A Patient’s Guide to Full Arch Dental Implants
Most of the world knows how much Americans care about their teeth. Nearly 75% of all American adults worry that the state of their smile can negatively impact their career. Despite this, there are a lot of people walking around the United States missing teeth. It has been estimated that at least 30 million people are missing all of their teeth on either one or both jaws. Of those, 15 million have bridges and crowns to replace those missing teeth. For the people who have lost all of their teeth on one or both jaws, full arch dental implants may be available to help them.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are replacement teeth. They are the closest thing to natural teeth that is available today. Basically, the implant itself is installed in the jawbone and acts as a replacement to the root of the tooth. All dental implants, including full arch dental implants, are great for tooth replacement. In terms of reliability, they are the best option for tooth replacement. Studies show that dental implants have a success rate of over 98%.
How are full arch dental implants installed?
The process for having full arch dental implants put in is very similar to when you have one dental implant installed in your mouth. The main difference in the number of teeth that are replaced with full arch dental implants.
- Any remnants of your broken teeth need to be removed. If you are missing one tooth or a lot of teeth, the chances are good that you still have at least part of the roots in your jaw. The first thing your oral surgeon will need to do is get rid of all of that. The amount of time that this will take will depend on a number of factors such as the amount of work that needs to be done. This is absolutely necessary for a partial or full mouth restoration. This can be done either local or general anesthesia.
- Your jaw will need to be evaluated. After the remnants of the roots are gone and the mouth has healed from that surgery, your dental implant dentist will take x-rays and maybe a CT scan of your jaw. They do this to make sure you have enough bone in the jaw to support the full arch dental implants. If they find that there is not enough bone in place to support your implants, they can schedule a bone graft to augment your jaw and make it ready for the dental implants.
- You have the implants inserted in your mouth. The next step will be a surgery to insert the dental implants in your jaw. The only difference between the full arch dental implants procedure and the single tooth replacement is that in the former, they will put in four or five implants. The bridge will be attached to this. In single tooth implant procedures, a crown is attached to the implant. After the implants have been inserted in the jaw, the dental implant dentist will put on a piece that is temporary teeth so that you can eat while you heal from the surgery. Your healing time will depend on your general health and some other factors. It can take up to three months.
- Your oral surgeon puts in your permanent bridge. After your mouth has healed from the implant surgery, you can have the temporary teeth removed and the permanent bridge attached to your implants. When your oral surgeon put in the implants, they also added what is called an abutment to each. This juts out from the gum and provides the post to which the permanent teeth will be eventually attached. These fake teeth will look and act just like regular, real teeth.
When you lose teeth, your body starts to reabsorb the bone in your jaw. This process can be very detrimental to your overall health and well being. When you have a dental implant put in, that process stops immediately. Single implants and full arch dental implants offer people the best kind of tooth replacement around. They are the closest thing to having natural teeth that is available today.