What Is A Full Arch Denture?
A full arch denture is an intra-oral (inside the mouth) appliance designed to replace a full set of teeth on either the upper or lower arch. Full arch dentures require support from your gum pad and may require the use of special adhesive to help lock the denture into place.
A full arch denture is a removable tooth replacement option for those who need all their teeth replaced. They can be crafted to provide the characteristics (tooth shape and color) the patient desires. Advances have been made in the materials used for dentures and in the way, they are designed. If you already have dentures (partial or full arch) you may be experiencing a loose fit or denture slipping. This can lead to gum sores, can affect your chewing and your speech and decrease your confidence when speaking and/or laughing with others. We can help restore your dentures to the correct fit.
Occasionally, it is difficult to adapt to new full or partial dentures. At first they may feel loose, bulky and awkward while speaking. For a quicker adjustment period, follow these instructions:
- At first, wear your dentures all the time during the day.
- You should remove your dentures when you go to sleep. Be sure to keep them in water so they do not dry out.
- After removing dentures, clean with a toothbrush and place in a bowl of water. They can be soaked in a commercial denture cleanser, but brushing them is essential.
- Any signs of "sore spots," discomfort, or looseness that is causing you difficulty should be brought to our attention.
Never adjust the dentures yourself. Every person and every mouth is different; therefore, adjustment periods will vary.
Please remember that it will take time for you to become completely comfortable with your new teeth.
Why A Full Arch Denture?
If you are in need of replacing an entire arch of teeth, a full arch denture is going to be the most affordable tooth-replacement option. Additionally, not having any teeth causes mild to severe physical changes in your face mouth and lips. A full arch denture can restore some biting and chewing functionality and bring back a more attractive appearance.
How Much Do Full Arch Dentures Cost?
Generally speaking, full arch dentures are extremely affordable and can cost less than a single dental implant. However, the benefits and better quality of life dental implants bring is something most patients choose when replacing their teeth.
The actual cost of a full arch (upper or lower) denture depends on your specific needs and materials used. The best way to receive an accurate quote on a full arch denture is to request an appointment or call us at (206) 282-5020 and come in to be evaluated. All it takes is a single visit so come see us soon!
The Cons of Full Arch Dentures
Full arch dentures are the cheapest form of replacing an entire arch of teeth but they are not necessarily the best option. Here are a few downfalls to full arch dentures that occur in nearly every situation:
Adjustments & Re-fitting & Replacement
Throughout your lifetime, dentures will need to be replaced and adjusted which can become time consuming and expensive. It is a simple fact that dentures start to become loose and can break through normal activities such as talking, eating, etc. If a denture arch breaks, it may be possible to repair but in some cases it will need to be replaced entirely.
Bone Resorption (degeneration)
If you do not replace tooth roots, the bone where the tooth roots used to be will start to degenerate and shrink. This not only means you'll need to get your dentures re-adjusted but it also means dental implants become less and less of a future option to replace teeth due to the amount of bone required to place the implant becomes less and less.
Full arch dentures take up more space in the mouth than your normal teeth. Because of this, there is an adjustment period of time where you may notice difficulty in pronouncing certain words or talking in general. As dentures get re-adjusted and re-fitted, you may notice a difference in pronunciation and will have to make minor speech adjustments again.
Bulky & Uncomfortable
Dentures are typically not associated with comfort and although today's technology has made wearing full arch dentures more manageable, as you speak and chew, dentures exert their forces onto the gum bed below and tend to cause soreness to these sensitive tissues. Additionally, the bulk of having a denture in your mouth can cumbersome.
Alternatives to Denture Arches
Full arch dentures are not your only means of tooth replacement option if you are missing or need to replace teeth in your lower or upper arch. Dental implants are a permanent alternative to full arch dentures and bring additional benefits that dentures cannot provide and will outlast normal dentures even under optimal conditions.
This type of denture is made to be placed in the mouth immediately after you have all your natural teeth extracted. This allows you to leave the office without the embarrassment of having no teeth while the gums heal from the extraction. The denture is made to conform to your mouth at the moment impressions were taken. Your gums will change drastically over the next few months and it is possible that the dentures will rub against the gums causing some soreness until the denture is adjusted. Most patients will require a realignment of their denture within the first few months due to the gums shrinking from the extraction of teeth. Another benefit of immediate dentures is the fact that the dentures act as a bandage to the extraction sites which covers the tooth sockets and prevents them from becoming irritated. Just remember, never remove the denture yourself, even for a brief moment unless your dentist has instructed you to. The gums have a tendency to swell when uncovered at first; and if you are without your dentures for a little while, they may never go back in.
Implant Supported Dentures
This implant technique, is the optimal solution for those who have lost or are about to lose all of their upper and/or lower teeth. It's a procedure that comes closest to having a new set of permanent teeth.
An over denture fits on top of natural teeth or dental implants. Many patients suffer with ill fitting and loose dentures that move or even fall out when speaking or eating. One way of solving this problem is to construct a dental plate that goes over and attaches to something underneath it. Keeping a few natural teeth or placing dental implants in the bone under the denture also helps keep the jaw bone healthy. This avoids much of the natural jaw bone loss often seen after teeth are removed. Traditional over dentures go over natural teeth. A denture can be made that goes over and attaches to one or both cuspids. Implants supported over dentures fit on top of dental implants. A retainer bar or retention balls are placed on the implants and special attachments are inserted into the denture to grab onto these retention devices. A new method using mini implant dentures is becoming increasingly popular. Mini implants are very thin, long titanium implants that screw into the jaw bone. They can be placed and old dentures can often be retrofitted to the implant.
Within 6 months of starting to wear a denture, you will have already lost about 40% of your jawbone structure.
If you have worn a denture for a few years, you already know about bone loss. The reason your denture doesn't fit like a year ago, is that you don't have the same jawbone structure to support it.
If you wear a partial denture, beware that you will have the same problem with bone loss.
Once the jaw bone structure is lost your options become limited. A dental implant is the logical choice to help stop bone loss, however, once the jaw bone structure is lost, your options become limited.
Soft dentures are a flexible alternative to more common hard dentures crafted out of acrylic. These dentures don't require adhesives and adjust to the shape of the gums for greater comfort. Soft dentures are only called that because the inner lining is soft. They're otherwise similar to ordinary dentures, which can be altered to have flexible linings.