For many people, dentures are necessary even if you’ve taken excellent care of your teeth. In any case, if you start to have severe toothaches, gum inflammation or shifting or loose teeth, it might be time to have the conversation with your dentist about dentures. While dentures will restore you smile and prevent your jaw and face from sagging, however, some patients complain that they never feel like their real teeth.
A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues. Two types of dentures are available—complete and partial dentures. Depending on what type you chose, getting a set of dentures could take upwards of twelve weeks since, often, many remaining teeth have to be pulled and the gums have to be given time to heal. Then, after the wait, if dentures are fitted properly patients should be able to lead a normal life thereafter.
If you are one of the millions of Americans missing multiple teeth or you have extensive dental disease, then you might wonder what your options are to restore your smile. When you think of dentures, maybe you think of the large, bulky devices your grandparents had. Thankfully, due to technology, patients now have multiple options!
The All-on-Four implant is a way to replace all your missing teeth in a single arch using four dental implants. (An arch simply means all the teeth in one jaw, the upper or lower.)
Why choose All-on-Four?
First, it’s important to understand the mechanics behind how the All-on-Four procedure works. When you receive a dental implant (for this surgery or a single implant), there’s a small titanium screw that replaces the root of the missing tooth. The screw fits inside the jawbone perfectly. This procedure of placing the screw is considered a minor surgery and is required in order to place the implants. If you are missing a substantial number of teeth, you may be concerned about the number of screws that must be placed.
Next, here’s the beauty of the All-on-Four option: you don’t need to place an implant for every single tooth that you’re missing! All-On-Four implants require either four implants for your top arch or four implants on your bottom arch; if you’re replacing all your teeth, there are eight implants required, never more and never less. Between the eight implants in the whole mouth, your smile will be completely restored.
Another difference between All-on-Four and traditional dentures (which require many weeks to complete) is that this option is completed almost immediately (or within the first 24 hours). This is called “immediate loading,” meaning the implants start working immediately.
While this might seem to make the process downright seamless, it is important to remember this is a significant procedure and your mouth will need at least two weeks to heal fully after the fact. After the initial healing, it’s still recommended to eat soft foods for at least six weeks, too, in order to protect your teeth and gums.
What are the benefits of All-on-Four?
The dentists at Josey Lane have long celebrated the benefits of replacing missing or diseased teeth. Missing teeth can cause bone loss since the root of a tooth naturally stimulates the bone. When the tooth and root are missing, that stimulation ends and that leads to atrophy in the bone, leading to the jaw bone shrinking away, which can eventually change the shape of your mouth.
Another complication is that missing teeth can lead to a degradation in diet. Crunchy fruits and vegetables become hard to eat and are replaced by softer foods that are carbohydrate heavy. A diet change like this can lead to additional tooth decay due to increased sugars and weight gain. Rebuilding your mouth can help you improve your whole health and lead healthier lifestyle as you age.
It’s important to remember that, just like natural teeth, All-on-Four dentures need to be cleaned by your dentist on a regular basis. This will also give your dentist the opportunity to examine them and your gums and to ensure your mouth is healthy. If you are looking to explore your options related to tooth loss, call our Carrollton office today!