Tooth loss disrupts oral functions and compromises the appearance of the smile. When an entire arch of teeth has been lost, even the jaw and facial structure can be impacted. To restore oral functions and prevent more serious complications, patients should seek restorative dentistry treatment as soon as possible.
At Boston Prosthodontics, there are two primary full arch tooth replacement options for patients to consider. Our dental team can provide implant-supported dentures or removable dentures to replace missing teeth and improve the health, aesthetics, and function of the smile. Our dental team can help our Boston, MA, patients consider which is most appropriate for their unique situation.
Removable dentures, also known as traditional dentures, are one of the most common treatments for a full arch of missing teeth. Removable dentures are made to resemble a full set of teeth sitting atop a healthy gum line. These restorations consist of a plastic base, and ceramic restorations that replace the teeth.
Removable dentures create a seal with the natural gum line. This seal helps hold the dentures in place. For further security, many of our patients also choose to use a dentures adhesive. Although removable dentures fit much more securely than those of the past, there are still some precautions that should be taken. Patients should avoid hard, sticky, or chewy foods while wearing traditional dentures, as these could cause the dentures to slip or fall out of place.
Traditional dentures require some special care. Dentures will need to be removed each night for cleaning. Patients should take their dentures out and allow them to soak in a dentures cleaning solution. They can also be gently brushed with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Once patients get used to these cleaning habits, caring for removable dentures should be easy.
Implant-supported dentures look very similar to traditional dentures. These restorations also are made up of a plastic base that looks like the gum line, and dental restorations that resemble the natural teeth. The difference is that implant-supported dentures have small metal openings along the bottom. These openings fit over metal abutments that protrude from dental implants.
Implant-supported dentures are supported by four to six dental implants. Dental implants are tiny titanium screws that are surgically placed in the jaw. Dental implants fuse with bone tissues to provide the ultimate level of security. They essentially become a part of the jaw, so they are able to hold dentures in place permanently, without the fear of slipping.
Factors to Consider
It is important for patients to carefully consider which type of full arch tooth replacement is best for them. Initially, it is easy to see that implant-supported dentures offer many advantages over removable prosthetics.
Implant-supported dentures are long-lasting and comfortable. They can be cared for like the natural teeth, and they stimulate the jaw to prevent bone loss. However, dental implant treatment is also more invasive, costly, and lengthy than treatment with removable dentures.
When choosing between removable and implant-supported dentures, our Boston patients should think about:
- Their treatment budget
- How quickly they want results
- The current health of their jaw
- The durability of treatment
- Restoration stability
- Care of their dental restorations
If you have lost a full arch of teeth, the team at Boston Prosthodontics can rebuild your smile. To learn more about the missing teeth treatment options offered at our practice, send us a message at your earliest convenience or call (617) 523-5451 to schedule an appointment.