Full Arch Tooth Replacement Options

Full Arch Tooth Replacement Options

Finding the most effective way for our Ipswich patients to replace multiple missing teeth.

While most of us may probably lose a tooth or two over the years, perhaps in our later years due to wear and tear etc, some people are even less fortunate than that. Losing a full arch of teeth can be very devastating and can be caused by a number of things that we will look at shortly. Given that not replacing them at all isn’t really an option, we will also take a look at your options to replace your missing teeth with artificial ones.

Although cost may be a factor in your final decision, this should also be balanced against the benefits that you might gain with more expensive options. Especially if you are relatively young, you may have to live with your choice for a very long time.

What causes full arch tooth loss?

There can be a number of reasons why this might happen and whilst long term neglect is an obvious possible cause, there are a number of others too, some of which may be out of our control. Some of the reasons why you might lose multiple teeth include:

Accidents – Traumatic accidents such as car crashes, impact through aggressive sports or even being the victim of violence can cause tooth loss. While this is usually limited to a small number of teeth, this is not always the case.

Medical conditions – Some medical conditions can create major problems for our teeth. One good example is oral cancer, plus the side effects of any treatment that may be received because of it.

Substance abuse – A heavy and regular smoker is a strong candidate for tooth loss, as are people with alcohol problems. Illegal drug use may also have side effects that cause you to lose a significant number of teeth.

Age – The longer we live, the more likely it is that we will lose some of our teeth. As this can affect how we eat, it is very important that replacement teeth are provided to help ensure that an adequate diet is followed for good health in our later years.

What are your options for replacing multiple lost teeth?

It is never a good idea not to replace a missing tooth as this can lead to other problems such as encroachment into the vacant area by other teeth, often leading to crookedness of the smile. Even so, some people do opt not to replace an individual missing tooth, especially if it isn’t visible. Where a full arch of teeth has been lost though, almost everyone will look for the best way to replace them. In essence, there are two ways in which this can be done at our Ipswich based dentist. These are by using  dentures or dental implants.


Dentures have been used for a very long time to replace missing teeth and are now far superior to older versions, both in being more comfortable and also more aesthetically pleasing. Dentures are still dentures though and some of the problems with them persist, despite all the improvements.

The reality is that dentures replace the crown part of the tooth, making them aesthetically useful, but they don’t replace the root of the tooth. This means that the dentures need to be attached in the mouth somehow as there are no roots to hold them in place. This means that traditional full arch dentures have to rely on the suction between them and the gums, often supported by a denture adhesive which helps to hold them in place.

While this can be reasonably effective, it can’t be guaranteed that the dentures won’t move around. This is likely to be worsened by the loss of the natural tooth roots which causes small changes in the shape of the face. This is one of the reasons why some people report dentures that become loose and move around in the mouth. Not only can this make eating difficult but may do so at a time when you really don’t want them to, such as on a date or a business meeting perhaps.

Cleaning dentures also requires them to be removed from the mouth and soaked overnight while you sleep.

Dental implants

If you lose a full arch of teeth and opt for dental implants, these will not be replaced individually. This would be time consuming and extremely expensive. The most effective way of using dental implants for this purpose is to place four, or sometimes six, implants at strategic points in the jawbone. We can then attach a fixed bridge of replacement teeth to them leaving them firmly secured to the implants. While this does require some minor invasive oral surgery, it provides many benefits that dentures simply can’t.

1 – As the implants act as a replacement tooth root, your bridge of replacement teeth are firmly ‘anchored’ in place and will not move at all. You can eat what you want and feel confident that they won’t move when you speak to people.

2 – The implants help to maintain the bone structure in the jaw, minimising any bone loss that can cause the facial shape changes sometimes associated with tooth loss.

3 – Once any residual discomfort has vanished following your treatment, this method offers a level of comfort that some denture users never find. Dentures can rub against the gums, sometimes causing inflammation and soreness. The stability of teeth fitted by the ‘all on 4’ procedure ensures that this won’t happen.

4 – You don’t need to remove your bridge for cleaning as you do with dentures. You will be provided with cleaning advice by your Ipswich implant dentist but essentially, this is little different from how you should be cleaning your natural teeth.

It is true that dental implants are more expensive than dentures and do require invasive treatment which dentures may not. We do feel though, that modern implants provide you with an attractive and natural looking replacement set of teeth that will allow you to feel confident and to eat what you want, possibly for a minimum of twenty years or more, providing that you look after them as advised.

If you would like to investigate the possibility of this modern and popular tooth replacement method, whether for a full arch, multiple teeth or even a single one, please contact the Foxhall Dental Practice to arrange an initial consultation. You can do so online or simply pick up the phone and call us on 01473 258396.