Full mouth dental implants restore missing natural teeth and help you retain functional oral health. People often need full mouth implants when they have speech issues, have lost their teeth due to aging, an accident, or have severe tooth decay.
Dental implants mimic the appearance of natural teeth and are one the best alternatives for missing teeth. Full mouth dental implants replace all teeth on the upper and lower jaws. Mouth restoration is sought after for functional and aesthetic reasons.
An oral surgeon, dentist, or dental implant specialist performs the dental implant procedure.
The full mouth dental implant treatment is expensive, and the price varies depending on the materials used and the nuances of an individual's situation.
Visiting a dental office to inquire more about whole mouth dental implants will give you a better idea of costs in your area.
This article will cover the ins and outs of full mouth dental implants. Everything from costs, types of dental implants, and the procedures involved. Here is everything you need to know.
Full Mouth Dental Implants 101
What are full mouth dental implants?
Full mouth dental implants are implants designed to replace all teeth on the upper or lower jaw or both. People with missing teeth often opt for teeth implants.
Traditional implants are also known as single tooth implants, where only one or a few teeth need to be replaced. A full mouth restoration means having all new teeth.
Many people desire full mouth dental implants instead of dentures since they're more stable. Denture wearers often complain that their false teeth fall out very easily.
Dental implants also help a person retain their facial structure since they support the face, mouth, and cheeks. Many people who lose teeth start to get a sunken facial appearance.
The pros and cons of dental implants
Like with anything, dental implants come with their benefits and disadvantages, especially for full mouth restoration. Here are some of the pros and cons to consider if you're considering implant surgery.
Pros | Benefits of full mouth dental implants
- Replace temporary teeth (traditional dentures)
- Restore oral function (chewing, speaking, swallowing)
- Implants feel like permanent teeth
- Increase in self-esteem and confidence
- Food is more enjoyable (and easier to eat)
- Jaw bone stays strong and healthy
- Provide facial support for the mouth and cheeks
- Prevent the 'sunken face' some denture wearers get
- Durable and last many years
Cons | Disadvantages of full mouth dental implants
- Can be expensive
- Recovery time may take months
- The patient may need a bone graft (adding up total costs)
- Potential implant failure
- Bacteria infections
- Dental insurance may not cover enough of the costs
Who needs full mouth dental implants?
You may be wondering, who is a candidate for full mouth dental implants?
Everyone is unique and has their reasons for being curious about dental implants. It's best to consult a dentist or oral surgeon for a diagnosis first.
However, below are some common reasons and factors that may make a person a candidate for permanently fixed implants.
Many people with missing teeth decide to get full dental implants. It's usually a person that is missing multiple teeth and the cost of doing them individually is more expensive and time-consuming.
A person may opt for full dental implants if their remaining natural teeth are in poor condition; they may be seeking to remove those teeth and have an implant dentist install a new smile.
Teeth tend to wear with age naturally, and many older people lose their teeth. As people get older, their enamel wears away, making it easier for bacteria to decay teeth faster.
Most older patients initially get conventional dentures but later decide to get implant-supported teeth. Full dental implants provide a more natural smile and support than removable dentures.
Missing teeth can affect the way a person speaks. It can cause a lisp, slurring, and an inability to sound out words a certain way. Over time, this may make a person self-conscious and increase their desire for dental procedures.
Lost teeth can cause bone density and gum tissue loss, which also affects your speech and ability to articulate certain words.
Parafunctional oral habits
Teeth that are worn down due to parafunctional oral habits such as bruxism (teeth grinding) and clenching may also need to be replaced by an implant dentist. Due to certain substances, aggressive drug users may also grind their teeth and wear them down.
Over time, the teeth may become jagged or worn down from destructive oral habits. Other dental procedures can help, but an overhaul may be needed if the case is severe.
Some people are genetically born with missing teeth. They may temporarily use a flipper or dentures for some time but may later opt for a permanent prosthesis.
Dental implants help people born with genetic conditions that may result in weak or missing teeth.
Accidents or sports injuries
Athletes and car accident victims that have experienced severe trauma to the face may need teeth implants.
