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Removable Dentures have been one of the most popular options over the years to replace missing teeth. They offer a great aesthetic solution and also restore a patient’s ability to bite and chew food. However, because the hard acrylic dentures sit on the softer gum tissue, patients can lose about 80% of their bite force. And since there are no teeth present in the bone, patients will continue to lose bone over time. ‘Implant dentures’ are preferred by patients over the conventional ones in cases where they are looking for more stability, longevity and improved functionality.
What are Implant Dentures?
Conventional Removable Dentures commonly use prosthetic acrylic teeth mounted on an acrylic base, which appear as the gum tissues. They can be used to replace multiple or all the missing teeth depending on the requirement of the individual patient.
Implants dentures are similar to conventional dentures, but with the addition of dental implants to hold them in place. Titanium implants will be fixed to the jawbone in specific places as determined by the dentist and the denture requirements. The dentures will have special attachments that help to hold them firmly against the implants.
There are commonly 2 common types of implant dentures: Implant Overdentures and a Fixed Hybrid Prosthesis.
Implant Overdenture: This method is relatively less expensive than a fixed hybrid prosthesis. Depending on the bone quality and needs of the patient, typically 2-4 implants will be place in each jaw and special attachments will be placed inside the denture to attach to the implants. This method requires the patient to remove the dentures for regular cleaning. This method can be used for patients with thick and thin jaw bones as Small Diameter Implants are available for those patient with very thin jawbone. Regular dental visits are necessary to check the health of the gums, implants, denture, and its attachments. For some patients who have a well-fitting denture, but it is loose, this procedure can also allow us to retrofit an existing denture, in order to save on cost.
Fixed Hybrid Prosthesis: This method is for those patients who want to permanently attach the denture to the implants. This is great option for those patients who want to have less denture material covering their gums for a more enjoyable experience when chewing and tasting food. This type of prosthesis can be made with a standard acrylic or a stronger and more lifelike material called zirconia. Because the dentures are attached, regular dental visits are necessary to check the health of the gums, implants, and prosthesis.
Why should I choose implant dentures?
- Implant dentures offer higher stability and prevent the prosthetic from moving while chewing or talking. They allow a patient to express virtually all their bite force, unlike a conventional denture resting on the gums that cause people to lose 80% of their bite force.
- With dental implants fixed to the jawbone, the chances of jawbone deterioration are significantly reduced. This way, your facial structure would stay unchanged and you would look younger for a longer period of time.
- Depending on the situation, this can increase the lifespace of a denture.
- The aesthetics of implant supported dentures are amazing. They look just like natural teeth and don’t give away easily.
During the initial visit, a 3D CBCT scan is taken to evaluate the jawbone. Video scans or molds of the jaws will be taken to create either dentures or a custom surgical guide to allow more minimally invasive surgery.
During the implant surgery, local anesthesia will be used to numb the gums. Since there is generally more volume of bone at the front of the jaw than at the back, implants will tend to be fixed at the frontal portion of the jawbone. After the implant site has healed completely, the dentures will be placed on them and made sure the fit is perfect. Minor changes may have to be made to ensure they are comfortable to wear and offer the right bite and esthestics.
Call Mountain View Advanced Dental at (650) 988-9458 or schedule an online appointment to learn more about implant dentures.