Dental implants are one of the best options available today to permanently replace missing teeth. Since they look and feel just like your natural teeth, they can work wonders at improving the quality of your life. This is especially true for those who have lost all their teeth and choose to get full-mouth dental implants as a replacement instead of dentures.
Pros of Full-Mouth Dental Implants
The esthetic appeal of dental implants is one of their most attractive features. The implants are drilled into your jawbone and aligned Dental implant restorations look and feel just like your natural teeth, which gives you the confidence to smile bright and wide.
Ease in Eating and Talking
Unlike dentures, dental implants are drilled into the jawbone and remain fixed in the mouth. Since they stay in place and there is no risk of them falling out, you can eat and talk more easily.
Unlike dentures, which need to be removed and cleaned regularly, there is no need to take special care of your implants. The most ideal way to ensure their longevity is to keep them clean with regular brushing and flossing, just like you would with your natural teeth.
Prevent Bone Loss
The density of the jawbone tends to diminish over time in areas of the missing teeth. Since dentures and dental bridges do not extend beyond the top surface of the gum, they cannot protect the structural integrity of the jawbone. Dental implants replace the roots of the teeth in the jawbone and hence, preserve and stimulate bone growth.
With a properly done procedure and good maintenance, dental implants can last almost a lifetime. The implant framework fuses to the jawbone, which makes them one of the most durable forms of tooth replacement options.
Improved Oral Health
A mouth full of artificial teeth supported by dental implants is resistant to decay. As long as you take care of your gums and maintain good oral hygiene, your mouth will remain free of disease and other dental issues.
Cons of Full-Mouth Dental Implants
Need for Surgery
The procedure for dental implants includes an unavoidable surgical step. While implants offer a world of advantages, some people may be uncomfortable with getting surgery for teeth replacement. The surgical procedure is a minor outpatient procedure. Nonetheless, just like any other surgery, there are some risks like infection and nerve damage associated with it.
Dental implants are an expensive dental procedure, and the cost for full-mouth dental implants can run into the thousands. There may be payment options available to partially cover the cost of your treatment, but for a lot of people, the high cost is what deters them from getting full-mouth dental implants.
Apart from being a major financial investment, getting full-mouth dental implants also requires a great amount of time investment. The surgical step is followed by a waiting period of 4-6 months, and the entire procedure may take even longer if there are additional steps required during the treatment. For someone who needs an immediate fix to their missing teeth, getting dental implants may not be the best choice.
Chances of Infection
Despite having a success rate of almost 98%, dental implant failure may occur if oral hygiene is not maintained. This is because the chances of infection around the dental implant rise if there is inadequate plaque control, which can lead to gum disease. Uncontrolled gum disease can lead to a condition known as peri-implantitis, which can eventually lead to bone loss around the implant and failure of the dental implant.
Procedure for Full-Mouth Dental Implants
Like with any dental procedure, you need to undergo a complete oral and general health check-up before you can be deemed fit to receive dental implants. Once that is done, your dentist will schedule you for dental implant surgery. In case you have inadequate bone density, you may also have to undergo an additional graft surgery to supplement the bone support in your jaw.
The dental implants are drilled into the jawbone through a minor, outpatient surgical procedure. This is followed by a waiting period of 4-6 months, which allows the implant to integrate into the jawbone and become a stable framework. This process is known as osseointegration, and it is the most important step in the dental implant procedure that decides the longevity of the implant.
Once the dental implants have fused to the jawbone, the abutments are screwed onto the implant. These abutments serve as a connector between the implant and the dental crowns, which will take the place of the missing teeth in the mouth. An impression of your mouth will be taken and sent to the dental laboratory for fabrication of the dental crowns. Once the crowns are cemented onto the abutments, you can start using your brand new teeth.
When replacing one or more missing teeth, the number of dental implants placed in the jawbone is usually directly proportional to the number of missing teeth. However, when using dental implants to support a full-mouth denture, your dentist will usually place only 2-4 implants in each arch to support the entire bridge of teeth.
A popular and relatively quick procedure for full-mouth dental implants is the All-on-4, in which the denture is supported by just two dental implants placed in each arch. Compared to traditional dental implant procedures, the waiting period in All-on-4 dental implants is quite less. Moreover, the procedure is minimally invasive and can be completed in just a few visits.
One of the downsides to All-on-4 implants is that they can only be placed in the front areas of the arch. This may cause the bone in the posterior region to shrink over time since it does not receive support from the implant framework in the back areas.
Though there are some disadvantages associated with it, the pros of getting full-mouth dental implants far outweigh their cons. Visit RiverRock Dental to know more about the dental implant procedure.