Tooth loss is a serious event, one that affects every aspect of your life. One of the most obvious effects of tooth loss is the impact that it has on your smile. With your smile affected, your confidence decreases. Basic tasks like eating and speaking become difficult. Gradually, your jaw begins to weaken, causing it to change shape. Dental implants have become the treatment of choice for replacing missing teeth. However, they rely on sufficient bone mass in your jaw for success. Without enough bone mass, your jaw cannot support the necessary number of implants needed for an implant-supported denture. You have options. Ford Dental Group can help you to determine whether All-on-4 implants or traditional dentures is the best one for you.
Traditional Tooth Replacement With Dentures
Dentures have been used for centuries to replace missing teeth. Over the years, many changes have occurred to this treatment, working to improve its functionality and their aesthetics. The premise behind dentures is still the same. They are removable prostheses consisting of an acrylic base that holds acrylic resin teeth. Dentures are made from impressions of your mouth, which help to provide a perfect fit. The base is designed to sit directly on your gums.
Dentures are meant to be removed nightly for thorough cleaning. They should be brushed with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a special denture paste. After they have been cleaned, they should be soaked overnight while you sleep. Leaving them out is essential for allowing your gums an opportunity to rest. After you have cleaned your dentures, you then need to clean the rest of your mouth. Dentures cannot stop the bone loss that occurs after tooth loss. Even though the teeth have been replaced, there is still no stimulation. As a result, your jaw continues to change shape. Dentures need to be replaced about every seven years.
All-On-4 Tooth Replacement
Dental implants are a highly popular option for replacing missing teeth. This treatment uses small titanium posts, which are surgically implanted into the jawbone. The posts integrate into the jaw as the bone fuses to them, essentially turning them into replacement tooth roots. The posts are then used to provide support for the ceramic crowns that replace the visible portions of your missing teeth.
If you are missing an entire arch of teeth, an implant-supported denture is often used. This restoration uses 6 to 8 posts to support your replacement teeth. However, the posts rely on your jawbone for stability. If you do not have enough bone mass remaining, the implants cannot be properly integrated into the jaw. The posts may be loose, or your jaw may not fuse at all. In this case, you may be a candidate for the All-on-4 treatment. This treatment uses only four implants to support your replacement teeth, but they are placed in such a way as to make the most of the bone mass you have left. Two implants are placed vertically at the front of the jaw, where there is naturally more bone mass. The other two implants are placed at the back of the jaw, and inserted at a 45-degree angle. This maximizes contact between the posts and your jawbone, increasing the likelihood of successful fusion. All-on-4 implants offer the same benefits as an implant-supported denture including a more natural appearance, greater comfort, permanence, and the preservation of your jawbone, preventing further bone loss in your jaw.
If you are missing an entire arch of teeth, but do not have the necessary bone mass to support the implants required for an implant-supported denture, you still have options. For more information, and to find out which option is best for you, call Ford Dental Group to schedule your consultation today at (714) 409-6161.