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Fed up with your teeth? You are not alone. We get a few patients each year that are tired of the dental issues they’ve been dealing with for years. We hear them say things like “I Want All My Teeth Removed and Replaced. What are My Options?”
Whether the dental issues are due to genetics, an injury, or years of neglect, if you are tired of dealing with these issues then you might be considering having all your teeth removed and starting over. What are your actual options?
When all your teeth are gone and you want them replaced, you have two main decisions to make:
There are definite pros and cons to each and we discuss them below.
Dentures are not a “replacement” for teeth because they aren’t permanent. However, they do look like teeth so you don’t have to go out in public without teeth. Dentures are an affordable option if you are missing teeth and this is one of the most common reasons that people go this route. If you are considering dentures, please keep reading so you are aware of the potential downsides that come with this option.
The main downside to dentures is they are NOT really fastened to your gums so they can move and shift around. This can cause difficulty chewing, eating, and speaking and it can get very frustrating. There are ways to help improve the fit of your dentures but this is something that is always a possibility so it’s important to keep in mind. Some people actually find it easier to remove their dentures when eating, but this can be uncomfortable in public and can cause serious digestive issues longterm.
Keep in mind that dentures need to be removed each night and cleaned regularly. Dentures do last for a 5-10 years so they have a pretty good shelf life. The biggest downside to missing all your teeth is that your jawbone begins to slowly erode over time when it doesn’t have teeth engaging it and keeping it strong. Dentures do not engage the jaw the same way that teeth do which results in your face getting that “saggy” look the longer you go without teeth.
Dental implants are the most highly recommended tooth replacement option because they act like real teeth and prevent jawbone erosion. The implant goes into the jaw and fuses with the bone in order to stimulate the jawbone just like real teeth do. No saggy face with dental implants – that’s a big plus!
The “All on 4” or “All on 6” approach to dental implants is a unique solution to full mouth tooth replacement because there are only 4 implants (or 6, depending on your dentist’s recommendation) on the top and bottom jaw. After the implants are set, a “permanent denture” (often called an “overdenture”) that looks and acts like real teeth connects to the implants. The permanent denture attaches to the implants so they are semi-permanent. You get to eat with them, sleep with them, speak with them and everything else without worrying about the dentures slipping or falling out.
So this is a good option because you get the benefits of implants and the affordability of dentures without the typical downsides and complaints people have about dentures.
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