What Are Full Arch Dental Implants?

by Andrew Mueller, DMD, MD | Jan 30, 2020

There’s no better option for replacing missing teeth than dental implants. But what if you need more than on dental implants? What if you’ve lost most or all of your teeth? In those cases, your dentist will recommend full arch dental implants. Find out how full arch dental implants give you a second chance at a perfect smile, able to restore the natural functionality and aesthetic to your smile so you can laugh, converse, and live confidently again!

A Closer Look at Dental Implants

Full arch dental implants are a tooth replacement solution that entails two major parts: dental implants and replacement teeth. Dental implants anchor replacement teeth, which could be a single dental crown, a dental bridge or specialized dentures. So what makes dental implants better than other solutions for anchoring crowns, bridges and dentures? Dental implants function similar to natural teeth.

To better understand out dental implants and full arch solutions work, let us take a look at the major components of dental implants:

The implant post

Taking the shape of a screw, implant posts are embedded through the gumline into the jawbone just like the roots of natural teeth. The implant post is typically made of a biocompatible material, such as titanium, so that it fuses with the bone.

The abutment

This component is installed after the post, connecting to the top of the implant post provides a connection to whatever dental restoration you have in mind.

The dental restoration

These are dental crowns, bridges, overdentures, and full arches of teeth to simulate the natural aesthetic and function of a mouth.

A Look at Full Arch Solutions

Full arch dental implants leverage a full set of dental implants, usually four to eight, per “arch,” or row, of teeth. Instead of using one implant per replacement teeth, full arch dental implants are anchored by four to six implants.

Take a look at some of the common options for full arch dental implants:

Implant-Supported Dentures

Regular dentures loose fitting and awkward to deal with? Specialized dentures snap onto dental implants, providing more support than conventional dentures at an affordable price (1). However, they are looser fitting than fully affixed options and require more frequent maintenance.

All on 4

Compared to before, this technique also uses four dental implants that are placed into your gums. However, a full arch of (typically) porcelain teeth are tightly fitted to your gum line. This means that they are permanently affixed to your jaw, meaning that these act more like natural teeth in function and aesthetic! (2)

Zirconia Full Arch

Zirconia (Zirconium Dioxide) is a new development of dental and medical materials, being a very durable and bio-compatible metal like titanium, but with coloring indistinguishable from a porcelain ceramic (3). This makes zirconium a longer lasting arch material with all the added benefits of a natural looking smile!

Zygomatic Dental Implants

Were you denied dental implants due to a deteriorated jawbone? Or have you had a dental implant fail on you? Zygomatic Dental Implants are an alternative that replaces two of the implant posts with posts that attach all the way into your Zygomatic bones (cheek bones) (4,5).

More on Full Arch Dental Implants in San Antonio, TX

So are you a good candidate for the procedure? Make an appointment today at our office in San Antonio, TX to set up an initial consultation to discuss your candidacy for dental implants with our doctors, Dr. Andrew MuellerDr. Patrick Waters, and Dr. Danielle Larivey. Why not make the call right now at (940) 350-3190 as a gift to yourself? By the next holiday season, you can celebrate your improved smile!


(1) – What You Need to Know About Snap-In Dentures, Healthline, https://www.healthline.com/health/snap-in-dentures

(2) – All-on-4® treatment concept, Nobel Biocare USA, https://www.nobelbiocare.com/en-us/all-on-4-treatment-concept

(3) – Zirconia, Zircon Industry Association, ​https://www.zircon-association.org/zirconia.html

(4) – Benefits of zygomatic implants in patients with severe dental bone loss, Nobel Biocare USA, https://www.nobelbiocare.com/blog/products-and-solutions/benefits-of-zygomatic-implants-in-patients-with-severe-dental-bone-loss/

(5) – Zygomatic implants, Foundation for Oral Rehabilitation, https://www.for.org/en/treat/treatment-guidelines/edentulous/treatment-procedures/surgical/surgical-protocols-maxilla/zygomatic-implants

About the Author

Andrew Mueller, DMD, MD

Dr. Andrew Mueller loves being an oral and Maxillofacial surgeon. After completing both dental and then medical school, he did a general surgery residency and an oral/maxillofacial surgery residency (both at Parkland hospital in Dallas, Texas). He has performed countless general anesthetics in the operating room, learning how to safely put patients to sleep and wake them back up.