Full-Arch Implant Solutions
In the past, when a patient was either already missing their teeth or had many teeth that required removal, a removable denture was the only option. While removable dentures can still be made and function well, even a well-made set of full dentures only provides approximately 20% of the chewing efficiency of a full set of natural teeth. Furthermore, especially for first-time denture wearers, dentures can be uncomfortable and have a lengthy adjustment period. Fortunately, with the help of dental implants, we are able to offer a variety of treatment options to help denture patients have a more comfortable, stable, and functional set of teeth.
Generally speaking, there are three categories of treatment that can be provided for a patient in need of replacement of an entire arch (teeth of one jaw): implant-retained overdenture, implant-supported hybrid denture, and implant-supported bridge.
Implant-retained Overdenture (Removable at home)
Implant-retained overdentures are great solutions for patients who have previously worn dentures and are looking for an improvement in the stability of their dentures. With this treatment option, implants are placed and have attachment pieces installed so that the dentures essentially snap into place. In many cases, different inserts can be placed to modify how tightly the dentures are held in place. Even though they need to be removed each night while the patient sleeps, there are great advantages to overdentures, including maximal ease of cleaning around the implants and typically lower cost than the more fixed options.
Implant-supported Hybrid Denture (Removable only by a dentist)
Implant-supported hybrids are increasing in popularity and may be better known by the “All-on-4” nickname. This treatment option is great for a patient who is looking for a more affordable way to have a new set of teeth that don’t need to be taken out at night. This treatment involves the placement of at least 4 implants and subsequent attachment of an acrylic hybrid denture to those implants. The hybrid is held onto the implants by small screws that we can take out to periodically clean the prosthesis. The advantages of this option include not having to cover the roof of the mouth like with a denture and, of course, no need to remove on a nightly basis.
Implant-supported Bridge (if removable, only by a dentist)
The implant-supported bridge is the Cadillac of the full-arch implant solutions. This treatment option occasionally involves more implants than the hybrid denture, but the advantages are significant. As with hybrids, implant-supported bridges are not removed at home and can also be attached by screws that can be removed for periodic maintenance. Additionally, they are also made of esthetic zirconia or metal with porcelain overlaid, so they are not only much stronger than hybrids but also look much more natural.
If you think that you might be a candidate for this type of treatment or if you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to call us and set up a free consultation today!