If you're a dental patient missing most or all of your teeth, it will be important that you have them replaced. Otherwise, you obviously won't have proper functionality when chewing and biting, and you may also will have difficulty with speaking. When you're missing a number of teeth either on top or bottom, it can also cause your facial features to sag, so that you slowly acquire a sunken look throughout the facial area.
It also happens when teeth are missing, that other teeth in the nearby area will tend to shift toward the gap where the teeth once were. This can cause all kinds of misalignments and degradation to the chewing process. When you're thinking about some kind of replacement, two strong candidates might be snap-on dentures and all-on-4 dental implants, both of which rely on implants being installed in the jaw bone.
Dental implants are actually titanium posts which get surgically implanted into the jaw bone, and then over several months, they actually fuse with the jaw bone to become part of it. Patients and dentists should discuss together weather snap-ons or all-on-4 implants would be most appropriate for a patient's situation. One of the big differences between the two procedures is that snap-on dentures represent a removal option, whereas all-on4 implants are permanent.
All-on-4 dental implants are used when a patient is missing some or all of their teeth, especially all the teeth on an upper or lower arch of the jaw. They are slightly more secure than snap-on dentures, and therefore cannot be removed from the mouth. Even if all the teeth are missing from an upper or lower arch, they can be replaced by just four titanium posts, since the two rear posts are installed at an angle for better support. Titanium is always used because it is highly biocompatible, and fuses very well with jaw bone material. With proper dental hygiene, these implants can last the entire lifetime of the patient, and provide great service throughout that time.
In a procedure involving snap-on dentures, it will be necessary to emplace somewhere between two and six implants in the jaw bone, to support a dental appliance that conveniently snaps into the implants. These dentures will have to be removed and cleaned at bedtime, in order to keep them functioning at their best. The whole idea of maintenance aims at preventing the buildup of tartar, which can degrade even the denture material. As with any dental procedure, you'll need to continue making follow-up appointments with you,r dentist to make sure that the implant-supported dentures remain stable in your mouth. As in the case of all-on-4 implants, snap-ons can provide a very stable replacement for a patient missing some or all of their teeth.
Below, we'll compare how these two dental solutions perform in several different areas, so that you can make an informed decision on which might be better for your circumstances. It's always a good idea to discuss with your dentist the advantages and disadvantages of each dental solution, so you're sure that you end up with the right option for your situation.
There may be other issues that are important to you as a patient, and these should also be discussed thoroughly with your dentist.
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