Three Options for Restoring All Teeth
When it comes to someone needing to have all their teeth taken out, there are three options for restoring their mouth.
The conventional way is a denture, which relies on the soft tissue and the bony architecture for stability and support. Maxillary upper dentures are very straightforward. A lot of times, we have great results with those conventional lower dentures that are tricky.
Implants as an Alternative
One of the problems with those is you’ve got the tongue muscles, the cheek muscle attachments, and a lot of movement. The jawbone moves, and if you open wide enough, the jawbone flexes. And so all those things combine to make a conventional lower denture a little bit trickier. And in situations where we have no teeth, what we like to do is always evaluate to see if implants are an option.
Advantages of Implants
So the advantage of implants, which are basically titanium screws that we put in the bone and on the bottom, you could do as little as two. Ideally, we’d like four on the top. We want to do at least four implants. And what that allows us to do is, with those implants in place, we can make attachments to those where the inside of your denture snaps in and engages.
So, no longer are we relying on suction and surface tension. We’re actually relying on mechanical retention of those snaps. So when you put your dentures in the morning, you’ll hear a snap sound. It’ll go into place, and you can reliably go throughout the day, talk, sing at church, eat dinner, do whatever you want to do, and then at the end of the day, you’ll want to pop ’em out, clean off your mouth, and then the next day, start again.
Fixed Hybrid Dentures
Another option we have to replace no teeth or missing teeth is a hybrid, a fixed denture with at least four, if not five, implants on the top or the bottom. And it’s a lot more involved because we actually design a set of teeth that attaches to those implants and stays in your mouth. So, one of the big advantages of the fixed hybrid is that it’s going to feel more natural and more like your regular teeth because you don’t have to take it in and out. The only downside with a fixed hybrid is we have to have a certain number of implants. So you have to have adequate bone, healthy bone. So it’s really important in the planning phase when you come in to see us that we do a three-dimensional scan to determine where the healthy bone is and ensure we can do implants and the right number of implants.
Planning for Your Unique Situation
Every case is different. And if you talk to different dentists, some dentists are more comfortable doing different plans. If you’re in a situation where you’re losing your teeth, and you’re not sure what your options are, please come talk to us. It may even be not as bad as you think. A lot of times, people will come in and say, oh, doc, pull all my teeth. They’re terrible; I hate ’em. And it may just be one or two teeth. We can address those. You can fix ’em maybe with something permanent, something smaller like a bridge. Or it may be that your teeth have gone beyond saving, and we do have to start planning for a solution for that.
Customized Treatment Plans
Either way, come in and see us. We’d love to talk to you, and it can be very overwhelming. So come to a team that you trust, we’ll sit down with you, and we’ll discuss your options, and we’ll get a game plan.
Your Unique Mouth Matters
I don’t want you to go to Google and assume that your mouth is just like everybody else’s and that whatever you find there will apply to you. Everybody’s mouth is different, and every situation is different, even among family. If you have a mom and dad who have lost their teeth at a really young age, there may be a good chance that you might lose your teeth. But don’t just assume the worst. Come in, see us. Let us give you a customized treatment plan.
Conclusion and Contact Information
If you liked any of the information from this article and have questions about your mouth and your dental treatment, we have many other articles on dentures, partials, implants, and many other topics. If you want to come see us, visit our contact page and make an appointment today! We’d love to see you.
I’m Dr. Brett Langton, helping you watch your mouth.