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Bone and Full-Arch Implant Construction

When you are missing teeth, it can seem like the end of the world. Not only can you lose your ability to chew and speak clearly, but you may also feel self-conscious about your appearance. Thankfully, modern technology in prosthetic dentistry offers several solutions for tooth loss, including maxillofacial implants like bone and full-arch implant placements.

What are full-arch dental implants?

A full-arch implant, or fixed implant-supported prostheses, is a dental implant that replaces all of the teeth in either the upper or lower arch. Bone grafting is often necessary during this procedure to provide enough bone for the implants to be placed. Once the implants have completely healed and fused with the jaw bone, they are connected to artificial teeth, called dentures.

There are two kinds of full-arch dental implants: Screw-Retained and Cement Retained Implant Restoration.

  • Screw-Retained Implant Restorations use screws to attach the implant-supported denture to the implants. This type of restoration is more secure and stable, but it can be more challenging to remove for cleaning.
  • Cement Retained Implant Restorations use dental cement to attach the implant-supported denture to the implants. This type of restoration is less secure and less stable, but it is easier to remove for cleaning.

Full-Arch Implant Placement Procedure

The full-arch implant procedure is a multi-step surgery typically lasts two to four hours.

  1. Bone grafting provides enough bone support for the implants to be placed.
  2. The implants are placed in the jawbone to fuse and heal properly.
  3. Once the bone has healed, the dentures are attached to the implants at the next appointment.

It is not usually recommended to have an immediate implant placement following tooth extraction because the bone needs time to heal.

Stage One: Surgery

Surgery will be solely for implant placement. Bone grafting is often necessary to provide enough bone for the implants to be supported during this procedure. Once bone grafting is complete, the implants are fused to the jawbone using “osseointegration.” Osseointegration is when the bone and implant fuse and become one unit. After about four to six months, the bone and implant are stable enough to move on to the next stage.

Bone Grafting

Bone grafting is the surgical procedure that restores bone mass in areas where the bone has been lost. It uses the patient’s bone, a synthetic bone, or a donor’s bone. The procedure is usually done in an outpatient setting, does not require general anesthesia, and is completed in two parts. The entire bone graft takes about two hours.

The first part of the procedure is called “collection.” The bone graft material is harvested from the patient’s hip or tibia. The graft material is then cleaned and prepared for implantation.

The second part of the procedure is called “implantation.” The bone graft material is placed into the site of the bone loss using special instruments. The graft material then fuses to the surrounding bone and becomes part of the patient’s jaw. Bone grafting helps with the overall primary implant stability.

Stage Two: Restoration

The second stage, called “restoration,” is the placement of the dentures. The dentures, or full-arch restorations, are attached to the dental implants using special screws or posts. Once the dentures are secure, they will be able to provide a permanent solution for tooth loss. The entire full-arch implant procedure takes about two hours.

After the surgery has been completed, the patient will need to take antibiotics and pain medication as prescribed by their surgeon. They will also need to follow a soft diet for a few weeks.

Reasons for Full-Arch Implants

There are various reasons why a patient may need a full-arch implant. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Tooth loss due to severe decay or gum disease
  • Damage to natural teeth from an accident or injury
  • Teeth that have worn down from years of grinding
  • A failed dental implant in the same arch
  • Bone loss that has occurred as a result of tooth loss

Who is a good candidate for a Full-Arch Implant?

Not everyone is a candidate for a full-arch implant. The best candidates for the prosthetic procedure are typically patients with healthy gums and enough bone mass to support the implants. They also need to be in optimal overall health and have realistic expectations about the surgery results.

The full-arch fixed prosthesis procedure is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding patients who have a history of jaw problems or are taking blood thinners. Patients with diabetes or other chronic health conditions may also be ineligible for the surgery.

Implant Dentistry in Louisville, KY, and Seymour, IN

If you consider a full-arch implant and live in either the Louisville, KY, or Seymour, IN areas, our team at Strull Oral Surgery can help.

We are experienced in clinical implant dentistry and can help determine if dental implant prosthetics are the right solution for your desired outcome. We also offer various financing options to make the surgery more affordable. 

Contact us today to schedule a consultation!

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