Dental Implants for An Entire Jaw
Oral Surgeon, Dmitry Y. Tsvetov, DDS, MD, Temecula Facial Oral Surgery
Dental Implants for An Entire Jaw (all Upper or all Lower Jaw)
This is yet another example where knowing the “target” or “knowing where one is trying to get” is extremely important. There are many ways to replace all nonrestorable (bad) teeth with implants. But the important question is—what will the teeth themselves “feel like”.
If you want something that looks AND functions like regular teeth (something that is “fixed”, meaning you can’t take it out of your mouth like “false teeth” or a denture), then you need a “fixed” restoration. Such a restoration is usually secured (screwed in) into the dental implants and is locked in there. You don’t take the teeth out at night and you don’t put them back in in the morning. Esthetic appearance is good and so is your ability to chew food with them (you would have about 80-90% chewing efficiency with this treatment).
There is also an option of having “Removable” or “Super false teeth”. These are regular “false teeth” or dentures that hook onto the dental implants. They are a lot more stable than traditional dentures or “false teeth” This is a viable treatment option for patients who are OK with giving up some chewing efficiency but having the treatment be somewhat more affordable. This treatment usually only requires two implants on the lower jaw and typically four implants on the upper jaw, which is more affordable. Also, the restoration itself (false teeth that hook onto the implants) are generally a lot more affordable than individual crowns and bridges needed for a “fixed” restoration.
So to summarize: With a fixed restoration you get better chewing efficiency (80-90% of what natural teeth deliver) and a good esthetic outcome; This however comes with a higher overall treatment cost. With a removable option, you give up some chewing efficiency (30-40% chewing efficiency compared to natural teeth) but the esthetic outcome is similar to fixed and the cost of the treatment is more affordable.
Treatment time can vary from “Teeth in one day” or “All on 4” treatment concept, where the bad teeth are removed, implants placed, and new teeth attached to those implants all in one day. This is the “Fixed” option. For “Removable” option or “Super false teeth”, treatment time can vary from 3 months (if the teeth are already missing) to 7 months if the bad teeth are still present (4 months of healing time after extractions and 3 months of healing time after implants) before the new super denture can be attached.