People lose their teeth for many reasons. Whether it is an accident or an extraordinary illness, the truth remains your jawbones react to it. Sooner or later, you lose more teeth, and before you know it, the shape of your face changes, and you look much older than your age. But you can prevent this unwanted direction. You can choose full-mouth dental implants.
What are full-mouth dental implants?
If you want to enjoy life and look attractive after losing most or all of your teeth, you may undergo full-mouth dental implant surgery.
That means you will have several implants on your lower and upper jaw. They will work as support for your new set of artificial teeth.
How many implants you need for each jaw depends on your oral health, including your jawbones’ volume and quality. Some people need four implants, some five, and some even six. Thus you have all-on-4, all-on-5, or all-on-6 implants treatment.
The process is called same-day dental implants. Some like to call it teeth in a day. They are the same. All they do is hold the crowns or dental arches in place.
Your doctor extracts the remaining teeth, fixes the implants into your jawbone, and attaches the arch of your new teeth to your implants. You go home with a new smile.
If you have enough teeth left on one jaw, it is possible to have implants on the other jaw.
Dental Implants Stats
- The number of implants in the USA will increase by 23% from 2020 to 2026.
- Dental implants have a 97% success rate.
- The US dental implant market is $1.5bn strong.
- The global market for implants is to reach $8bn by 2024.
(Ref: Lampee Implants)
Are you a suitable candidate for full-mouth implants?
In your first appointment with your doctor, the doctor will scan your mouth to determine your candidacy for this treatment. You are suitable for full-mouth implants if you:
- Are in good health.
- Have enough volume of bone left in your jaws. The bone has to be in good condition to hold the implants securely.
- Do not clench or grind your teeth.
- Do not smoke or are willing to quit smoking before implant treatment begins. Smoking reduces your body’s healing capacity.
- Can heal surgery into your bone and tissue. (Do you have diabetes? Speak to your doctor at your first consultation meeting.)
- Do not have other oral complications. (For example, gum disease, oral cancer, and complicated mouth infections.) If you do, they have to be treated first.
Do not go for any dental implants if you have any of the following medical conditions:
- Diabetes at an uncontrolled level.
- You do drugs.
- You have a history of blood clotting.
- Low or negligible immune system.
- You have been diagnosed with cancer.
Your doctor can verify the severity of your condition and provide you with informed advice. Always seek expert advice before making a life-changing decision.
Full-mouth dental implants procedure
Full-mouth implants have three components:
- The implants. They are the metal parts that penetrate your jawbones. Made from titanium, they look like screws.
- The abutments. They sit on the implants and connect the teeth to the implants.
- The new set of teeth. With good care, they will last a lifetime. They are made from acrylic or zirconia, or porcelain.
Acrylic teeth are more affordable than others.
On the other hand, you may opt for zirconia teeth if you are young. They last longer than the others.
There are various dental implant techniques in the cosmetic dentistry industry today. Following the conventional implant technique may require four to six months to complete the full-mouth dental implant treatment. You may need even more if you require extra dental complications to treat.
On the other hand, if you follow the teeth-in-a-day technique, your surgery will be completed within the day.
Understand that you must be available for an appointment with your doctor to scan your mouth before surgery. Then there will be a post-surgery appointment. And, finally, an appointment to receive your permanent set of artificial teeth.
Some doctors will recommend more appointments to complete different necessary tests before your treatment can begin.
Some of these tests may require you to go to external medical professionals.
The implant surgery step-by-step
You have decided to go ahead with the full-mouth dental implant surgery. The big day is here. The following will indicate what to expect during the day.
- The patient is sedated.
- The doctor extracts the remaining teeth.
- The doctor makes an incision into the gum and secures the implants into the bone.
- Time to attach the abutments to the implants.
- The gum is stitched around the abutments.
- The arches of temporary artificial teeth are connected to the abutments on the same day.
The patient must wait four to six months to have the permanent teeth attached to the implants. Doctors must verify your body has received the implants positively.
General anesthesia for dental implants
For dental implants, you will take Valium (diazepam) or Halcion (triazolam) pills an hour before your surgery starts. These are the two commonly prescribed medicines for dental implants.
These are prescription drugs. Your doctor will prescribe you the medicines for you during your pre-surgery meeting.
Conscious sedation: what is it?
The sedation used for dental implants is called conscious sedation. A step lower than deep sedation, conscious sedation helps you relax and prevents you from feeling pain. It removes your negative emotions and stress. But you may feel a tingling sensation throughout your body.
You will probably stay awake but may remain unable to speak during the sedation.
You are allowed to sleep during your surgery. Many people fall asleep when sedated.
If you are awake, your doctors and nurses will talk to you during the surgery to let you know what is happening. But you may not be able to remember them after the surgery is over.