It's far more common than you might think for people to lose many teeth during these accidents. After an unfortunate accident, a cosmetic dentist can give these patients a brand new smile.
Types of full mouth implants
All on four dental implants
All on four dental implants is a trademarked procedure called All-on-4, which uses four titanium implant posts on the upper or lower jaw. Four on the upper and four on the lower for full mouth implants.
These four implants are towards the front of the teeth and act as anchors for the new artificial teeth. The dentist will then surgically place temporary teeth.
After a few months, the permanent teeth are placed. Only a qualified dental specialist place the teeth. A patient cannot remove them once they're installed.
All on six dental implants
All six dental implants are very similar to all four dental implants; the difference is that six titanium implants are put into the lower or upper jaw. These are also known as full or complete arch replacements.
These are used when the entire top or bottom arch of teeth needs to be replaced. The dental implant procedure may require more posts, but the specialist will usually start with six and go from there.
Same day dental implants
Same day implants, also known as Teeth-in-a-Day™ or TeethXpress® implants, are placed in one visit. The procedure only takes a few hours, and the healing process may take less time.
"Removeable" dental implants
An alternative to fixed full mouth dental implants is 'removable dentures.' Removable dentures are different than traditional dentures since they snap on and off secure implant posts.
An implant specialist may use two to four implants on the lower and upper jaw to create secure posts. The dentures can be removed at night to be cleaned and polished.
Full mouth dental implants cost
To find out if you're a candidate for full mouth dental implants, you'll need to get a diagnosis from an oral specialist or dentist first. Most dental professionals offer a free consultation to discuss a potential treatment plan.
Meeting with a specialist will also help you become more aware of costs. Your dentist will assess if you need bone grafts, tooth extractions, or implants.
X-rays and consultation | $50 - $300
You'll need a consultation before getting dental implants. A dental implant professional will evaluate your teeth and gums and tell you if full mouth dental implants are the best course for you.
They'll take a look at the bone density in your jaw and access your overall health. Your doctor wants to feel confident that you'll heal properly from dental implant surgery.
X-rays will also be taken of you during your consultation. This will allow the implant specialist to see the position of your teeth, jaw bone density and decide on the placement of the dental implants.
Digital imaging and x-rays are sometimes covered by dental insurance. Out of pocket, they may cost $50 to $300. In most cases, the consultation is complimentary.
Dental cleaning | $75 - $300
Before the dental implant procedure, you may need deep teeth cleaning to polish and prep the teeth for surgery.
Most dental cleanings are covered by dental insurance. If you have to pay cash, a dental cleaning may cost anywhere from $75 to $300, depending on the type of cleaning. Deep cleanings are more expensive.
Tooth extraction | $100 - $1,000
Decayed or unnecessary teeth that could obstruct full mouth dental implants will need to be removed. A dental implant specialist will pull badly decayed or weak teeth.
The price varies. If it's a simple non-surgical extraction, it's more affordable. However, if the tooth is considered a complex surgical extraction, the price will increase.
Bone grafting | $500 - $3,000
The patient must have a healthy jaw bone to provide stability to get dental implants. If the dental specialist determines there is insufficient bone, they may need to have bone grafts added to the jaw bone. This will help keep the dental implants in place.
Bone grafts cost $500 to $3,000. The price is determined by the materials used and the quantity used. Materials for bone grafts can be made from synthetic materials or other parts of your body.
Connector pieces and crowns | $1,500 - $4,000
The structure of a dental implant requires three components, a crown, an abutment, and a screw. These pieces help keep the new teeth (crowns) in place.
You would just need one of each for each dental implant for traditional implants. For full mouth dental implants, you'll need four implant posts total.
The costs for all of these components range from $1,500 to $4,000.
Anesthesia | $400 - $1,000
Anesthesia for traditional implants is usually administered locally since it may just be one or two teeth needing a dental implant.
However, the implant specialist may recommend general anesthesia for the procedure for full mouth dental implants.
