Despite their increasing popularity, full-mouth dental implants are still commonly misunderstood.
Often confused with partial or full dentures, some patients are shocked to discover that dental implants are not removable.
So, how do full-mouth dental implants work if they aren’t removable?
The structure of full-mouth dental implants
In order to properly understand the procedure and benefits of full-mouth dental implants, it is helpful if prospective patients are aware of the overall structure of dental implants.
Confusingly, dental implants actually come in multiple parts:
- The dental implant screws, which are embedded in the jawbone and replace the roots of the natural tooth.
- The prosthetic bridge, which holds and attaches the prosthesis to the implant screws. This prosthesis replaces the crown and neck of the teeth and forms the visible teeth.
As such then, patients will see the phrase dental implant used in two ways, both to refer to the dental implant screws and to refer to the dental implant and prosthetic bridge combination.
Implanted for all-round improvement
As the name suggests, full-mouth dental implants are a way of giving patients a full-mouth implanted prosthesis, designed to entirely replace the teeth of the upper or lower jaw.
Unlike dentures which are removable, full-mouth dental implants entirely mimic the natural structure of the tooth and are implanted into the jawbone for ultimate strength, stability, and a comfortable ‘real tooth’ feel.
Strong and steady full-mouth dental implants
By implanting the dental implant screw, and topping it with the prosthesis, dental clinicians are able to ensure that the prosthetic tooth is anchored with the utmost strength and stability.
This stability comes from the act of implantation and the process of osseointegration, which forms a solid bone connection between dental implants and the jawbone itself over time.
The osseointegration process
- Under a local anaesthetic, the titanium screw is implanted into the jawbone.
- Over the next three to six months, bone from the jawbone will start to grow and layer around the ridged implant edges.
- These bone cells achieve full contact by filling any space between the implant and the jawbone, completely fusing the two together.
This process is used with dental implants, joint replacement surgery, and more recently in amputee rehabilitation, thanks to the method’s high level of success.
Once healed with enough bone formed around the implant screws, it is considered by the body as part of itself, and has the strength of traditional tooth roots, allowing patients to eat freely, speak without concern, and smile widely.
Unlike dentures, which rely on adhesives and pastes or regular reshaping to fit in the mouth, which can result in sores, slippages, and movement when in the mouth.
Comfortable real feel from full-mouth dental implants
Thanks to the design of the implants and the osseointegration process, dental implants and prosthesis directly emulate both the appearance of natural teeth and their fit in the mouth.
After surgery day, during which the implant screws and a provisional prosthesis are fitted, the soft tissues, lips, and tongue will begin to learn the new layout of the mouth. After a brief period of adjustment, all parts of the mouth will quickly become used to the prosthesis and will not feel the dental implant thanks to its implanted position in the mouth, allowing patients to laugh, socialise, and enjoy a range of foods once again.
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Full-mouth implants for a lifelong smile
If cared for correctly, full-mouth dental implants can go on to last a lifetime, while traditional dentures have an expected lifespan of around 5- years.
It is reported that 90% of full-mouth dental implants fitted last for 10 years or more, and the key to this longevity is thorough dental hygiene practices and regular check-ups with your dental clinician.
These regular check-ups should include both general hygiene appointments and annual check-ups that focus on monitoring the health and well-being of your dental implants to give them the greatest chance of success.
Find full-mouth dental implant providers near you
Full-mouth dental implants are the easy, permanent, and low-maintenance solution to missing or failing teeth and can create a beautiful, aesthetically pleasing smile.
Unlike dentures, which are removable, dental implant permanence provides superior strength and comfort thanks to their design, construction, and usability.
No matter whom you choose to fulfil your full-mouth dental implants, be sure to find out if they use temporary dentures or a provisional prosthesis on surgery day to ensure you know what to expect on the day.