Full Arch Dental Implants
To replace all the teeth on the upper, lower, or both, you have various options:
1. Traditional Dentures. This option is considered old-fashioned by today’s standards, but having traditional dentures is much better than not having teeth. The disadvantage is that traditional dentures move, slip, click, and do not feel natural. Especially in the lower, where the tongue gets in the way, conventional dentures are not secure, even with the continual issue of denture adhesives. Traditional dentures simply do not look, feel, and function like natural teeth.
2. Locator Overdentures. These dentures are for the lower arch only. They are supported by two dental implants and snap into place. Although a much better solution than traditional dentures, locator overdentures rock up and down in the back and are not totally secure in the mouth.
3. Conus Overdentures. This option can be used on the upper or lower jaw or both. Four implants are placed that create increased stability and retention. A Conus overdenture is removed by the patient for cleaning. It is a great option for some people, but it is still a removable denture.
4. Full Arch Fixed Bridge. This option provides patients with a fixed bridge, on the upper, lower, or both. A full arch fixed bridge cannot be removed by the patient, but it may be removed by a dentist once a year for cleaning and maintenance. A full arch bridge is supported by five or six implants in each arch. It is very stable and looks and functions much like natural teeth. Patients can eat the foods they love and smile with confidence.
The Full Mouth Dental Implant Treatment Process
Comprehensive Examination, Discussing Options, and Planning
At your first visit, Dr. Filippi will conduct a comprehensive examination, including scanning your mouth with our in-house cone beam CT equipment. This high-tech diagnostic tool renders 3D images of your jaws using a small percentage of the radiation output of most X-ray machines. It works in just seconds and it is comfortable and non-invasive. The scanner images enable Dr. Filippi and his team to carefully plan treatment in advance and perform “virtual” surgery using computer modeling prior to your actual surgical appointment. Dr. Filippi will discuss treatment options with you and answer all your questions.
Placing Dental Implants Comfortably and Precisely
Dr. Filippi preplans your case on a computer in consultation with your dentist and the dental laboratory technician. Using custom made surgical guides that are fabricated based on computer-generated images, Dr. Filippi is able to place the implants precisely and at the correct angle and depth on the day of treatment. To keep you comfortable, Dr. Filippi offers a variety of sedation options, including:
- Local anesthetic.
- Light oral sedation in pill form.
- Moderate IV sedation. Dr. Filippi is licensed by the state of California to administer moderate IV sedation. Also called “conscious sedation,” this type of sedation does not put you fully to sleep, but it makes you less aware of your surroundings and the procedure. It is similar to the type of sedation used for some outpatient medical procedures, such as a colonoscopy. Patients who experience conscious sedation regularly report that they did not feel anything and did not remember the procedure.
Collaboration with Your Dentist for the Final Restoration
Dental implants, which are artificial tooth roots, become fused or integrated with your jawbone over time. At that point they are as secure or even more secure and stable in the mouth as healthy natural tooth roots. In collaboration with Dr. Filippi, your general dentist or restorative specialist will provide the final restorations—natural-looking teeth supported by the implants that not only give you a beautiful smile, but also allow to eat any foods of your choice.