At Reston Family Dental Center, we offer various types of dental replacement procedures to our patients who are looking to replace their missing teeth. Removable dentures are the most common choice, but with the advancement of dental technology, total arch replacement with a fixed dental implants can mimic natural teeth in both appearance and function. It is important to consider the option of replacing missing teeth immediately because having teeth will provide patients with important health benefits. If the missing teeth are not replaced, the risk of losing extra teeth is greater, and the remaining healthy teeth may also shift and become weaker.
What is Full Arch Replacement?
A full arch denture is an appliance fabricated to fit inside a patient’s mouth. This denture will replace a full set of teeth on either the upper or lower arch. A full arch denture is a removable appliance so, in addition to the support from the gum pad, a special adhesive is required to help lock the removable denture into place. This artificial full jaw of teeth can be crafted to resemble the natural teeth characteristics, such as shape and color, which the patient desires. A loose-fitting denture can be unhealthy and annoying as it can lead to gum sores, and can affect your chewing and your speech. We can help restore your dentures to the correct fit and help you regain your confidence.
With state-of-the-art implant systems today, just a few numbers of implants can support the maximum number of teeth. Our highly experienced and skilled dentists here at RTCD can provide comfortable, secure, and reliable dentures if the patient prefers fixed dentures over removable dentures.
Why a Full Arch Denture?
If you want to replace the entire arch of the upper or lower jaw, full arch dentures will be an option for tooth replacement. Substituting missing teeth are important because it allows patients to maintain and/or improve their oral health and quality of their life. Also, missing teeth that are not replaced can change the shape and angle of the face. Lower jawbone without teeth can shrink and can make your face shorter and alter the overall facial appearance. In addition to improving the functions of bite, chewing, and speech, full arch denture replacement will help you regain your confidence.
Removable dentures and It’s Cons
Removable full arch dentures are the cheapest option for replacing the entire arch of teeth. However, there are few downfalls which patients must consider prior to choosing this teeth replacement option:
Adjustments, Re-fitting, and Replacement
A removable denture replaces only the crowns of the teeth and so they do not provide root support. Since there will be no tooth roots to stimulate the jaw, there will be bone loss and the jaw bone will gradually decrease in size and density. As bone resorption happens, oral function, already compromised with the use of removable dentures, deteriorates further, as bone resorption affects the shape and size of the gum ridge, eroding denture support. This is why people who wear removable dentures often find eating uncomfortable, resulting in a limited diet. Loose removable dentures can cause discomfort and mouth sores, and to reduce the friction and pressure that occurs as dentures move and shift against the gums, continuous adjustments, re-fitting and replacement may be required throughout your lifetime.
Bone Resorption (degeneration)
If the tooth root is not replaced, the bone will degenerate and shrink. This not only means that you will need to have the dentures readjusted but can also mean that the dental implants become less of a future option because a proper amount of bone is required to place the implant with a successful outcome.
Full arch dentures take up more space in the mouth than your normal teeth. As dentures get re-adjusted and re-fitted, you may notice a difference in pronunciation. You may notice difficulty in pronouncing certain words or talking in general and so would have to make minor speech adjustments accordingly.
Bulky and Uncomfortable
A removable denture can feel bulky and you would need creams and/or denture adhesives to fix the denture in place.
It can be difficult to adapt to full or partial dentures. At first, they may feel loose, bulky, and awkward while speaking. For a quicker adjustment period, we recommend you to follow these instructions:
- At first, wear your dentures all the time.
- Do not use adhesive unless we have advised you to do so.
- You should remove your dentures when you go to sleep.
- After removing dentures, clean with a soft toothbrush and place it in a bowl of water. They can be soaked in a commercial denture cleanser. Brushing them to clean is essential.
- Any signs of “sore spots,” discomfort, or looseness that are causing you difficulty should be brought to our attention.
Never adjust the dentures yourself. Every person and every mouth are different; therefore, adjustment periods will vary.
Please remember that it will take time for you to become completely comfortable with your new teeth.
Alternatives to Removable Denture
Removable full arch dentures are not the only tooth replacement option if you are missing or need to replace your teeth. Immediate dentures are a temporary replacement option and dental implants are a permanent alternative to full arch dentures which can bring you additional benefits that removable dentures cannot provide.
