You aren’t guaranteed to lose all your teeth or have them all removed when you grow old, especially not these days thanks to all the new techniques dentists can use to fight cavities and preserve at least some parts of your original teeth. However, there are still times when removing all your upper or lower teeth is the best option, and after that happens you have a choice to make: should you get fitted for dentures, or should you get a full-mouth dental implant?
Dentures have the advantage of being the most affordable option, but a full-mouth dental implant offers much more. With titanium screws serving as solid anchors, a set of dental implants can become a permanent addition to your mouth and get around denture problems like needing refits or falling out when your dental adhesive wears off. Dental implants still need regular care, but it’s nothing more complicated than normal dental hygiene.
Still, not everyone can get a full-mouth dental implant right away. Maybe the implant wasn’t available when you first lost your teeth, or maybe you couldn’t afford it at the time. Even if you’ve had dentures for years or even a decade, it’s not too late to switch to dental implants.
It does get more complicated, though. Once your teeth come out, the bone arch that supports it starts to shrink. This is a natural process, but it means there isn’t enough bone to anchor a full-size titanium screw. Fortunately, there are two ways of getting around this process even after it’s happened.
1. You can undergo a bone graft surgery that shaves bone from other parts of your jaw and attaches it to the part of the bone arch where the implant screws will go. You’ll need some time to recover, but you’ll have enough bone to support a full-size implant.
2. Mini implants can work just fine in thinner bone. The small implants can’t support a regular implant crown or bridge, but you can fit your existing dentures with sockets and enjoy a much more secure bite than you’d otherwise get.
The best time to get a full-mouth dental implant is right after your original teeth come out, but that’s not the only time you can get them. Thanks to modern medical technology and mini implants, you can get a set of dental implants years after your original teeth come out. If you want more details, simply ask your local dentist or dental implant specialist to find out what they can do for you.
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