Edentulous patients missing all their teeth have a couple of options to replace all of the teeth with dental implants.
- An implant supported bridge
- An implant supported denture
Dental implant supported bridges
This very often involves placing 4 -6 dental implants. Once the implant healing process has completed it’s then possible to fix a permanent bridge on the top of these dental implants, this will be done with screws which go through the bridge and attached to the dental implants. The bridge is not removable by the patient however it can be removed by the dentist for routine maintenance.
Dental implant supported dentures
Sometimes an implant supported denture is preferred. These that stay clicked in place and will never move around; get uncomfortable or become loose.
Implant supported dentures can be removed by the patient to be kept clean. They are often prescribed instead of dental bridges if there is a requirement to fill out the facial aesthetics. Sometimes bone loss after loosing many teeth can result in the face sinking in and lines appearing around the mouth. A denture will help to bulk this area out therefore making the facial appearance look more youthful.
They are a permanent solution, and with several options available you can choose which best suits you.
A little more technical detail about replacing all of your teeth
An edentulous person is someone who doesn’t have any teeth left, and will need a complete denture (sometimes called an ‘overdenture).
The type of attachments and number of implants required to hold everything in place will depend on the patient, and every treatment is specifically tailored to best suit the needs of the person.
- Ball retained Dentures with locator abutments: The abutment is the name given to the device that connects the implant (root) to the prosthetic teeth (overdenture). Locator abutments are made to pivot a little as you chew, which distributes the pressure of your bite across your teeth without putting strain on any particular one. This pivoting technology is very successful for implant-retained overdenture restorations.
- Bar-Retained Dentures: A thin metal bar that follows the curve of your jaw is attached to between 2-5 implants that have been placed in your jawbone. Clips or other types of attachments are fitted to the bar, the denture or both. The denture is then fitted over the bar and is securely clipped into place by the attachments.
- Fixed Bridge: This is a fixed, non-removable solution, where a whole new set of teeth are permanently screwed onto your dental implants. They stay in place and can only be removed by a dentist.