When it comes to full-arch teeth replacement, it seems more and more options are becoming available. With implant-supported prostheses, there has never been a better time to improve your oral health and function through this type of treatment. Patients missing most or all of their teeth on either arch or both arches have a few different methods to choose from. Two of the most common solutions are implant-supported dentures and All-on-4® treatment. Here, we will explore these two options, and discuss the differences so you can be well-informed. |
What are Implant-Supported Dentures?
Simply stated, implant-supported dentures are removable prostheses that “snap-on” to titanium posts, which are embedded into the jaw. Implant-supported dentures appear similar to their conventional counterparts. However, rather than resting atop the gum tissue, they are connected to dental implants instead. This offers significantly more stability, as the dentures will no longer shift or slip when eating or speaking. Patients who choose this approach may need as little as two dental implants per arch, or as many as eight, depending on their unique case. Several months of healing is required before the restoration can be attached to the implants. However, you will be able to wear a healing denture during the interim period.
Who is a Candidate for Implant-Supported Dentures?
Patients considering implant-supported dentures must have sufficient jawbone structure, as implants must be completely entrenched in strong, dense bone tissue. Candidates should also be in reasonably good overall health, as certain medical conditions, such as uncontrolled diabetes, can impede the success of this treatment. Individuals who receive implant-supported dentures should be willing to attend routine dental visits and practice optimal oral hygiene at home.
What are All-on-4 Dental Implants?
Some patients have considerable bone loss. Due to bone atrophy, many individuals do not qualify for implant-supported dentures. In these cases, All-on-4 is an excellent alternative. This treatment method replaces a full arch of teeth using just four titanium dental implants. In contrast to implant-supported dentures, All-on-4 treatment offers a permanent solution to missing teeth. Therefore, the prosthesis is permanently affixed to the dental implants in the jaw. While your dentist will be able to remove the restoration if necessary, you will not. Generally speaking, patients who undergo All-on-4 treatment will not require a healing period. Therefore, the prosthesis can be connected to the implants the very same day they are placed.
Why is All-on-4 an outstanding option for patients with bone loss? It comes down to the way the implants are placed within the jaw. In contrast to standard dental implant placement, the posts in All-on-4 treatment are inserted strategically with angulation to maximize your existing jawbone. This revolutionary treatment has made dental implants a possibility for many patients who were previously not eligible.
Who is a Candidate for All-on-4 Dental Implants?
Candidates for All-on-4 treatment will be missing most or all of their teeth on the upper arch, lower arch, or both. They will also be in good overall health and have a full understanding of this teeth replacement option. Patients who prefer a permanent restoration over a removable one will be excellent candidates for All-on-4. As with any oral surgery with dental implants, patients should not have any condition or illness that would hinder the success of treatment.
Implant-supported dentures and All-on-4 dental implants are both excellent teeth replacement options. Determining which one is right for you will depend on several factors, including your jawbone density, your unique dental goals, your medical history, and more. If you are interested in learning more about these teeth replacement options, or other restorative treatments using dental implants, contact Creative Smiles in Vancouver, WA. Dr. Carl Futenma can discuss your goals with you and design a personalized treatment plan to meet your needs. Call us at 360-574-3061 for more information.
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