For patients who are missing an entire upper or lower arch of teeth, a fixed denture stabilized by dental implants (also known as a full-arch restoration or the All-on-4® treatment concept) may be the right solution to solve this complex dental need. Fixed dentures are also a fantastic solution for patients who have lost multiple teeth and have additional failing teeth in the mouth. Rather than trying to save the teeth through multiple difficult procedures and then placing individual implants or multiple bridges, removing the failing teeth and restoring the whole arch with a fixed denture can provide fewer treatments, a decreased cost, and a quicker restoration time.
What is a fixed denture?
A fixed denture is a full arch of beautiful white teeth which are supported by dental implants. This kind of restoration is the best solution for replacing a full arch of teeth and provides a variety of benefits, including
- Shorter restoration time. Placing individual dental implants to restore a full arch of teeth is time-consuming and requires numerous surgical treatments. A fixed denture requires fewer dental implants, thus decreasing the time necessary to heal and the severity of any bone grafting procedures that must be performed prior to implant placement.
- An aesthetically pleasing restoration. A fixed denture is the most natural-looking and functioning replacement option for a full arch of teeth. In fact, a fixed denture feels and looks so much like the original teeth that even the patient can sometimes forget that they are wearing a prosthesis!
- Increased stability. Because the denture is fixed to the dental implant abutments, it does not require any glue or healthy teeth to stabilize it in the mouth. The dental implants fuse with the jaw, providing a solid foundation for the denture that will not slip or detach for years with proper care and maintenance.
What happens during dental implant placement for a fixed denture?
During your initial consultation, your doctor will review your medical history and perform an oral examination of your gums and any remaining teeth. He will also review the X-rays from your dentist and may take additional 3D scans to ensure that you have proper bone height and width present to place dental implants. If necessary, you may need to undergo a bone grafting procedure to ensure that the implants will properly fuse with the jaw bone and create a stable foundation for your fixed denture. If you have failing teeth that must be removed, this can often occur at the same time that the implants are placed.
The supporting implants are normally placed toward the front of the mouth, where the bone is the densest, or where the least bone loss has occurred. Patients will undergo a period of healing to allow the implants to properly fuse with the jaw bone prior to the attachment of the prosthesis. Once the implants are securely anchored in the bone, the abutments, which support the denture, are affixed to the implants. The full denture is attached to the abutments in the same manner as a bridge so that only your oral surgeon can remove it. When this is done, the denture is attached above the level of the gum for easy hygiene care at home.
Dental implants are truly the best functional and aesthetic solution to replacing multiple missing teeth and restoring your smile, and Greater Charlotte Oral & Facial Surgery has a variety of implant solutions to meet your individual needs. If you are interested in learning more about which dental implant solution is right for you, please contact our office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Marashi or Dr. Ricciuti.