In the past, the only option available for replacing missing teeth was a removable denture made from full acrylic material. Thanks to rapid advancements in the field of restorative dentistry, today’s patients can choose from prosthetic options including conventional removable dentures, custom-made dentures, bridges, dental implants as well as implant-supported dentures. In this article, we shall focus on two of the most popular methods, namely All-on-4 – a type of implant-supported denture – and custom dentures.
Modern dentistry's answer to edentulism, All-on-4 implants is a breakthrough surgical technique that is recommended for patients who have lost most, if not all of their teeth to periodontal disease.
Undoubtedly, the advent of dental implants has revolutionised restorative dentistry by offering a new teeth replacement method offering unprecedented stability and strength. Dental implants consists of small titanium posts that are directly inserted into your jawbone, so that it can biologically integrate with the bones to form a rock-solid anchor for your prosthetic teeth. Unlike wobbly and ill-fitting dentures of old, dental implants feel and look like your own healthy teeth. Yet for all its unique benefits, one major drawback of traditional implants is the lengthy treatment, involving up to 18 months of consultations, surgical procedures and healing phases.
The All-on-4 method compensates for this drawback by allowing patients to receive a full set of implant-supported prosthetic teeth within only a few dental appointments. The unique surgical method involves inserting special implants into specific locations on your jawbone at highly precise angles. Using as little as four implants, hence the moniker, this method provides ample support for the prosthetic bridge without the need for bone grafting surgery.
The two main types of removable dentures are full dentures and partial dentures. As the name suggests, the former type of denture is used to replace a full set of teeth while the latter is recommended if you are missing a few teeth.
The complete denture offers adequate stability although much depends on the hardness of the underlying tissues upon which it rests. Partial dentures may either be fixed or removable. Removal partials are less expensive but not as stable as their fixed counterpart. The fixed partial features a bridge-like framework that is attached on both ends to crowns that are anchored on your existing teeth. The crowns serve as anchors to hold the replacement teeth snugly positioned in the gap. Although similar in working principle to its fixed counterpart, a removable partial is not permanently anchored but held in position using special clasps.
The prosthetic teeth for both All-on-4 implant-supported dentures and custom dentures can be made from modern porcelain material, which mimics the appearance of natural teeth with uncanny likeness. This is great news for today’s patients who want their prosthetic teeth to seamlessly blend with the rest of their teeth, and appear indistinguishable from real teeth.
Despite vast improvement in the construction of modern dentures, All-on-4 still offers the most robust teeth replacement option, particularly when you compare it with removable full dentures. Patients with All-on-4 implants don’t have to worry about any inopportune slips and movements. Due to the sturdy quality of the restoration, All-on-4 users typically treat their implant-supported teeth the same way as they would their own natural teeth. That said, All-on-4 is the more expensive and invasive among these options. Full dentures are considered the most affordable type of teeth replacement option. Removal partials are less expensive but not as stable as their fixed counterpart.
In the end, it all boils down to what you need, in light of price and cost-benefit comparisons. To find out which is the best solution for your situation, you should consult a dentist who is able to help you make an informed decision.
To book a consultation with one of our friendly dentists at Face Value Dental, call (07 3221 0677 today.