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Missing Full Mouth

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Complete edentulism, where people have lost all their natural teeth, is a common issue. Although it often affects older adults, anyone can lose their teeth at any age. Edentulism can affect one or both arches.

Life without teeth can be tricky. Food choices are limited, and socializing with others may be embarrassing. Replacing teeth is important to restore the ability to talk and eat properly and confidently.

What are the Choices for Restoring a Full Mouth of Missing Teeth?

Several options are available to restore a complete arch of teeth, including:

What Are Full Dentures?

Full dentures are removable and have an acrylic gum-colored base supporting plastic denture teeth. A lower denture rests on your gums and jawbone that originally held your natural teeth, relying entirely on these for support. An upper denture also rests on your gums and jawbone but will cover the upper palate, providing additional support and retention.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Choosing Full Dentures?

Potential pros of choosing a full denture can include:

  1. Full dentures are the least expensive way to replace an entire arch of teeth.
  2. Treatment is non-invasive, requiring no surgery.
  3. Full dentures can be completed in just a few visits relatively quickly.
  4. Modern denture teeth can look natural, especially premium quality teeth.

Potential cons of choosing a full denture can include:

  1. Biting and chewing strength is significantly lower than natural teeth or other tooth replacement options.
  2. Dentures can become loose as jawbone resorption occurs, reducing retention.
  3. Jawbone loss is accelerated because the denture rests directly on the gums, placing pressure on the jawbone underneath.
  4. Loose dentures can rub uncomfortably on the gums.
  5. A loose denture makes it harder to eat and speak.

What are Mini Dental Implants?

Mini dental implants are a special type of implant that is narrower in diameter than a traditional implant. They are used in specific circumstances, including restoring smaller teeth with insufficient room for full-sized implants and stabilizing loose dentures, usually a lower denture. The denture clips directly onto the implants using special attachments, ensuring it is held firmly in the mouth.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Choosing Mini Implants?

Potential pros of choosing mini dental implants can include:

  1. Inserting them is less invasive than traditional implants as they are placed directly through the gum, so there is no need for stitches afterward.
  2. Their smaller size is reflected in the price, so they are cheaper than traditional implants.
  3. Mini dental implants require less healthy bone, so the need for bone grafting is reduced or eliminated.

Potential cons of choosing mini implants can include:

  1. Mini dental implants are only suitable in specific situations.
  2. Oral surgery is needed to place the implants.
  3. They may be less suitable when restoring all the upper teeth as they may be located too close to the sinus cavities where the jawbone is naturally thinner.
  4. Because they are smaller, more mini dental implants may be needed to hold dentures securely, increasing the overall price.

What is an Overdenture?

An overdenture is a removable appliance that looks exactly like an ordinary denture. However, it has special attachments on its fitting surface so it clips onto dental implants or a bar fitted over them. The result is a prosthesis held firmly in place and only needs relatively few implants for support.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Choosing an Overdenture?

Potential pros of choosing an overdenture can include:

  1. Affordability, as an overdenture, may be held in place with as few as four dental implants.
  2. The implants can be situated toward the front of the mouth, reducing or eliminating the need for bone grafting as the bone is naturally thicker in this area.
  3. An overdenture is easy to clean because it is removable.
  4. An overdenture provides a greater biting strength compared with an ordinary denture.
  5. There is no risk that the overdenture will move around or rub uncomfortably on the gums.
  6. An overdenture to replace upper teeth can feel much smaller and less bulky than an ordinary denture since the upper palate can be uncovered.

Potential cons of choosing an overdenture include:

  1. Oral surgery is necessary to place the implants.
  2. A greater number of implants may be needed if you wish to have an upper overdenture.

What Are Full Mouth Dental Implants?

Full-mouth dental implants provide you with a non-removable dental bridge that is firmly secured in your mouth. It is screwed or cemented onto dental implants located evenly along the arch. The bridge can replace up to 10 or 12 teeth and is fabricated using high-quality porcelain. The best quality bridges are metal-free and made from zirconia.

Once in place, full-mouth dental implants will provide you with teeth that look and feel as close to natural as possible. They provide a similar biting strength to real teeth and are a long-lasting solution. You may be interested in this option if you are looking for the ultimate solution for tooth loss.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Choosing Full Mouth Dental Implants?

Potential pros of choosing full-mouth dental implants include:

  1. Non-removable and natural-looking teeth.
  2. The dental implants preserve the bone surrounding them, preventing further resorption.
  3. Biting strength is similar to real teeth.
  4. Excellent aesthetics.
  5. A long-lasting treatment.

Potential cons of choosing full-mouth dental implants include:

  1. Oral surgery is needed to place the implants.
  2. A greater number of implants is needed to secure the complete arch of teeth, increasing overall costs.
  3. Bone grafting may be necessary if the jawbone isn’t strong enough.
  4. Excellent planning and placement are required to ensure implants are located away from all important structures like blood vessels and nerves.

If you are facing complete tooth loss or have already lost your teeth, there is much to consider about how best to replace them. It is also important to think about the future and choose a long-term solution like implants if you can.

When you visit My New Jersey Dentist, we can look at all potential solutions, assess your dental and medical health, and help you decide which might be best for your needs.

Page Updated on May 10, 2024 by Dr. Victoria Kushensky, DDS (Dentist) of My New Jersey Dentist
Victoria Kushensky D.D.S

My name is Victoria Kushensky. I am a general dentist dedicated to remaining at the forefront of my field. Combining compassionate care with extensive knowledge, I offer cosmetic and general dentistry services as well as advanced root canal treatments.

I earned my Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree from the esteemed New York University College of Dentistry. Throughout my career, I have honed my skills in various dental procedures, ensuring effective treatment for each patient’s unique needs. I prioritize patient comfort and understanding, taking the time to thoroughly explain procedures and address any questions.

More about Dr. Kushensky

My NJ Dentist: Victoria Kushensky, DDS
385 Prospect Ave Suite 304
Hackensack, NJ 07601
(201) 298-8000