How Do Full Dental Implants Work?

Also called full arch dental implants, full dental implants are a full mouth restoration option. These implants can replace all the teeth on your upper or lower arch, or you can use them on both the top and bottom to replace every single missing tooth in your mouth. Here’s what you need to know about preparing for, getting, and caring for these implants.


Preparing for Full Dental Implants

Because full implants are designed to replace up to 12 teeth on your upper or lower jaw, you may need to have teeth extracted before you get these implants. For instance, if you are missing all your teeth on the upper arch except two, your oral surgeon will probably recommend to extract those teeth. After the extraction, your upper jaw needs about 11 weeks to heal. However, with your lower jaw, you can often have the extractions and start the rest of the implant process in the very same appointment.

In some cases, you may need a bone graft before the implant process. Bone grafts can help in situations where the bone has deteriorated or is weak due to a condition such as osteoporosis.


Getting Full Dental Implants

Once your mouth is ready, the oral surgeons will take a number of images to identify the best spot for the implants. Then, they will place about six implants into your upper or lower jaw or both if you’re doing full mouth restoration. The implants are small metal posts or screws that are ultimately going to hold your dental prosthetics in place.

At that point, the oral surgeons will place temporary teeth on your implants. As a result, you don’t have to go without teeth for any part of this process. However, your permanent full implants won’t be ready for a few weeks.

When the full dental implants are ready, you return to the clinic. During that appointment, the oral surgeons remove the temporary implants and put in the permanent ones. Full dental implants are usually constructed so that they replace both your gums and your teeth.


Caring for Full Dental Implants

Although these dental prosthetics can’t get cavities, they can harbor germs and bacteria which can get onto your gums and lead to gum disease. As a worst case scenario, gum disease can cause your jaw bone to deteriorate, and if that happens, your bone won’t be able to support the implants. To avoid that type of failure with your full dental implants, you need to take care of them.

Ideally, you should brush and rinse with mouthwash on a regular basis, particularly after meals and before bed. You should also continue to see the dentist on a regular basis. Although you may not have natural teeth per se, your dentist can still help you with other oral hygiene issues, and they can help you spot any potential issues with your full dental implants before they become a problem.


If you want dental implants, you should choose board certified oral surgeons who have a clinic full of cutting edge technology. At Greater Atlanta Oral Facial Surgery, our surgeons are experts who have traveled the world to lecture on this topic. To learn more, contact us today.