Anesthesia costs also vary and cost $400 to $1,000. Local anesthesia is lower in price than general anesthesia, where you need to be 'put under.'
Recovery and aftercare
It may take three to six months to recover from full mouth dental implants fully. It depends on how your body responds and if you have any pre-existing medical conditions or illnesses. You won't have full function of your jaw and chewing abilities.
You'll need to eat soft foods until you heal and the implants fully solidify themselves into your jaw. There will be post-op visits, and you'll likely be prescribed pain medication.
You'll have to continue practicing good oral hygiene to prevent infection. If you do experience symptoms of infection, let your dentist know immediately so they can prescribe you an antibiotic.
You will also experience swelling for a few weeks after the surgery. Swelling can be soothed with a cold compress and applying gentle pressure.
Grant total costs
Removable dental implants, also known as snap-on dentures can cost $12,000 - $20,000. These are different than traditional dentures since they're stabilized with implant posts. These are a more secure option for those with slippery dentures.
Fixed full mouth dental implants may cost between $20,000 - $40,000. In some cases, the costs can reach up to $70,000.
The materials used, preparations and location will influence the final implants cost. Full mouth dental implants are more affordable than getting individual dental implants. If you were to get 28 individual implants, the price could rise to over $120,000.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do full mouth dental implants last?
With proper care and good oral hygiene, a full mouth of dental implants can last 10 to 15 years. If you brush your teeth regularly, floss, and practice healthy lifestyle habits, your dental implants could last even longer than 15 years.
Today's modern dental technology has significantly minimized the risk of implant failure. Diseases, diabetes, cancer, gum disease, and pre-existing medical conditions may also affect how long your implants last.
Implants towards the back of the teeth tend to wear out faster since they're primarily used for chewing.
Can I replace all my teeth and get implants?
If you're missing many or all of your teeth, getting full mouth dental implants may make sense. Many patients with full dentures opt for implants for a more comfortable quality of life.
Stable teeth enable you to chew solid foods, smile confidently, and maintain bone density. Full mouth dental implants are highly functional and the closest to natural teeth if you've lost teeth.
If you just have a missing tooth or a few teeth, a single tooth replacement or mini implants may be more suitable.
Why are full mouth dental implants so expensive?
They're expensive since it's considered major oral surgery, and every case is unique. The costs can quickly add up depending on the dental materials, type of anesthesia, potential bone grafts, and pre-surgery preparation.
The cost also keeps adding up if you need tooth extractions, special imaging scans, and the type of dental implants your select.
The dental office you go to and your location also influence the cost. A full mouth dental procedure has a better likelihood of success if it's done with a dental implant specialist.
While many dentists have experience with dental implants, and many may be up to the task, specialists tend to have more experience. Since they are niche experts, they are more expensive than general dentists.
Does dental insurance cover full mouth implants?
Most dental insurance plans cover a portion of full mouth dental implants. Check with your insurance provider to see if part of the dental implant procedure is covered.
Your dental office may also be willing to work with you in developing an in-office payment plan if your insurance doesn't cover the full mouth dental implants cost.
What materials are dental implants made out of?
The most common materials dental implants are made out of are titanium and zirconia.
Titanium alloy is a durable material that harmonizes well with the bone and is biocompatible with the body. This material is trustworthy, relatively affordable, and long-lasting. Titanium allergies are rare.
Zirconia is a more recent and modern discovery. Zirconia also utilizes fewer components than titanium and is excellent for people who have metal allergies.
Other less popular materials are used, such as polymers, ceramics, stainless steel, gold, and cobalt-chromium. These materials may be more brittle and have a lower success rate. They may be used in temporary or special case situations but are not the standard.
However, titanium is revered as the 'gold standard' when it comes to dental implants.
Even though the cost of full mouth dental implants can run high, they have a high success rate. Dental implants have a success rate of 90% - 95%. They can last well beyond their estimated time frame with proper care and good oral hygiene.
Full mouth dental implants help restore a beautiful smile and eating function. They're a stable alternative to dentures and can help a person retain their facial shape. Thanks to modern technology, replacement teeth look just as natural as real teeth.