Nobody likes to have missing teeth in the mouth. It takes a toll on their confidence and self-esteem. Moreover, people with missing teeth find it difficult to chew and speak properly. Several treatments can restore the smile of the patient. However, each treatment depends on the type of dental condition of the patient. Usually, full mouth rehabilitation is completed using traditional dentures. However, dentures are often uncomfortable to wear.
Moreover, most people desire fixed dental solutions. With the evolving technology in dentistry, implants have taken one step ahead in providing fixed tooth replacement, even for people with no teeth at all. Full mouth dental implants are a permanent solution to the missing teeth. They are titanium posts placed inside the jaw bone at specific locations. A dental bridge or an overdenture can then restore the implants.
Full mouth dental implants offer a lot of advantages, such as fixed smile makeover, natural-looking smile, and durability. However, there are some risks associated with full mouth dental implants. Today’s article will highlight the features of a full mouth dental implant. Furthermore, we will look at the advantages and disadvantages of full mouth implants.
What are full mouth dental implants?
Full mouth dental implants are dental devices made from titanium posts. These posts are placed at specific locations in the jaw bone. The exact number of dental implants required usually depends on the dental arch and the number of teeth present in the arch. (1)
In most cases, full mouth dental implants require six posts. These posts act as an anchor for restorations such as a dental bridge or an overdenture for total arch replacement.
What are the benefits of full mouth dental implants?
Some of the benefits of dental implants are as follows –
- Denture wearers can choose full mouth dental implants as a fixed solution to their smile
- The implant treatment allows the patient to feel like having natural teeth. They are not afraid of loose teeth in the mouth that happens with dentures.
- It instantly boosts the confidence and self-esteem of the patient (2)
- Full mouth dental implant preserves the height of the jaw bone
- It is much easier to maintain as compared to traditional dentures
What are the disadvantages of full mouth implants?
Some of the critical risks associated with dental implants include –
- Failure of the dental implant due to the poor oral hygiene of the patient
- Failure of the implant due to uncontrolled diabetes
- Parafunctional habits like bruxism and teeth grinding (3)
- Improper healing of the surgical site
Who can get full mouth dental implants?
Ideally, a dentist evaluates the medical and dental history of a patient. Moreover, careful examination and x-ray studies determine the eligibility of a patient for full mouth dental implants. Typically, four primary criteria are considered for this procedure –
- Patients with speech issues – if the patient’s concern is speech, it is better to look for an alternative treatment. Usually, implant procedures take more time as compared to other treatments. Therefore, it depends on the patient’s co-operation and willingness to wait until they get the treatment completed. (5)
- The thickness of the bridge – many people with no teeth, are not used to having thick dental devices in the mouth. Adjustment to this transition may not be suitable for every patient.
- Patients with bruxism or teeth grinding should not opt for implants as it can lead to failure of treatment.
- Patients who neglect oral health and hygiene can have serious complications such as loose implants, gum disease, and bone infections.
What is the clinical procedure for full mouth implants?
Before starting the procedure, the dentist often examines the dental condition of the patient. Moreover, x-ray studies and 3D imaging is performed to visualize the anatomy of the jaw and surrounding structures.
Full mouth dental implants is a surgical procedure which is typically performed in the following way –
- A custom made template is prepared to guide the location of each implant placement.
- The bone is drilled, and implants are fixed, respectively. (6)
- The implants are then covered with healing caps to allow osseointegration with the surrounding jaw bone.
- A temporary dental crown or bridge is placed to allow the proper functioning of the mouth.
- It usually takes 3-6 months for implants to heal. The dentist recalls for follow up appointments to check the success of the implant procedure. Once the dentist is satisfied with the healing process, permanent teeth are placed.
The recovery period usually depends on the maintenance of the implants. People with good oral hygiene and proper diet heal faster. However, it may take several months to adjust and get used to full mouth dental implants.
How much does full mouth implants cost?
The cost of full mouth dental implants usually depends on the following factors –
Typically, the cost of full mouth dental implants may range between $30,000 – $70,000.