Are you considering replacing your missing teeth with either full-arch dental implants or traditional dentures? While both can bring back the brilliant smile and confidence that comes from having a complete set of teeth, it’s important to understand their differences to decide which option is right for you. Whether you’re just researching your options or already know about the subject, this blog post will give detailed information about full-arch dental implants vs. traditional dentures and how each can provide lasting benefits tailored to different needs and preferences. Read on for all the information before making your selection!
Definition of dental implants and traditional dentures
Dental implants are metal posts, usually made of titanium, that are surgically placed to act as a tooth root replacement and anchor an artificial tooth or bridge in place. Traditional dentures are removable prosthetic teeth held in place by a combination of suction and adhesives.
Benefits of each option
The main advantage of dental implants is their natural look and feel – they can be matched perfectly to the color and shape of existing teeth for a seamless appearance when smiling or talking. They also provide a stable platform to anchor restorations such as crowns or bridges, providing long-term stability compared to traditional dentures, which may require regular adjustments due to changes in the mouth over time. Additionally, dental implants preserve remaining healthy bone and can also help to support facial structures, which can be affected by ill-fitting dentures. On the other hand, traditional dentures offer a cost-effective solution that is easy to replace should it become damaged or lost.
Risks of each option
Dental implant surgery carries certain risks, such as infection, nerve damage, sinus issues, and allergic reactions to the material used for the implant. Additionally, there are cases where implant failure may occur due to various factors, such as inadequate bone structure or poor healing response at the insertion site. Traditional dentures also have their share of potential problems, such as irritation of the gum tissue from poorly fitting dentures and an increased risk of periodontal disease due to trapped food particles.
Understanding the Different Types of Dental Implants
Single-tooth dental implants
Single-tooth dental implants are usually used when replacing a single missing tooth and involve placing an implant post in the jaw bone, which is then attached to an abutment (a small connecting piece) followed by a crown restoration made specifically for that particular implant. This dental implant provides a permanent, natural-looking replacement for one or more teeth with minimal disruption to surrounding teeth.
Multiple tooth implants
Multiple tooth implants can replace adjacent missing teeth and attach two or more implant posts side by side in the jawbone, followed by two abutments to secure the restoration. This implant often replaces multiple missing teeth and provides a more stable and permanent solution than bridges or partial dentures.
All-on-four/full arch dental implants
All-on-four involve placing four strategically placed implant posts in the jawbone that support an entire row of upper or lower artificial teeth. The full arch restoration is designed to look like natural teeth and can be worn permanently, eliminating the need for removable traditional dentures.
Implant-supported denture (overdenture)
An implant-supported denture (or overdenture) combines implant posts with traditional dentures for a more secure and natural fit. It involves the placement of two to four implant posts in the jawbone, which are topped with abutments to hold the denture in place, providing a more secure and stable fit than traditional dentures.
Advantages of implant-supported dentures over traditional dentures
Implant-supported dentures can provide better retention, stability, chewing power, and comfort compared to traditional removable dentures and preserve bone structure due to their direct contact with the jawbone. Additionally, they require less maintenance and adjustments over time than traditional dentures as they remain securely fixed.
General Procedure for Full Arch Dental Implants vs Traditional Dentures
Initial consultation with dentist and specialist to determine candidacy for either option
Before undergoing any treatment, it is important to consult a qualified dental professional who can assess your needs and decide if you are suitable for either full-arch dental implants or traditional dentures. During the initial consultation, they will be able to discuss the risks and benefits associated with each type of procedure and provide advice on the best course of action based on your situation.
Full arch dental implants procedure overview
The full arch dental implant procedure involves several steps:
Bone grafts, if needed
In cases where there is bone loss due to periodontal disease or trauma, bone grafting may be required before the placement of the implant posts. This involves taking bone from another part of your body or a donated source and grafting it onto the jawbone to create a strong foundation for the implants.
Placement of the implant posts
Once the graft has healed, small titanium posts are placed into the jawbone strategically to provide optimal support for the full arch restoration.
Small metal abutments are attached to each post to secure the artificial teeth.
Fabrication of final restoration
The final step is fabricating a custom-made restoration designed specifically for you, which will be fitted over your implants and secured with abutments. This restoration is made of a strong and durable material that looks and functions like natural teeth.
Traditional dentures procedure overview
The traditional denture process involves several steps:
Impressions and measurements taken
Your dentist will take impressions of your mouth to create an exact mold for the dentures and measure the position of existing teeth (if any) so they can be accurately placed in the final restoration.
Cast models made from the impressions taken by your dentist
Using these impressions, cast models are created, providing a more accurate representation of your mouth for fabricating the final dentures.
Provisional denture placed for the patient to wear, while a permanent one is being fabricated in the lab
After the mold has been created, a provisional (temporary) denture may be placed for you to wear while the permanent denture is being made. This allows you to get used to the feel of wearing dentures and also allows your dentist to make any necessary adjustments before fabricating the final restoration.
Cost Comparison of Full Arch Dental Implants vs Traditional Dentures
Factors that affect the overall cost associated with each option
The cost of full arch dental implants and traditional dentures can vary depending on location, type of material used, complexity of treatment required, and number of teeth involved. Full-arch dental implants tend to be more expensive due to the additional treatment and materials required, while traditional dentures are typically more economical.
Payment options available for each option
In most cases, dental implant surgery and traditional dentures are considered major procedures and, as such, may not be covered by insurance plans. However, your dentist may offer payment plans which can help spread the cost of treatment over time, or you may be able to use HSA/FSA funds towards your procedure. It is important to consult with your dentist regarding any payment options they may offer before beginning treatment.
Whether you’re considering full arch dental implants vs. traditional dentures for yourself or a loved one, it is important to remember that certain benefits come with each option. Full arch dental implants offer a more permanent solution to tooth loss but typically come with high up-front costs that may not be doable for some people. Traditional dentures can be a great and affordable solution but require ongoing maintenance since they need to be replaced after about five years. Ultimately, deciding what type of tooth replacement procedure is right for your lifestyle will depend on your current and long-term wants and needs. Full-arch dental implants and traditional dentures can provide practical solutions, so speaking with a qualified dentist or orthodontist is often the best choice before making any decisions. Suppose you are considering either of these procedures. In that case, we invite you to visit AZ Implant Clinic, a premier clinic located in the city of Phoenix, where our experts can provide guidance and answer any additional questions you have regarding full arch dental implants vs. traditional dentures. Call us now to learn more!