Missing teeth can be a significant problem, one that makes eating comfortably and smiling confidently a challenge. To help our patients restore their smiles when most or all teeth are gone, we offer a range of modern treatment options. In addition to a full set of dental implants, Pasadena Dental Aesthetics and Dr. Arash Azarbal, our experienced cosmetic dentist, provides implant-supported dentures and traditional removable dentures at our state-of-the-art practice.
All-on-4® Implant-Supported Dentures
One of the most popular alternatives to traditional dentures or a full set of dental implants is a procedure called All-on-4®. Performed by Dr. Azarbal, this FDA-approved technique typically uses four implant supports to stabilize dentures, enhance their comfort and fit, and reduce treatment and recovery time. As with all our dental services, the utmost care and a conservative approach is applied to provide you with an optimal outcome.
Implant-supported dentures usually have a lower cost and shorter time commitment for recovery than traditional dental implants. For instance, when traditional implant posts are placed, a patient needs to wear a denture for about six months or so until the implants have fused with the jawbone. The All-on-4® system can streamline this process and eliminate the need for a temporary denture; however, this approach is not appropriate for everyone, including individuals with insufficient jawbone density. Dr. Azarbal can evaluate your oral structures and determine if this or another procedure can provide you with the best possible result.
How Do Implant-Supported Dentures Work?
When you arrive for your initial consultation, Dr. Azarbal will examine your oral structures, discuss your goals, and address any questions you may have. He will then take the appropriate imaging including a 3D scan of your mouth as necessary to develop a customized treatment plan that includes precise details about the form, shape, size, bite, and color of your teeth. At the next visit, any remaining worn-down or damaged teeth will be removed, if necessary, and the four implants will be strategically placed according to the All-on-4® technique and your unique needs. On the very same day, your dental restorations will be affixed to the posts, allowing you to return home with a more healthy and beautiful smile.
Your new teeth will be a little sensitive at first, and you should chew and eat with caution for the first six weeks. Dr. Azarbal can provide more specific instructions for care at your appointment. All-on-4® implant-supported dentures are designed to provide a slip-free substitute for traditional dentures and to offer a strong, natural-looking and feeling alternative to a full set of dental implants.
“The most pleasant experience I had ever had at a dental office. Everyone is super friendly and you actually have a great time there. For once, going to the dentist is not a dreadful experience.”
For patients who have lost all their teeth, it is important to consult a cosmetic dentist with the expertise to design dentures that will not only provide a secure fit, but will also take into account the shape of the patient’s face and how he or she wants to look.
Complete dentures are the most affordable option. But they do present challenges. Studies have shown that most denture wearers are unhappy with their appliances.
Dr. Azarbal can work with you on a number of alternatives. First, he will do everything possible to help you keep your natural teeth because there are several long-term consequences to having one’s teeth completely removed and replaced with dentures.
Common Problems with Dentures
Dentures are made to rest on top of gum tissue and can slip and slide inside the mouth. This leads to problems for the wearer, including difficulty eating and speaking, and can cause recurring sores in the mouth.
Chewing efficiency is significantly reduced for most denture wearers, with many people reporting a decrease of up to 50 percent of their former chewing capacity.
The most significant problem, however, is the bone loss that occurs with long-term denture use. Because dentures are not rooted in the jawbone, the lack of stimulation from the teeth causes resorption of the jawbone. Over time, this can lead to facial collapse and the inability of the jaw to support a complete denture.
The best option for patients who have lost all of their teeth or must have teeth extracted is the use of dental implants. This involves a surgical procedure to place a titanium implant in the jaw, which acts as a substitute “root” for the natural-looking false tooth that is then placed on top.
Dental implants preserve the patient’s jawbone, preventing bone loss and facial collapse. Because they are rooted in the jaw, they also preserve chewing function at much the same level as a patient’s natural teeth. The down side to dental implants is they are significantly more expensive than removable dentures. They also require a period of healing after the surgery, both for recovery and to allow the bone to grow around the implant.
One compromise solution is to use a few (usually four) titanium implants to “anchor” a removable denture. In some cases, even a patient’s existing denture can be modified to “snap on” to new implants. While this does not have all the advantages of replacing each individual tooth with an implant, it does reduce some of the key problems with traditional removable dentures.
Dentures anchored to implants do not slip and slide the way many others do, so they are more stable for chewing, don’t fall out, and preserve the patient’s underlying bone to a certain extent.
Our goal is to provide you with the best dental service and treatment possible. For more information about All-on-4® and implant-supported dentures and other tooth replacement options, please contact us today.