Regaining a Complete, Healthy Smile After Experiencing Extensive Tooth Loss
Tooth loss is a common issue many adults face, and it’s a problem that tends to become more prevalent with age. The CDC estimates that 26% of adults age 65+ have eight or fewer teeth left, with about 17% having lost all of their teeth.
Extensive tooth loss is a concerning issue for both patients and dentists alike. Patients often experience a blow to their self-confidence as well as the struggle to eat a varied, nutritious diet. Dentists see that patients with extensive tooth loss often have trouble maintaining their optimal oral health and often end up with long-term issues, like loss of bone and muscle in the jaw and face.
If you’ve found yourself in a situation where you have already lost multiple teeth or your dentist recommends extensive extractions to preserve your oral health, a full mouth restoration is a solution.
What is a full mouth restoration?
A “full mouth restoration” is the term for an in-depth smile makeover service for people who have lost all or most of their natural teeth. Every full mouth restoration is customized to the patient’s needs.
Your full mouth restoration might include individual dental implants, implant-supported dental bridges, implant-supported dentures, traditional partial dentures, or a full set of traditional dentures. In some cases, you might have a combination of these restorations.
What are my options for a full mouth restoration?
Dental implants and implant-supported prosthetics and dentures are the main choices for a full mouth restoration.
Most people are already familiar with dentures as a solution for replacing full arches of missing teeth. Dentures are a classic choice and modern designs make them secure and quite comfortable to wear. Dentures come in full or partial options, depending on whether you’ve experienced a total loss of teeth or if you still have some teeth left.
Dental implants and implant-supported prosthetics include classic individual implants as well as implant-supported dental bridges and implant-supported dentures. Traditional individual dental implants are best for replacing one or two teeth. For multiple missing teeth, an implant-supported bridge is a way to receive a full prosthetic while minimizing the number of implants needed.
For a full mouth restoration, implant-supported dentures combine the best of dental implant technology and dentures.
Why choose dental implant options over dentures?
You’ll find that Dr. Tomasik, as well as many other dentists, is a big fan of dental implants and implant-supported prosthetics. This is because dental implants have a number of advantages that other options simply can’t offer to patients.
The most important benefit to patients is that dental implants are the only prosthetic that mimics the feel and function of a natural tooth. While the initial dental implant surgery and healing period are more intense than having dentures placed, it’s well worth the final, natural-looking result.
With dental implants, you’ll also be able to eat a wide variety of foods, chew with confidence and stability, and you eliminate any worry about slipping or rubbing that can happen with traditional dentures. The implant posts will also support healthy bone and muscle structure in your jaw and face, preventing facial sagging and premature aging.
What if dental implants aren’t an option?
Every patient is unique, and that means that dental implants aren’t always the best choice for every person or situation. If you aren’t interested in dental implants or there is a health concern that prevents dental implant surgery, there are still other options for your full mouth restoration.
The most common alternative is dentures — either full or partial sets. Modern dentures fit extremely well, are easy to care for, and look exceptionally realistic. Dentures can be a “forever” alternative or be worn for a few years before reconsidering dental implants.
What’s the process going to be like for a full mouth restoration?
Most full mouth restorations require two or more appointments until they’re completed.
Getting dentures is the least invasive option. Dr. Tomasik will need to take x-rays and perform a thorough examination to ensure you’re ready for dentures. In some cases, additional procedures may be necessary before moving forward, such as the removal of excess soft tissue or scar tissue growth from previous extractions, or even a bone graft.
Once you’re ready for dentures, impressions will be taken and the designing process of your dentures will begin. There are often a couple of “fitting” appointments needed before you finally have your permanent set of dentures.
Getting dental implants or implant-supported prosthetics is more invasive as it does require oral surgery. After your initial consultation and exam, your first treatment appointment will be the placement of the implant post. Patients with previous bone loss in the jaw may need a bone graft. Thanks to advances in technology, Dr. Tomasik can even offer a “same-day smile” to many patients. This means you’ll receive all of your implants and any additional prosthetics within one visit. You’ll walk out with a healing but full smile.
If a same-day approach isn’t the best choice for your smile, your appointments may be broken up into two or three appointments.
Taking the First Step Towards Your Full Mouth Restoration
If full mouth restoration interests you, the first step is to call Tomasik Family Dental to schedule a consultation.
Dr. Tomasik will perform an in-depth examination and evaluate your current oral health status to decide which treatment options are ideal for your needs. You’ll discuss your smile goals, take a look at a smile gallery of patients with similar cases, and determine whether dental implants, implant-supported dentures, or another alternative is the right choice for you.