For many years the most popular solution for people who are missing all of their teeth has been dentures. When confronted with the option of being without teeth, or a denture, a denture can provide a beautiful looking smile, they’re easy to clean, provide some chewing ability, and are lightweight in the mouth. However, compared to the other full mouth options, dentures fall far short. There’s one reason dentures are the most popular option to restore a full mouth: they’re the cheapest. There are however many other options with added benefits to restore a full smile.
Snap-In Denture (Overdenture)
The snap-in denture, or overdenture, offers more stability than the standard denture because it is secured to two or more dental implants. For this reason, snap-in dentures are less likely to fall out while eating, speaking, sneezing, or other normal activities. They also won’t cause a gag reflex like dentures can. Since snap-in dentures are removable, cleaning them is fairly simple and can be done at home.
Snap-in dentures can also cause some difficulties. The constant snapping in and out of the denture will cause wear and tear on the abutments, or o rings, which will need to be replaced every so often. While more secure than a loose denture, Snap-In-Denture wearers may have a difficult time eating certain kinds of food which can cause the dentures to come loose.
All-On-4 or All-On-6
The All-On-4 is a popular full-mouth restoration procedure. The All-On-4 uses 4 implants to secure a full denture-like prosthetic to the mouth, and the All-On-6 uses 6 implants. More implants provides more security for the restoration, but also promotes healthy bone around the area of the implant. The All-On-4 provides an extremely stable arch and allows for regular eating of almost all foods.
Since the All-On-4 is not removable cleaning underneath can be a challenge. The restoration will need to be removed usually twice a year for cleanings by a hygienist. Because it needs to be drilled out, and the abutments need to be replaced, the cleanings can be quite expensive. The All-On-4 also typically requires the removal of bone to make space for the large restoration. This means that if the restoration fails, the patient will likely have no other options for permanent teeth restoration. Most patients that receive the All-On-4 complain that it doesn’t feel like their natural teeth because of how bulky the restoration is.
3 on 6™
The 3 on 6 is a full mouth solution that uses 6 implants and 3 bridges to restore a full smile. Since the 3 on 6 uses bridges instead of a denture, bone doesn’t need to be removed. This can create a more natural feeling in the mouth of real teeth while speaking and eating. Since the bridges are much narrower than a denture, they can usually be cleaned without difficulty at home by brushing and flossing. Usually a water flosser is recommended for a more thorough cleaning. Cleanings every 6 months at the dentist office is still recommended, but the restorations should never have to be removed. The cost of a cleaning would be comparable to a regular cleaning. The 3 on 6 will provide the most natural, longest lasting, permanent full mouth restoration of any solution on the market.
As amazing as the 3 on 6 is, not every patient will qualify to receive this procedure. Sufficient bone is required in the jaw to support the implants. A scan of your bone will help the doctor see whether or not this procedure is a possibility for you.
The following video goes into greater detail about the benefits and drawbacks of each of these options.