A reason to smile again: Full mouth dental implants

Can just four implants replace all of the teeth on the top or the bottom of your mouth? Thanks to advances in dental implant technology, that answer is a resounding yes.

Believe it or not, tooth loss is extremely common among adults, especially as we age. In fact, more than 35 million people in America are missing all of their upper and/or lower teeth. Rather than living with the discomfort and hassles of dentures, many people are opting for what is called full mouth dental implant restoration.

 

One full arch of teeth, four dental implants

To fully understand this remarkable technique for replacing teeth, you should first understand what a dental implant is. An implant is a small titanium screw that fits inside your jawbone and replaces the root-part of a missing tooth. Minor surgery is required to insert the implants. Once the implant is in place, a crown is attached to give you a highly realistic-looking and functional prosthetic tooth.

Here’s where it gets really interesting: You do not need a dental implant for each and every one of your missing teeth. All you need is four precisely placed implants on the top of your mouth, and four on the bottom, to restore your full smile. That’s the beauty of the full arch. And because the implant is made of titanium, it has the unique ability to fuse to living bone and function as part of it. So eventually, the dental implant becomes part of the jawbone and serves as a strong, long-lasting foundation for your new teeth.

Besides ensuring that your implants are permanently fixed in place, this bone fusion has another important benefit: it can prevent future bone loss in the jaw. This helps to maintain a more youthful facial structure—and better oral health. But perhaps the biggest surprise about the full arch is how quickly it can transform your life.