The Dental Implant Process
During the dental implant process, very small titanium screws are surgically placed into the jaw. For implants to be successful, there needs to be a significant amount of bone. Sometimes a patient does not have enough bone, so a bone graft is performed. In a severe case, implantation may not be possible.
The length of the implant process can vary depending on individual circumstances. If a bone graft is necessary, the process can take over a year. If done traditionally, the entire process can be as short as six months.
The Procedure for complete fixed implant-supported dentures
Complete fixed implant-supported dentures start with a consultation visit. We will perform a complete oral exam, 3D scans, X-rays and review your dental history. Once we have determined you are suitable for a complete fixed bridge, we can develop a treatment plan that makes you comfortable and provides you with your desired smile.
We need to perform two surgeries to complete the process. These are minor operations, but they do require the use of local anesthetic and other sedation methods to reduce pain and discomfort.
During the first surgery, we will remove any remaining teeth and make an incision for each implant. Each bridge is typically supported by five or six implants. After we place the implants securely into the jawbone, each incision will be sutured, and the operation is complete. After a period of about a week, we can remove the sutures. In many cases, we make an impression on your gums and create a temporary prosthesis.
Once each implant has properly healed and fused with the bone, which can take several months to complete, we can schedule the second surgery. During the second surgery, we will reopen each incision and expose the implant. A collar will be placed on each implant to keep the gum away and ensure proper healing.
During your next visit, the collars will be removed, and your abutments (support structures) will be placed. A final impression will be made, sent to a dental laboratory, and technicians will fabricate your complete fixed bridge. Once the restoration is complete, we can “load the implants, ” and you can walk out of the office with a bright new smile.
How to Care for Your Complete Fixed Implant-Supported Dentures
Caring for your complete fixed Implant-Supported Dentures is quite simple. You can treat your new teeth as you would your natural ones. Maintain good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing twice daily. Make sure to use non-abrasive fluoride toothpaste. Shortly after your restoration is installed, we will schedule a follow-up visit to make sure your mouth is responding appropriately. This can be a crucial step for the future of your oral health.
Benefits of Complete Fixed Implant-Supported Dentures
A complete fixed implant-supported denture is a permanent solution that will drastically improve your life. Complete fixed implant-supported dentures function like your natural teeth. You will experience an unmatched comfort level, and you will be able to eat and drink as you normally would. Your speech is also unaffected because the restoration does not slip or feel bulky.
Thanks to advances in modern dentistry, complete fixed implant-supported dentures are often indistinguishable from natural teeth, making them discrete. They help patients preserve the natural shape of the face by preventing bone deterioration in the jaw.
Complete fixed bridges are durable and long-lasting. With the right care and maintenance, complete fixed bridges can last decades or even a lifetime.
Other Teeth Replacement Alternatives
At California Dental Care, we offer several alternatives to the complete fixed bridge.
- Removable implant-supported dentures. This type of restoration clips into a metal bar that we attach to the dental implants. The teeth are fused into a single piece and meant to be removed at night for cleanings.
- All-on-4. All-on-4 is a fixed overdenture restoration similar to a complete implant-supported denture. The biggest benefit is a reduced number of implants. Thanks to a patented technique, these restorations only require four implants instead of five or six.
- Complete dentures. For years, this was the only solution to total tooth loss. They must be removed to be cleaned and need to be replaced or repaired every three to eight years. Some patients find them to be the best option due to their low cost and easy installation process.