An immediate denture is placed in the mouth immediately after you have all your natural teeth extracted. Immediate denture allows you to have a temporary teeth replacement while you wait for the healing process prior to the next tooth replacement procedure. After the extraction, your gums will change drastically over the next few months during healing. So, it is possible that the denture will rub against the soreness of the gums until the denture is adjusted. Most patients will require a realignment of their dentures in the first few months due to the gums shrinking at the extraction site. Remember not to remove the denture yourself, unless your dentist has instructed you to do so. The gums have a tendency to swell when uncovered at first so the dentures may never fit again after you have your immediate dentures out for a while.
Overdentures are installed on top of natural teeth or implants. Many people who wear removable dentures complain of the ill-fitting and loose dentures that move and shift, or even fall out when speaking and/or eating. One way to solve this problem is to construct some sort of foundation to which the removable denture can be firmly attached to. Keeping a few natural teeth or placing dental implants in the bone under the denture can keep the jaw bone healthy while serving as a foundation for dentures. Traditional over dentures go over the natural teeth and can be made to be attached to one or both bicuspids. Implant-supported overdentures fit on top of dental implants. A retainer bar or retention balls are placed on the implants and special attachments are inserted into the denture to grab onto these retention devices. A new method using mini-implants dentures is becoming increasingly popular as well. Mini implants are very thin, long titanium implants that screw into the jaw bone. They can be placed and old dentures can often be retrofitted to the implant.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are permanent tooth replacement options that function as artificial roots of the missing teeth. They are titanium posts, similar to a tooth root, which are surgically placed in the jawbone beneath the gum line which allows the dentist to mount a replacement tooth or bridge on top of the post. Over time, the titanium implant fuses to the living bone cells in the jawbone which encourages bone growth a crown or replacement tooth will securely hold in place. Unlike removable dentures, implant-supported permanent dentures will be securely fixed in place and help your oral health to improve while significantly improving the quality of your life.
Benefits of Permanent Full Arch Replacement
A total arch replacement can bring you many comforts and benefits. If the missing teeth are not replaced, the volume and density of the jawbone will decrease, and your facial structure can also change. A removable denture cannot stop the degradation of jaw bone in size and density. On the other hand, the implant supporting the permanent denture stabilizes and stimulates the growth of surrounding bones when properly placed. Dental implants support the normal function of the jaw, nerves, muscles, and joints, and make it possible to eat, chew, speak, laugh and smile. They can also restore support for facial structures, including mouth and lips, giving you a new look.
A fixed bridge attached to dental implants has many advantages over removable dentures which includes:
- Health: Dental implant serves like a tooth root which is essential in preserving oral structure and health. They stimulate the jawbone growth and keep the bone strong and healthy.
- Convenience: Unlike removable dentures, you do not have to take dentures in and out of your mouth or use denture adhesives and clean them afterward.
- Comfort and Stability: Dental implants provide a solid foundation in your bone and so the fixed bridge is firmly anchored to implants that you never have to worry about having it loosen or slip.
- Aesthetic: Fixed bridge look and function like natural teeth.
- Longevity: Implant-supported dentures can last lifetime for some patients.
These permanent dentures are a stable and long-term solution to your missing teeth which can lead to a greater level of comfort, stability, and longevity. Unlike traditional removable dentures, they do not need to be refitted nor replaced and can last for a long period of time. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Ali Miamee at Reston Town Center Dental to find out more and see if you are a good candidate for this procedure.
Permanent Full Arch Replacement Procedure
During the first phase of the full arch denture replacement procedure, Dr. Ali Miamee will surgically place five implants into the jaw bone. Dental implants are titanium posts that are fused to the jawbone and function like tooth roots to hold a replacement tooth or bridge securely in place.
The implants are left in place for up to several months so they are fully integrated in your jaw. During this healing period, temporary teeth will be attached to the missing space so you can eat and function normally during the time. The next step is to fit and securely install the bridge onto the implants. Your new teeth will look, feel, and function like natural teeth.
How Much Do Permanent Full Arch Dentures Cost?
Permanent full arch dentures are affordable, and they cost less than a single dental implant. Many patients prefer dental implants when choosing to replace their missing teeth because of the comforts and functions that they can bring to their oral health.
The actual cost of a full arch, both upper or lower denture, depends on the individual patient’s specific need and materials used. So, the best way to receive the most accurate quote on a full arch denture is to Book an Appointment or call us at (703) 956-9444 and come in so our professional dentists can evaluate your oral conditions. All it takes is a single visit so come see us soon!