In the United States, about 120 million people are missing at least one tooth. More than 36 million don’t have any teeth at all, a which means they’re edentulous.
Elderly women and men are most likely to have lost one or more teeth, due to simple wear and tear or poor oral hygiene. But you can also lose your teeth as a young person because of cavities, gum disease, or trauma.
The most effective and attractive way to replace a missing tooth or teeth is with surgically placed dental implants, each of which looks and acts like a natural tooth. However, if you’re missing a great many teeth, implants may not be in your best interest, especially if you have deficits in your jawbone.
Although dentures are the easiest type of tooth replacement when you’re missing a great many teeth, they’re less secure than implants. They also don’t look quite as natural.
At AB Dental and Oral Surgery in San Antonio, Texas, Anthony Osei, DDS, PhD, and our expert team have a solution that combines the advantages of both implants and dentures: All-on-4® implant dentures. With the All-on-4 system, your dentures are secured to each arch with just four dental implants.
In addition, you can usually get your All-on-4 implants with temporary dentures the same day. You then come back just once for your final bridge. With dental implants alone, you need to make multiple visits to replace a full or nearly full arch of teeth.
If you’ve decided an All-on-4 system best matches your needs, here’s how to get the most of your new teeth.
Unlike traditional dentures, implant-supported dentures don’t slip and slide. They’re secured by four dental implants that we insert into your jawbone on each arch that you’re replacing. We then create a customized bridge of dentures that fit onto the implants, which hold them in place.
The implants become bonded with the bone as it grows around them, so they hold your dentures securely. You can bite into an apple, chew gum, and enjoy a nonrestrictive diet.
If you’ve had dentures before, you’ll appreciate how much easier it is to clean your implant-supported dentures. Because the implants become fused to your jawbone, you don’t have to (and actually can’t!) remove your dentures. No more soaking your “teeth” at night in jar by your bed.
Instead, you clean carefully after every meal by using super floss to remove food from under your bridge. You also use an electric toothbrush, being sure to brush your tongue and inner cheeks to remove excess bacteria.
Then, follow up with a water pick with antibacterial solution. Keeping your bridge and mouth clean with these simple dental tools preserves your oral health. Also be sure to see us every three months for a professional cleaning.
Your natural teeth do more than chew your food so that you can properly digest it and absorb all the nutrients it contains. The act of chewing itself signals your jawbone to produce healthy new bone cells.
When you wear traditional dentures, your jawbone doesn’t get the healthy stress it needs to keep producing new bone cells. That’s why people who wear dentures, or never replace their missing teeth at all, seem to have shorter lower faces. They actually do have shorter lower faces, because their jawbone has atrophied.
Although a full arch of implants gives your jawbone maximum stimulation, your four implants per arch also triggers bone growth. So don’t shy away from chewy steaks and other foods that require real jaw work: Welcome it, because it helps your jawbones stay strong.
Your All-on-4 implant dentures look and feel natural with time. You can speak normally, eat normally, and smile your brightest smile yet. Your bridge’s false teeth are beautifully fashioned, match your skin coloring and natural tooth shape, and they’re stain-resistant, too.