We’re living longer than ever before and maintaining our teeth can be a challenge. Our teeth age the same way that the rest of our body does. They lose their protective enamel layer, break, and develop cavities over time. We also lose our supporting bone structure that keeps our teeth in place. These damages add up and they translate to tooth loss for many people. At the end, many people find it easier to just remove all of their teeth than deal with yet another infected or broken tooth!
What are my options if I lose all of my teeth?
There are several different ways to replace your missing teeth, depending on your time and budget. Treatment options for missing teeth involve dentures, dental implants, or a combination of the two. Here are your options if you end up losing all of your teeth:
- No treatment
- Full dentures
- Overdentures or snap-on-dentures
- All-on-four teeth
- Full mouth dental implants
FULL MOUTH TEETH REPLACEMENT OPTIONS
Some people simply live without their teeth after they lose them. These people continue to function by chewing with their gums, known as gumming it. We never recommended remaining toothless. Chewing with your gums is both inefficient and dangerous. You won’t be able to get proper nutrition, digest your food adequately, or speak comfortably and intelligibly. This causes you to lose substantial weight and face serious medical issues. You even run the risk of choking on your food! There have been several documented cases of people fatally choking on their meals while chewing on their gums without teeth. You should replace your teeth with something or another instead of remaining completely toothless.
The most affordable way to replace all of your teeth is to wear full dentures. Full dentures, or complete dentures, replace all of your teeth with a set of removable false teeth. How well you function with full dentures varies tremendously from patient to patient:
- Some denture wearers do very well with their false teeth. They eat a regular diet and hardly missing their teeth.
- Others struggle daily with their false teeth. They find themselves using more and more denture glue without being able to eat, chew or speak comfortably. This may be due to lack of sufficient jawbone, poor musculature control, gag reflex, and other factors.
For this latter group, we recommend that you look into tooth replacement options involving dental implants. There are 3 replacement options for completely toothless individuals that involve dental implants: (a) overdentures, (b) all-on-four teeth, and (c) full mouth dental implants. Continue reading to learn more about these different treatment options.
Click here to learn more about dentures click here.
Overdentures is one of three ways to replace your missing teeth using dental implants and dentures. Overdentures, also known as snap-on-dentures or implant-supported dentures, offer an affordable way to improve the fit of your dentures. By adding just 2 to 4 dental implants per arch, you can improve the fit and stability of your dentures. Adding dental implants to support your dentures makes them more stable and more secure. As a result, you can chew better, feel more comfortable, and have a better overall denture wearing experience.
While overdentures may be a great option for many people, they don’t work for everyone. Despite their added stability, overdentures are still removable teeth. This means that you’re wearing false teeth that go in and out of your mouth. Additionally, overdentures are made from acrylic which means they break easily and require frequent replacement. Finally, overdentures, like all other dentures, feel bulky and move as you chew on them. If you’re not happy with the idea of wearing removable teeth in your mouth, even if they are very stable, then you should explore all-on-four teeth or full mouth dental implants instead.
To learn more about implant-supported dentures click here.
All-on-four teeth is one of two ways to replace all of your missing teeth with fixed, permanent teeth (full mouth dental implants is the other option). . All-on-four teeth are beautiful, strong, and natural-looking. You can eat, speak and function as if you had your original teeth back. The best part is that these teeth are permanently fixed into your mouth and they can’t be removed (except by your dentist). While expensive, all-on-four teeth offer fixed, beautiful and permanent teeth which last a lifetime. They are definitely worth the time and price for those of you looking to replace all of their teeth with fixed, non-removable teeth.
To learn more about all-on-4 teeth click here.
Full mouth dental implants
The final way to replace all of your missing teeth is with full mouth dental implants. Full mouth dental implants are a step up over all-on-four teeth. With full mouth dental implants you get a full set of crowns and bridges supported by multiple dental implants. This is a very complex and time consuming process. Typically, you require 8 to 12 individual dental implants, instead of just four. Most people also require extensive bone augmentation to prepare their jaws for implant placement. The implants are restored using porcelain or ceramic crowns and bridges. Again, this takes much longer and costs more than making all-on-four teeth. As a result, full mouth dental implant typically costs double that of all-on-four teeth. It also takes twice as long to complete your treatment. Full mouth dental implants are reserved for cases where additional dental implants are justified for one reason or another (heavy bite, cosmetic concerns, etc.)
To learn more about full mouth dental implants click here.
Which option is best for me?
There are several different treatment options for those who need to replace all of their teeth. Each option offers a varying degree of comfort and convenience. For example, dentures are simple and inexpensive, but you may be uncomfortable wearing removable teeth in your mouth. On the other hand, all-on-four and full mouth dental implants offer permanent teeth, but treatment takes a long time and is also very expensive. Talk to your dentist about the different treatment options to see what works best for you.