Full Arch Tooth Replacement
Dentures are the quickest and least expensive way to replace missing teeth. They are supported and retained by whatever jaw structure remains after the teeth are removed. Most patients have challenging time keeping dentures in place, especially the lower ones, when they are eating and talking. Dentures also accelerate jaw bone loss that can eliminate or complicate the ability to place dental implants in the future.
Dental implants can be used to support and retained dentures. These types of dentures are called “overdentures.” Depending upon the number of implants placed, the overdenture can have similar stability as an implant-retained bridge. A minimum of four implants are needed in the upper jaw and two to four in the lower jaw. The overdenture is attached to the implants in a variety of ways, including Locator attachments, Conus attachments, or a bar with retention clips. Overdentures can be removed by the patient for ease of cleaning the implants and the denture.
An implant-retained bridge (also known as a fixed hybrid bridge, and formerly called a fixed hybrid denture) is the most “tooth-like” way to replace a full arch of missing teeth. These teeth cannot be removed by the patient, but are removed by the dentist for annual maintenance. Depending upon patient specifics, four to six dental implants are placed to support the final restoration which can be made from acrylic or porcelain. These bridges can be more difficult for patients to clean which is a must for long-term care. Two examples are shown below.
How do I get started?
The first step in the process is to work with Dr. Filippi and your dentist to determine the best option for your personal needs. Some patients may choose or require different options for the top and bottom arch. For more advanced cases, powerful computer software is used to design the entire case before even getting started. This helps ensure the most predictable end result.