If you’re missing all of your teeth, full mouth dental implants can replace your teeth as well as well as some of their roots.
What are the advantages of full mouth dental implants over conventional dentures?
Full mouth dental implants provide several advantages over other teeth replacement options like conventional dentures. In addition to looking and functioning like natural teeth, full mouth dental implants are designed to be long lasting. They’re also more comfortable and stable than conventional dentures, allowing you to bite and chew more naturally and to eat certain foods that can be difficult to eat with conventional dentures.
Another big advantage is that full mouth dental implants don’t require the time-consuming maintenance associated with conventional dentures, which should be removed and cleaned after eating and soaked overnight. Instead, dental implants need only be cared for with the same daily brushing and flossing routines that are recommended for natural teeth.
In addition, because full mouth dental implants will replace some of your tooth roots, your bone will be better preserved. With conventional dentures, the bone that previously surrounded the tooth roots will begin to deteriorate. This will lead to recession of the jawbone and a collapsed, unattractive smile. In contrast, dental implants integrate with your jawbone, helping to keep the bone healthy and your natural smile intact.
How will the full mouth dental implants be placed?
There are three components to full mouth dental implants:
- The implants, which look like screws or cylinders and are placed into your jaw.
- The prosthetic (artificial) teeth, which look and function like healthy, natural teeth.
- The abutments that are inserted into the implants and allow the new teeth to connect to the implants.
The first step of the procedure is usually to use a scalpel to create and peel back two gum flaps to expose the underlying jawbone. (In some cases it may be possible to access the jawbone through a small circular incision rather than by raising tissue flaps.) A hole will then be drilled into the jawbone to make room for the implant, and the implant will be inserted. This process will be repeated for all of the implants. It may be possible for temporary teeth to be worn over the implant sites. If not, a temporary healing cap will be screwed into the top of each implant to seal off the implant’s interior from the surrounding oral environment. The two flaps of gum tissue will then be trimmed, shaped and repositioned back over the jawbone and around the implant’s healing cap. A few sutures will be placed to hold the gum tissue in place; the sutures will be removed in seven to ten days.
During the following two to six months, the implants and the bone will be allowed to bond together to form anchors for your new teeth. It will then be time to uncover the implants, remove the temporary healing caps (or the temporary teeth) and attach the abutments. Your gums will be allowed to heal for a couple of weeks following this procedure.
Finally, full bridges or full dentures created to replicate your natural teeth will be attached to the abutments. After a short time, you will experience restored confidence in your smile and your ability to chew and speak normally.