Full-arch dental implants: what is it? - Southampton Aesthetic Dentistry

Full-arch dental implants: what is it?

photo woman patient at dentist

Full arch dental implants are a comprehensive solution for replacing an entire arch of missing teeth, either in the upper or lower jaw. This procedure typically involves placing multiple dental implants into the jawbone, which then serve as anchors for a fixed dental prosthesis, such as a full arch denture or bridge. Full arch dental implants offer a stable, long-lasting, and natural-looking alternative to traditional dentures for patients with significant tooth loss.

Full-arch dental implants offer several advantages for patients with significant tooth loss. One of the primary benefits is the improved stability and function they provide compared to traditional dentures. Because the implants are anchored to the jawbone, the prosthesis remains securely in place, allowing for better chewing ability and speech clarity.

Another advantage is the preservation of the jawbone structure. Dental implants stimulate the jawbone, similar to the way natural tooth roots do, which helps prevent bone loss that often occurs with missing teeth. This helps maintain facial structure and aesthetics, avoiding the sunken appearance that can develop over time in denture wearers.

Additionally, full-arch dental implants are designed for long-term durability and can last for many years with proper care and maintenance. They provide a more natural-looking and comfortable solution, contributing to increased confidence and overall quality of life for patients. Lastly, since full-arch dental implants are fixed in place, they eliminate the need for the adhesives and special care required by traditional removable dentures, making them a more convenient option.

 

The steps of full-arch dental implants installation

The process of installing full-arch dental implants at Southampton Aesthetic Dentistry typically involves several stages, which can span over a period of a few months. The stages may vary depending on the patient’s specific needs and the dentist’s recommendations. Here’s an overview of the general stages of full-arch dental implant installation:

  1. Initial consultation and evaluation: The dentist will conduct a thorough examination of the patient’s mouth, teeth, and jawbone to determine if full-arch dental implants are a suitable solution. This may include taking X-rays, CT scans, or 3D imaging to assess bone quality and plan the implant placement.
  2. Tooth extraction (if necessary): If any remaining teeth need to be removed before implant placement, the dentist will perform tooth extractions, allowing time for the extraction sites to heal before proceeding to the next stage.
  3. Bone grafting (if necessary): In cases where there is insufficient bone volume or quality to support the dental implants, the dentist may perform a bone grafting procedure. This involves adding bone material to the jawbone to create a stable foundation for the implants. A healing period of several months may be needed for the grafted bone to integrate with the existing bone.
  4. Implant placement surgery: During this stage, the dental surgeon will make incisions in the gum tissue and drill holes in the jawbone to place the titanium implant posts. Depending on the specific technique used, the number of implants may vary, typically ranging from four to six per arch. Once the implants are in place, the surgical site is closed with stitches.
  5. Healing and osseointegration: The implants need time to fuse with the surrounding jawbone in a process called osseointegration. This healing period may last from a few months up to six months, during which the patient may receive a temporary prosthesis for cosmetic and functional purposes.
  6. Abutment placement: After the healing period, the dentist will expose the top of the implants and attach abutments, which will serve as the connectors between the implants and the final prosthesis.
  7. Prosthesis fabrication and fitting: Impressions or digital scans of the patient’s mouth will be taken to create a customized full-arch dental prosthesis, such as a denture or bridge. Once the prosthesis is fabricated, the dentist will fit it onto the abutments and make any necessary adjustments to ensure proper fit, bite, and aesthetics.
  8. Follow-up appointments and maintenance: Regular dental checkups and proper oral hygiene practices are essential to ensure the long-term success of the full-arch dental implants and to monitor the patient’s overall oral health.

It’s important to note that the specific stages, timeline, and techniques may vary depending on the individual case and the chosen treatment approach. It’s crucial to consult with a qualified dental professional to determine the best course of action for your specific situation.

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