The pros and cons of full-arch dentures

For a long time, full-arch dentures were the only treatment option for patients missing all or almost all of their upper or lower teeth.

Today alternatives such as All-on-4 have given many patients a better long-term solution but in some cases dentures may still make sense. This post gives an overview of some of the pros and cons of full-arch dentures.

Cost

While there’s an argument to be made that implant-fixed dentures save you money over the long-term, patients who are looking to cut costs in the short-term will find that removable dentures are much more affordable.

Removable dentures do carry additional ongoing expenses, such as denture paste and cleaning solutions. They will also need to be replaced much more often compared to fixed dentures as your mouth and jaw will reshape over time following the removal of your natural teeth.

Cleaning

A major con to removable dentures is that they must be cleaned regularly and removed daily. Whereas fixed dentures can be brushed just like your natural teeth, removable dentures need to be soaked nightly and your gums need to be lightly scrubbed to remove any excess denture adhesive.

How do they look?

While removable dentures won’t look as natural as the permanent alternative, modern dentures are much more natural looking than their predecessors. They will also support your facial muscles to prevent the “hollow” cheek look often found with patients missing teeth.

Fit and comfort

There’s no beating around the bush on this one. An All-on-4 solution or implant-assisted fixed dentures will be far more comfortable than wearing removable dentures. Speaking and eating will require an adjustment period, especially if you wear lower or upper and lower dentures.

Ease of installation

Having a removable prosthesis built is less invasive procedure than installing dental implants. Removable dentures do not require surgery. For patients who would require a bone grafts or a sinus lift to support dental implants, it’s possible to restore your smile without going through extended treatments. In some cases, patients may not be good candidates for implants. These patients can still opt for removable dentures.

Every patient is different. Discuss your priorities and needs with your dentist and oral surgeon to determine the right choice for you.