Most patients who have lost all of their teeth want to replace them as quickly as possible. Advanced dental technology now allows certain patients to receive an entire arch of prosthetic teeth in a single appointment with surgeons.
The patient needs as little as four dental implants to benefit from this innovative treatment. The fixed implants are usually sturdy enough on the day of surgery to anchor the new fixed teeth the same day.
Additionally, the implants are placed toward the front of the jaw, so even long-term denture wearers who have experienced bone loss underneath the sinus floor can still qualify for the procedure.
The dental implants and teeth are placed during an outpatient surgical procedure in the surgeon’s office. Most patients will want to take advantage of some sort of sedation for this procedure, in addition to the local anesthetic that will be used.
Before leaving the office, the patient is fitted with the prosthetic arch. After the implants have fully integrated with the bone, the patient may return to receive a second, stronger denture.
In the days immediately following the implant placement procedure, patients should use common sense to determine what they can and cannot do to avoid complications and problems with the implants. Maintain a soft diet for a few weeks and be gentle with your oral hygiene routine (but still keep up with it to minimize the presence of potentially infection-causing bacteria!).
In addition to the short treatment timeframe, this procedure can have a number of advantages over conventional dentures. This includes a more stable and secure prosthesis, greatly reducing the jawbone resorption that occurs with standard dentures, which have no root-like structure to anchor the bone. An implant-supported arch will not slide out of place, and it’s more effective at chewing so patients can maintain a varied diet.