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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)?