Your dentist may have recommended a full mouth replacement, or maybe you learned about this dental procedure and wondered if it could be a good option for you. This guide will help you understand more about the full mouth replacement process and the scenarios that warrant getting this procedure. Knowing more about it can help you see whether this might be a good fit for your situation, and then you can talk to a dentist for a personalized discussion about your dental options.
What Is a Full Mouth Replacement?
The full mouth replacement procedure involves a dentist filling in the spaces left by missing natural teeth or replacing damaged teeth through the use of dental implants. Rather than fill in one or a few missing teeth, which would be considered a dental implant procedure, a full mouth replacement is used when many or all of the teeth throughout the mouth need replacement.
You could be a candidate for a full mouth replacement if you’re missing many teeth or need many of them replaced. This is a good option if you would rather not get dentures, which do not provide a permanent option. Many people also prefer the idea of a full mouth replacement over bridges and crowns, which are options that need maintenance and periodic replacement. The implants that are part of the full mouth replacement provide a sturdy, permanent solution that resembles natural teeth.
However, dental implants are not always the right fit or may not be the first course of action. If you do not have strong jaw bone or healthy gums, you may require another procedure before you could get the full mouth replacement. You need to have enough bone and bone that’s strong enough to support implants going into it. If your bone is soft, thin or not high enough on the top jaw, you may need an alternative procedure such as a bone graft or sinus lift before the full mouth replacement. Your dentist can talk to you about your options.
How Does a Full Mouth Replacement Work?
Because this procedure can involve the full mouth, it includes an extensive process. Nonetheless, by the end, you’ll have permanent implants without the need for further work, maintenance or replacement.
The process starts with diagnostics and planning the procedure. This part can take a few weeks before you get started with the implants. During this stage, you may get X-rays, CT scans and diagnostic mock-ups to give your dentist a better idea of what’s going on in your mouth and whether this is the best solution for your needs. If you and your dentist decide to move forward with a full mouth replacement, your dentist would use virtual planning, smile design, and similar techniques to plan your new mouth.
The procedure itself involves placing implants in the upper and lower jaws. This could include a few implants or a bar of teeth. The implants are like screws that the dental specialist implants into the bone of the jaw. The implants act as roots to keep the new teeth attached to the jaw bone permanently. Once they are affixed, the dentist will attach crowns to the implants. The crowns resemble real teeth, and they are customized to fit your particular mouth in shape, size, and appearance.
There are slightly different ways a dentist can complete a full mouth replacement, which will depend on your case. For example, you could have a hybrid zirconia bridge or an implant full mouth and bridge.
Hybrid Zirconia Bridge: This method uses zirconia for a better appearance than metal. Zirconia also combines appearance with strength, making it a great material for dental work. The hybrid bridge starts with a zirconium oxide framework that skips metal and visible bridge connectors. The dentist then covers the framework with a porcelain veneer.
Implant Full Mouth and Bridge: While a regular bridge gains support from remaining natural teeth, an implant-supported bridge is different because it gains support from implants. It features one implant in each spot where there is a missing tooth, and then the dentist adds the crowns and connects them to each other. The implants have more support and strength by being connected rather than each one facing pressure on its own. A dentist could also use this method in an area that doesn’t have strong enough bone to support an implant. You could instead have an implant on each side of that spot, with an implant-supported bridge connecting the space.
A full mouth replacement offers a good solution when you are missing numerous teeth and provides an alternative to dentures. By using implants and replacement teeth, this method provide permanent, stable teeth that look and feel like the real thing. If you think you may need a full mouth replacement in Owasso, OK, call us for a consultation. Our dentist can evaluate your situation to see if this procedure is the right fit for you or to discuss other options. We can find a solution for you to have a strong smile and the confidence that goes with it.