Alternatives for Restoring a Full Arch
When you’re missing most or all of your upper or lower teeth, you have several choices for replacing them. Depending on your situation, you could choose—
- a conventional full denture.
- an overdenture.
- delaying treatment.
Conventional full dentures
When all the teeth are missing or must be removed, we can make a conventional full denture to replace them. Conventional dentures can fit and function well at the start.
However, when all the teeth in an arch are missing, the jawbone gradually shrinks. This means that if you have some teeth that can be saved, we may recommend that you keep them and wear an overdenture.
An overdenture looks the same as a regular denture, but it’s held in place by some of your existing teeth. This allows overdentures to be more secure and feel more natural than conventional dentures. And because some of your natural teeth are left in place, loss of bone in your jaw is slowed significantly.
Implants are small titanium posts that are placed into the bone of your jaw. Because they replace the roots of missing teeth, they help maintain the health and shape of the jawbone. Implants also hold dentures or other restorations securely in the mouth.
However, implants require surgery, and they can take months to heal completely.
If you are thinking of delaying treatment, you should know that the jawbone will continue to shrink, making future treatment more complex. And without treatment, speaking and eating properly will become increasingly difficult. Your lips and cheeks will lack the support they need for a more youthful appearance. For these reasons, we recommend treatment now to help you stay healthy and keep a beautiful smile.