexterity, some patients who want a permanent denture prefer this option.
4. Individual Implants
The final option is to have all your teeth individually replaced so that they will appear to be growing out of your gum tissue and will most closely resemble the appearance of your natural teeth. This option usually requires eight or more implants. Separate abutments or support posts for each one of these implants will be made and crowns for each missing tooth will be placed. The teeth are often joined together for sinus grafting to replace bone height, strength, and support. Overall, this is the most costly option, because it requires the most implants and individual replacement tooth fabrication. Your replacement options may also be limited by the current size and shape of your jawbone.
2. Implants Placed
3. Healing Completed
Dr. Schaberg and Dr. Campbell want you to have every available choice when deciding which option is right for you. For an examination, please contact our office at (314) 434-4676 No referral is necessary, and if you don’t have a restorative dentist we will help you find one!