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Full Mouth Dental Implant Replacement Options

8 Questions to help decide your best full mouth dental implant replacement option

As we mentioned there are two options to replace all of your teeth with full mouth dental implant:

  • Implant-supported dentures (overdentures)
  • Implant-retained bridges (all-on-fours)

It’s now time to decide which is the better treatment option for you. Here is a list of questions to better help you decide between implant-supported dentures and implant-retained bridges. Please answer each question with either a “yes” or “no“:

  1. Can you afford treatment that costs over ten-thousand dollars, knowing that you will just about have your original teeth back?
  2. Do you have time to spend a year going back and forth to the dentist?
  3. Is your jawbone strong enough to support multiple dental implants?
  4. If your jawbone is not strong enough, are you willing to receive advanced bone replacement surgeries to fix it?
  5. Have your teeth been missing for under a decade or so?
  6. Have you found a reputable and experienced dentist to perform your full mouth dental implant treatment?
  7. Do you refuse to accept the concept that you have dentures in your mouth?
  8. Are you young? Or do you still consider yourself young?

Good candidate for implant-retained bridge

If you answered “yes” to the majority of the listed questions then you are a good candidate for implant retained bridge treatment:

Questions 1: Costs

An implant-retained bridge is very expensive. The lowest price you can find would still be over $10,000 per arch. Don’t forget that this cost includes multiple dental implants, a precisely fabricated bridge as well as plenty of chair-time with your dentist. If you can’t afford this treatment then you should look into implant-supported dentures instead.

Question 2: Time

Implant-retained bridge treatment takes 6 months to a year to complete. You will likely have to see your dentist an average of once or twice per month until treatment is completed. So if you don’t have the time to dedicate to completing treatment, then you should probably hold off for a while. Overdentures and regular dentures are much quicker treatment options if time is of essence.

Question 3 through 5: Jawbone strength

It’s important that your jawbone is strong enough to support your dental implants. For implant-retained bridge your bone quality has to be pretty good. If you’ve lost your teeth for several decades already then chances are your jawbone is too weak to support your implants. Of course if you really want the implant-retained bridge, there are surgery options to restore your jawbone. A sinus graft or block bone graft are two examples of these surgical procedures. However these surgeries are both expensive and difficult and they are not for everyone.

Implant-supported denture doesn’t require your jawbone to be as strong and sturdy. Since it relies on smaller implants it isn’t as difficult to qualify for this treatment option.

Question 6: Qualified dentist

It is very important to find a good dentist to perform your full mouth dental implant treatment, regardless of which option you choose. Receiving full mouth dental implant is not like getting a cleaning or filling. Your dentist’s skill level and experience makes a big difference in the final outcome. Do your research to find a qualified and reputable dentist who is well known for all-on-four and other types of dental implant treatment. Ideally you want one who has successfully been in business for a long time and is planning on sticking around for a few more years.

Question 7 and 8: Psychological need

If you receive an implant-retained bridge you will feel like you have your own teeth back. With implant-supported dentures you’re still wearing dentures. This means that the dentures ca come in and out of your mouth. It also means that they can rock when you chew or eat on them. If you don’t want to feel as if you’re wearing dentures, then an implant-retained bridge is the better way to go. The younger you are the bigger the impact of this issue.

Good candidate for implant-supported denture

If you answered “no” to the majority of the listed questions then you are a good candidate for receiving implant-supported dentures instead.

Final thought on full mouth dental implant options

Full mouth dental implant replacement options essentially involve either a denture or bridge supported by implants. They are both excellent options to replace your missing teeth. In fact they are both far superior to simply wearing full (complete) dentures. Having just a few dental implants to anchor your false teeth can make a huge difference in the final outcome. In most cases it is an investment well worth making and rarely does anyone regret going for implants.

What to do if you are missing all of your teeth in one arch but have all of your teeth in the opposing arch? 

This is a rare case which we seldom see this. Most people tend to lose their teeth together so missing upper and lower teeth go hand in hand. However isolated cases do occur where you’re missing all of your top teeth but retain all bottom ones, or visa versa. In these cases you should consider receiving an implant-retained bridge over any other treatment.

When you have all of your teeth in one arch it places a lot of pressure on the opposite one. If you wear dentures or even an implant-supported denture, they will still move a lot when chewing or biting on them. Natural teeth place lots of pressure on dentures and wearing them against dentures is very difficult. Biting with natural dentition against an implant-retained bridge is much more comfortable and pleasant and worth the additional costs.

NEXT >> What are the advantages of implant-supported dentures (overdentures)?

What are the advantages on implant retained bridges (all-on-fours)?

Benefits of Implant-Retained Bridges (All-on-fours)

Full mouth dental implant replacement options:

As mentioned earlier, there are two basic options when it comes to replacing all of your missing teeth: Implant-supported dentures or implant-retained bridges. We will now discuss the benefits of an implant-retained bridge, also referred to as all-on-fours:

What are the advantages on implant-retained bridges (all-on-fours)?

Implants-retained bridges, or all-on-fours, involve a bridge which is anchored on top of several implants. This is the closest option you can get  next to having your actual teeth back. The bridge stays in your mouth and gives you excellent chewing ability.

Implant-retained bridges give you fixed teeth

With implant-retained bridges your teeth will be fixed permanently into your mouth. The bridge anchors onto your dental implants and there is no more removing them. Of course with the exception of when you go to your dentist for repairs or cleanings. Having fixed, non-removable teeth can make you feel as if you had your original teeth back. Not only does having a beautiful set of teeth make you look very nice, but you will also feel much younger. You will definitely have more confident with permanent teeth in place as compared to dentures.

Implant-supported dentures are also a great options to replace all your missing teeth. Yet regardless of what has been said about the benefits of overdentures, fact remains that they are still dentures. You still can take overdentures in and out of your mouth just like you would a regular denture. You still have to worry about them becoming loose over time or running into other problems. Psychologically you’re still conscious of wearing dentures and the fact that these aren’t your actual teeth.

Having fixed teeth will boost your confidence

An implant-retained bridge is a much better option for younger people who have lost all of their teeth. Wearing dentures psychologically affects younger individuals. If you have permanent teeth that don’t ever come out, it can make a big difference in your psyche. Additionally, younger people tend to have excellent jawbone so they are usually excellent candidates for implant-retained bridge treatment. Of course lets be honest here, you have to be young and wealthy to afford this treatment since it is very expensive.

You will have better chewing ability and stability with implant-retained bridges

Wearing an implant-retained bridge is  basically the equivalent of having your original teeth back. Since implant-retained bridge is fixed in your mouth, your chewing ability will be excellent. In fact it will be almost equivalent to that of someone with their own actual teeth. With overdentures your teeth still move quite a bit while eating and your chewing ability is still far from great. With overdentures there is still movement and your chewing ability is far from 100%.

Implant-retained bridges stay in very well and hold up against the test of time. On other hand, overdentures can loosen up over time as you keep using them. You have to pay your dentist a visit every now and then to have them re-tightened. This involves replacing the connector part, known as an O-ring, in order to make the dentures tighter for a while longer.

Implant-retained bridges are your best overall option

If you want the absolute best then look no further implant-retained bridges. This treatment is literally the next best thing to having your own actual teeth back. In most instances you can’t even tell the difference between these and your own teeth. In fact with no more actual teeth to have to worry about cavities and gum disease, most people prefer this option to their original teeth!

NEXT >> 8 Questions to help decide your best full mouth dental implant replacement option

What are the advantages of implant-supported dentures (overdentures)?