Depending upon the needs of the patient and the amount of tooth loss experienced, anywhere from one to all of the teeth in the mouth can be replaced with dental implants. That’s right, all 32 teeth can be removed and implants surgically installed in their place. But this isn’t always the best solution for significant tooth loss and, since each patient is different, the decision to do a full replacement of the natural teeth is going to be predicated upon a number of factors.
Only your dentist can tell you whether you should have implants or dentures or a combination of both, but anyone interested in having their natural teeth replaced would benefit from implants in some capacity. The procedure needs to be performed just once and after the implants are installed, they look and act like normal, natural teeth. Many patients choose implants over dentures because the latter can cause pain or discomfort over time and they need to be replaced every ten years, give or take.
Deciding on Implants
If you have a considerable amount of teeth missing, your dentist will perform an examination to determine if you are a good candidate for implants. X-rays will be taken to assess if you have sufficient enough bone to support implantation and check your gums to ensure that they are healthy enough to take the implants successfully. Patients prone to possible gum disease will have a difficult time with implants as the gums won’t heal properly and the implant may not be fully accepted.
Full Mouth Implants
Patients who are seeking to have all of their teeth replaced will typically require implant-supported bridges or dentures to cover the entire mouth. These are different than standard bridges or dentures in that these appliances are attached to posts that are rooted into the jaw in the very same manner as singular dental implants. This makes wearing a bridge or denture much more comfortable and it allows for the patient to have a more natural feel when it comes to speaking, biting, and chewing. This option also preserves your bone much longer, since the posts are implanted at five or six locations on the jaw. Traditional dentures can promote bone erosion at the areas where the tooth roots used to reside in the jaw, now that nothing is there for the jaw to support that bone can begin to resorb. Implants keep the bone healthier.