Full Mouth Rehabilitation: Replacing A Full Set Of Teeth With Dental Implants
Each of your dental arches contains half your teeth — upper or lower. The arch is the curved protrusion of hard tissues (bone) and soft tissues (gum) that contain an upper or lower set of teeth. An entire arch of teeth may have been missing for some time (you might currently wear removable dentures), or an entire arch of teeth may be progressively lost due to untreated tooth decay. Full arch rehabilitation is the general name of the process (or processes) used when all the teeth in a dental arch must be replaced. And although that sounds like a major procedure, it's far simpler than many people realize.
Full Mouth Implants
Full arch rehabilitation can be achieved with full-mouth dental implants. Please note that these are different from standard single-tooth implants. As the name suggests, a single tooth implant (surgically placed in the jaw) serves as an artificial tooth root for a single false tooth, giving it the appearance, feeling, and strength of a natural tooth. This method would be prohibitive for replacing a whole dental arch of teeth — both in terms of the cost and the required surgery.
Full-mouth dental implants require the use of specially-crafted dentures. These somewhat resemble traditional (removable) dentures, but only to a point. Whereas traditional dentures rest on your palate and are held in place by suction, implant-supported dentures are a replica of a dental arch containing all the required teeth. They're bonded to a thin layer of resin the same color as your gums. These prosthetic teeth require a small series of implants to be placed, and this occurs in a single session of surgery.
Specialist Implant Surgery
Your implant surgery involves your dentist placing a series of implants in your jaw. Each implant will not be supporting the occlusal bite force of an individual tooth, and will essentially be sharing the load — working together to support the compression bite force that all the prosthetic teeth will experience. For this reason, the implants can be placed at angles, where your jawbone is thickest. You may even only need miniature implants, which are placed at a shallower depth than standard implants. An entire dental arch of prosthetic teeth can need as few as four dental implants to become secure and functional.
Security and functionality are the objectives of full mouth rehabilitation, and the goal is to achieve this using a natural-looking dental prosthesis. The process is technologically advanced, and these advancements mean that replacing an entire arch of missing teeth can be far simpler than might be assumed.
Speak to a dentist if you need full arch rehabilitation.