When you are missing a few teeth, things are bad. Your smile will look awful, and you will have a harder time eating and talking. So you can imagine how difficult it can be when you are missing a full arch of teeth. That’s why there are several ways to replace that many teeth; it’s something you really need to get fixed as soon as possible.
Traditionally, dentures have been the go-to treatment for replacing a full arch. But a more recent treatment, the All-on-4 implant procedure, uses four titanium posts, or roots, to securely hold onto an arch of replacement teeth. At our dental office in Highland, MI, we offer both dentures and All-on-4 implants. But which is best for you? That depends on several factors, but here are the advantages of both treatments.
Advantages of All-on-4 Dental Implants
• Can be placed in one day: While it can take some time to craft the replacement teeth used by All-on-4 implants, the surgery to implant the four titanium posts can normally be done in a single visit. That means you can come into our Highland, MI dental office and leave with a full arch of replacement teeth that same day. And that means you can get back to smiling and eating confidently that much faster.
• Greater strength and stability: Dentures are known to be a little hard to keep in one place. Despite using adhesive, dentures can slip a little in your mouth and even fall out unexpectedly. Since an All-on-4 restoration connects to four different implants, this provides much more strength and stability than traditional dentures.
• Force goes to bone, not the gums: When you bite down with dentures, all of the pressure falls on your gums. That’s because the dentures are holding onto the gums and nothing else. Because All-on-4 uses implants, the force from biting and chewing is transferred to the jawbone just like with regular teeth. That means you’re mimicking what your body is designed to do and protecting your gums from too much pressure.
• No adhesives to use: Dentures rely on two methods to stay in your mouth. One is by the shape of the gum-colored mold holding the replacement teeth; it is made to hold onto your gums with suction. The second is through a special, nontoxic denture adhesive that holds the dentures to your gums. This means you have to apply the adhesive every day, and if you run out, there’s a much greater chance the dentures will fall out on their own. All-on-4 connects to implants, meaning there’s no adhesive to apply or run out of.
• Less bone deterioration: Your jawbone is supposed to have roots of teeth in it, so when there’s nothing there, the bone tissue starts to deteriorate. Dentures do not use anything like a root, so they do not help with any bone loss. But because All-on-4 implants use those four titanium posts similar to roots, this procedure can help prevent your jawbone from deteriorating.
• Increased confidence: Because dentures can slip around and fall out, many denture wearers are a little less confident about using them. Some patients worry their dentures will come out while they’re talking, while others will avoid hard foods like nuts or apples to make sure there are no issues with their dentures. All-on-4 implants offer much more stability, meaning you can feel much more confident when wearing them.
• Less need for replacements: Dentures can take a lot of pressure through chewing, but they need to be replaced sooner or later. Also, your gums slightly change over time, meaning that gum-colored mold will begin to lose its grip on the gums. All-on-4 lasts much longer than traditional dentures and have superior stability. In fact, the implants may even last a lifetime with proper care.
Advantages of Traditional Dentures
• Can be removed: Unless your dentures are secured by implants, you will be able to take them out each night. This means they will be very easy to clean, and if your gums are irritated or sore, you can give them a break.
• Less expensive: All-on-4 implants can sometimes be classified by insurance companies as a cosmetic procedure, meaning they are sometimes not covered by your dental insurance. Because dentures have been around for a while, they are usually covered by insurance. (Of course, every plan is different.) Dentures are generally a cheaper treatment option as well.
•Don’t need healthy bone tissue: All-on-4 relies on dental implants, which in turn rely on healthy bone tissue where the implants are placed. If your jawbone is naturally thin or has deteriorated from not having roots in place for too long, you may not have enough healthy bone tissue to support the implants. Dentures rest solely on your gums, meaning the health or thickness of your jawbone has no impact on whether dentures will work.
• Full or partial: All-on-4 replaces a full arch of teeth, whereas you can get full dentures for the same or partial dentures to replace just some of your teeth.
While it’s true that All-on-4 implants have more advantages than dentures, Dr. LoCascio will give you a complete and thorough exam before making any recommendations. That way, you can be sure to get the treatment that works best for you. If you are ready to schedule an appointment to see whether dentures or All-on-4 dental implants are better for you, please call us at 248-329-3552.