Until recently, there were little oral surgeons could do for the roughly 30 million Americans living with tooth loss, but now a groundbreaking procedure could give more patients a reason to smile.
A revolutionary surgical procedure allows a person without any teeth to regain a full set in just an hour. These dental implants are growing in popularity as more specialists learn the skills.
“The problem these patients historically have getting dental implants and fixed teeth again rather than dentures, which are removable, is they have very little bone left after they lose all their teeth,” says Dr. Steven Moss of Malo Advanced Oral Rehabilitation. “So when patients go to their dentist and say, ‘I’d like to have teeth again that don’t come in and out any longer,’ their dentist typically tells them, ‘I’d love to give you dental implants but you are not a candidate.’ Or, ‘You would need bone grafting to even put implants in.’”
The vast majority of people who lose teeth, defined by dentists as “edentulism,” do so as they age due to periodontal disease. For decades, bone grafting, involving multiple surgeries and running upwards of $30,000, was the only fix.
A procedure called the “All-On-Four,” developed by European doctor Paulo Malo, the founder of Malo Clinics allows as few as four implants for a full set of new replacement teeth. Computer simulation, biomechanics and lots of planning ahead help oral surgeons develop special implants that can support replacement teeth right away.
All on 4 Implants Video
“So basically, it was using products already existing in the market with new surgical techniques. By doing this, we solved almost about 100 percent of the cases without bone grafting,” says Malo.
Even with the All-On-Four approach, dental implants might still cost as much as an economy sedan. Yet at least the price is reduced by about half without bone grafting. Malo says that is a huge part of the end game and is hoping his work will make implants accessible for more patients.
“It’s not a luxury. To have no teeth, it’s physically compromising and emotionally compromising,” says Malo.
The price can continue to drop with cheaper products and more efficient surgical methods, according to Malo. However, governments around the world have to step in to address tooth loss as not just a cosmetic problem, but an overall health problem.
Things to Know About Full Mouth Reconstruction
When hearing about full mouth reconstruction, many people simply get terrified. However, it only sounds extremely complicated and laborious. So what does full mouth reconstruction imply then? It is actually a series of consecutive cosmetic dentistry interventions, which will help correct teeth alignment, the shape of the gums and in general the whole mouth surface.
It is actually a series of consecutive cosmetic dentistry interventions, which will help correct teeth alignment, the shape of the gums and in general the whole mouth surface.
Generally, dentists or cosmetic dental surgeons who are going to treat the patient should explain in detail every procedure. Thus, if the patient knows and understands what is about to happen, and how these functions are going to be changed and restored, he/she is willing to accept more open-heartedly and bravely the operations.
Patients, who struggle with missing teeth, can now go through an extremely efficient full mouth reconstruction with the help of dental implants. This means, that in one day only, the patient will get a new smile, a new set of teeth. However, there are several medical tests that need to be run in prior to getting dental implants.
These tests include checking whether the patient has got enough bone mass structure that will help anchor the dental implants. Then, 3D dental scans are needed so that the dentist/ dental surgeon can assess the situation of the patient, and see whether he is medically fit for dental implant treatment.
Full Arch Restoration
Full arch restoration can also be done with the help of dental bridges or dental crowns, in cases when the patient is missing an entire set of teeth. Individuals who end up missing entire sets of teeth do generally struggle with severe gum disease, or it may be the result of the fact they have been supposed through the years to poor dental works/treatments.
With full arch restoration, the patient is going to get treatment in a very short time, so that he/she can continue his everyday tasks. Some of the main possible procedures involved in full arch restoration also include:
- Dental implants
- Placing temporary prosthetic teeth
- Tooth extraction (of the teeth that are irreversibly damaged)
Next, bone reconstruction is also part of full mouth reconstruction. Bone grafting is done by collecting bone tissue from other parts within the mouth, and reconstruct functionally and aesthetically the bone structure in the mouth. However, since this is a procedure that can scare the patient away, doctors can also offer alternative surgical options that can help.
After a successful bone grafting intervention, here is what follows:
- the dental implants are placed
- temporary teeth are attached
- after a period of healing and recovery, the final ceramic tooth/ teeth are placed
People who need full mouth reconstruction should never be scared by these procedures since with today’s technology and high-quality materials almost everything is possible in the dental field. All it takes it patience and commitment, and they can get a new set of teeth or new mouth bone in quite short treatment periods.
Cosmetic dentistry is also a field that has progressed extremely well and becomes more and more popular by the day.