Treatment Options for an Adult with No Teeth

It is a common question we get in the office. It’s also one of the more challenging questions to answer because adult patients with no teeth need a special treatment plan to restore the teeth function, smile, and facial profile. Several treatment options are available for adult patients with no teeth, including conventional dentures or dental implants. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of each option.

What are the Consequences of Complete Tooth Loss?

Complete tooth loss is a big deal. Over time, adult patients with no teeth can experience many negative consequences:

  • Difficulty chewing all foods
  • Poor nutrition and weight loss.
  • Difficulty speaking clearly and intelligibly due to missing teeth.
  • Adult patients with no teeth appear older than they are. Both teeth and jawbones support our facial features. When tooth loss occurs, the jaw bone begins to lose its height and weight due to a lack of stimulation from chewing.
  • Self-esteem issues from the inability to smile widely and laugh with confidence.
  • long-term health problems such as heart disease, diabetes & stroke can occur from poor nutrition.

That is why adult patients with no teeth should consider getting dental prostheses to restore teeth function and smile.

The Treatment Options for Adult Patients with No Teeth

Since adult patients with no teeth need a special treatment plan, be sure to consult with your dentist. Here are the treatment options, and the pros & cons of each option:

Conventional Complete Dentures

Dentures are removable appliances that replace missing teeth. Complete dentures replace a full set of missing teeth while partial dentures replace a few missing teeth such as back teeth. Conventional dentures consist of an acrylic base with artificial teeth attached to it. They can be made from acrylic material or metal. Conventional dentures can be easily removed, cleaned, and reinserted throughout the day. They are the least expensive option for adult patients with no teeth.

  • Pros of Complete Dentures: they are less expensive than dental implants. Complete dentures don’t require anesthesia or surgery. Dentures are removable, which means you can remove them after a meal for cleaning.
  • Cons of Complete Dentures: they don’t last forever. They can be made to last 5-7 years (possibly longer if well maintained) before they lose their support and must be replaced. Conventional dentures may cause adult patients with no teeth some discomfort, soreness, or burning sensations when eating hot, spicy, or/and acidic foods for the first few days after placement. This sensation will disappear over time as your mouth adjusts to them.

If you have never experienced complete dentures before, this can take some time to get used to. It may be helpful to wear them around the house for a few weeks before you start using them in public. Complete dentures are an affordable option for adult patients with no teeth.

Complete denture for an adult with no teeth
Complete denture for an adult with no teeth. It consists of an acrylic base with artificial teeth.

Dental Implants – The Best Option for Adult Patients with No Teeth

Dental implants are the best solution for tooth loss. A dental implant replaces the tooth root. It is inserted into the bone of your jaw. The implant will fuse with the surrounding bone and provide an anchor for dental prostheses such as bridges and dentures (overdentures). These prostheses will make you look and feel just like natural teeth, so you’ll have no trouble speaking or chewing food again. Dental implants are the best treatment option for adult patients with no teeth.

  • Pros of dental implants:
    • They offer many advantages over conventional dentures. Implants are more comfortable, durable, less noticeable, more stable, longer-lasting, and better able to withstand biting force than dentures which can loosen or even fall out when exposed to pressure from biting down on them.
    • Dental implants also eliminate the problems associated with dentures, including dislodging or falling out of the mouth, and failures caused by wear and tear.
  • Cons of dental implants: they are more expensive than conventional dentures. Implants placement requires surgery and a healing period, which can take three months or more.

Implant-Supported Prostheses for Adult Patients with No Teeth

If you consider getting implants, talk to your dentist to discover if dental implants are the best treatment for you. Your dentist will examine your mouth, ask for some lab tests, and a special x-ray (CBCT) to make sure that you can get dental implants placed without any problems or risks. Then, they will discuss the type of final prosthesis that you need. Based on the quality of jaw bone and the type of final prosthesis, your dentist will determine the number of implants needed. The implant options for adult patients with no teeth include:

  • Implant-supported bridges: to support a full-arch bridge, you will need at least 8 implants in the upper jaw and 6 implants in the lower jaw.
  • Implant-supported overdentures: the denture is fully supported by dental implants.
  • Implant-retained overdenture: the denture is supported by gums and uses implants for retention.
  • All-on-4: a treatment plan that uses only 4 dental implants to support a full-arch bridge or denture.

Adult with No Teeth – Conclusion

It is important for adult patients with no teeth to having an understanding of the treatment options available. There are many different solutions, and each has pros and cons- from dentures that can be removed after eating to dental implants that are expensive and require surgery but offer increased stability and longevity. It’s always a good idea to consult your dentist before making any decisions about how you want your mouth treated so they can explore all of your options with you.

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