Something to remember: If the intensity of your pain crosses the limit of your sedation, you may not be able to communicate that to your doctor. Sedation will impact your capacity to speak during the surgery.
Your sedation may linger after the surgery. According to experts, full recovery from sedation will take as long as 24 hours.
That is why having a second person with you is advisable to drive you home safely after your surgery.
All-on-4 or all-on-6?
All-on-4 seems to be the trend in the industry. It makes the procedure faster and less expensive. Besides, more implants mean more risk.
Studies show that all-on-4 can last more than twenty years. Your titanium implants do not require to be replaced. But your (artificial) teeth may wear off with time.
Your doctor will advise you in your pre-surgery meeting about which procedure you can choose. In most cases, the decision will depend on the condition of your mouth.
After 3D imaging your mouth and analyzing the bone quality, your doctor will indicate the best procedure you can choose.
Full-mouth dental implants cost
Full-mouth implant treatment costs vary from doctor to doctor and country to country.
The cost is calculated per arch. In the USA, per arch cost starts from $15,000. It can be as high as $50,000 if you have oral complications.
That means your expenses may easily exceed $50,000.
This estimate is based on all-on-4 dental implant treatment. In comparison, all-on-5 and all-on-6 may be costlier than that. They will need more surgical work.
Speak to your doctor to see if they can offer you a discount. They may even allow you to pay the cost in installments. Besides, most doctors work with lending companies and will be happy to help you fill up a form if you want to take that route.
Advantages of full-mouth dental implants
- According to the American Academy of Periodontology, ‘full mouth dental implants are designed to be long lasting.’
- They are more stable than traditional dentures.
- They are permanent. You don’t remove them every day and soak them in water. Instead, they stay in place on your jaws.
- You can brush them to keep them clean.
- You can floss them as if they are your natural teeth.
- Full mouth implants keep your jawbones healthy by integrating with them. Therefore, bone erosion stops.
- You can chew with them.
- You do not look decayed or older than your age.
- Your quality of life improves.
Full-mouth implants: risks
- Dental implants have a 95% success rate. They are medical cases and may not always be 100% successful.
- Your jawbone may get fractured during implant placement.
- Your bone may not heal as quickly and adequately as expected.
- Some patients claimed that their artificial teeth secured with implants did not feel like their natural teeth.
- The implant screw is called an abutment and may get loose with time.
- Negligence in keeping implants clean may result in unexpected oral complications.
- Your jawbone may fail due to bone infection or accident.
- Full-mouth dental implants are less expensive than implants for each tooth. But they are still very expensive.
What is peri-implantitis?
Peri-implantitis is an oral health condition in which you have gum inflammation in the tissues that surround the implant. This results in bone loss over time and may require surgical therapy.
Food particles help grow dangerous bacteria in your mouth. If you do not clean your mouth regularly, you may catch peri-implantitis. You may not notice it until you have inflammation.
Bone erosion starts if the condition exceeds a specific level.
Symptoms of peri-implantitis
- You notice blood or pus in your mouth.
- You have throbbing pain in your jaws.
- Gums may turn red.
- There may be noticeable swelling in the gums as well.
- Bad breath can occur.
- You have difficulty chewing your food.
- Felling that the implant is loose is common at an advanced stage.
Reference: TopDoctors UK.
Your dentist will be able to treat your peri-implantitis.
How to stay safe
- Implants do not rust. However, they can deteriorate over time if you do not care for them regularly.
- Write down the identification number of the implant system.
- Write down the date when you had implant surgery.
- Do not forget to visit your dentist regularly.
- If your artificial teeth crack or if you feel any discomfort, contact your dentist for a check-up. You can stop things from going beyond control by being proactive. After all, it is your mouth.
- Let your x-ray technician know that you are wearing dental implants before x-raying your mouth. Your implants may interfere with x-ray equipment. According to FDA, an x-ray does not have any noticeable impact on your implant devices.
Full-mouth dental implants: Final word
Dental implant procedures are complex. But your expert doctor will be able to make them successful for you. In fact, by asking questions, you will help your doctor to recommend the right procedure for you. And fewer complications mean fewer expenses and more happy days.
No. You will be under sedation during the surgery. Besides, bones have no nerves in them. That’s why drilling implants into bones do not hurt. However, there is minimal post-surgery pain.
Talk to your doctor to see if you have enough volume of bone left in your jaws. Implants are drilled into jawbones, which tend to erode if left unused.
You can. Your implants need care like your natural teeth would have needed. Your doctor will be able to recommend the right device for you.
You can. But the toothpaste has to be non- or low-abrasive. Talk to your doctor about any concerns about your dental surgery.