Dental implants are growing in popularity for good reason. The medical science and technology of dental implants have evolved rapidly over the last twenty years, making these dental prosthetics more accessible and effective than before. While traditional dentures and bridges are still potent tools for many patients, other options exist. Full-arch dental implants are the most recent evolution in replacing lost teeth and offer exciting possibilities for those who can use them. Let’s explore the benefits of full-arch dental implants, learn how they work, and who can benefit from them.
What are Full-Arch Dental Implants?
Full-arch dental implants are a hybrid of contemporary dental implants and traditional dentures. Whereas dental implants are used to replace a lost or missing tooth with a nearly-indistinguishable prosthetic and dentures are used to replace an entire arch of teeth with artificial teeth mounted to an acrylic base, full-arch dental implants replace a whole arch of teeth with a permanently installed prosthetic. Like dentures, they comprise a full arch of teeth–all of the teeth on the upper or lower jaw. Like dental implants, they are permanently installed via four or more mounting posts surgically installed into the jawbone.
Just as dental implants offer advantages for the right patient over traditional bridges and dentures, so do full-arch dental implants. While the benefits of full-arch dental implants will depend on the individual patient and their unique needs, here are some typical benefits of this dental prosthetic.
- Full-arch dental implants support jawbone health. Missing teeth affect not only your smile but your jawbone. Lost teeth can weaken the jaw due to a lack of bone stimulation. Full-arch dental implants help prevent this by mimicking the action of natural teeth roots against the jawbone, preventing deterioration and preserving the lines of the face.
- Remaining natural teeth can benefit from full-arch dental implants, too! Significant gaps of missing teeth can cause remaining teeth to shift out of alignment or experience atypical wear and tear. A full-arch dental implant can fill in the gaps and preserve the remaining teeth effectively.
- Fast healing times and improved patient outcomes are other potential bonuses of full-arch dental implants. These implants can often be installed in one dentist visit, meaning recovery begins immediately. It means improved patient comfort, more rapid healing times, and a faster return to normal activities.
- Speaking of normal activities: full-arch dental implants preserve 99% of the functionality of natural teeth. While traditional dentures require some adjustment to many regular activities like eating, chewing, and talking, full-arch dental implants look and feel almost exactly like the natural teeth they replace, allowing patients to resume those activities, relatively quickly.
- Full-arch dental implants are durable and easy to maintain. Once in place, full-arch dental implants can last a long time–up to twenty years, or even longer! With regular cleaning–much like you would natural teeth–dental implants are easy to maintain, durable, and fully functional for decades to come.
Are Full-Arch Dental Implants Right for Me?
So, now that we’ve explored the benefits of full-arch dental implants, let’s ask the big question: are full-arch dental implants right for me? The answer is a firm “maybe”–a lot depends on your goals, situation, and budget. Generally speaking, if the jaw bone is healthy and there are no other issues, full-arch dental implants are a great option to discuss with your dentist.
If you’re interested in full-arch dental implants or any other dental prosthetic–or just need routine care like an exam and cleaning–get in touch with us today. Our appointment process is easy and we’ll get you into the office as soon as possible! A beautiful smile is waiting for you here at Hickory Dental Care!