Dental Implant Options For Replacing Missing Teeth
Denture wearers these days are increasingly giving up denture adhesives such as Fixodent and Poligrip, and denture cushions such as Sea-Bond and Ezo. They can do so because they are choosing dental implant supported replacements for their missing teeth.
Very often, after loosing all their teeth, people get standard conventional dentures that are supposed to hold securely in place mainly by suction to the gums. Soon, they realize that these dentures are not very secure at all. They may have very poor suction, if any, particularly in the lower denture. The dentures lift up, float around, fall off when they talk, yawn or sneeze. Food gets under them, they cause sores on the gums due to the movement, they feel very insecure. The adhesives or cushions offer varying degrees of support and retention, sometimes very good, but people hate the feel of that paste in the mouth.
Today, an increasing number of denture wearers in such situations turn to dental implants to help secure their dentures. In addition, many people now plan their treatment such that dental implant-supported replacements are already planned even before the teeth are extracted, so that the time they spend with loose dentures held in place with adhesives is minimized to a few months or even eliminated altogether.
Very often, due to poor bone condition and other limitations in the jawbones, people wearing dentures for many years may require additional procedures to improve the bone for placing implants. More of that will be discussed in a separate post.
The options available for replacing missing teeth with implant supported restorations include:
1) Snap-on denture.
The denture may be very similar to the regular denture, but it is held in place by two to four clips or inserts that snap on to either a bar connected to the implants or onto small anchors placed on the implants. these dentures can be removed by the wearer as and when they desire. These dentures are very comfortable and secure, provide good function, restore appearance and confidence. An added advantage in the upper jaw is that such dentures do not cover the entire palate the way standard dentures do.
2) A Hybrid Bridge
While the snap-on denture is secure and comfortable and fully functional, some people still do not like the idea of having to take the denture out of the mouth, they prefer something that stays fixed in their mouth, the way a bridge stays fixed onto natural teeth. Therefore, the next best thing is to get a replacement that still looks like a denture but is screwed in onto the implants. Thus it cannot be removed by the wearer, can only be removed by the dentist if needed.
3) Implant Supported Fixed Bridge.
A person missing some of their natural teeth can get a fixed bridge supported by the remaining natural teeth and replacing the missing teeth. Similarly, a person missing all their teeth can get a fixed bridge permanently supported by implants. obviously this bridge is not removable by the patient. It can be either screwed in or cemented onto abutments connected to the implants. This method eliminates the sides that are typical of a standard denture.
The time from start to finish in any of the three methods is about 6-8 months.
At Pearl Dental Arts, we extract the teeth, place healing dentures, place the implants and prepare the snap-on dentures, the hybrids and the fixed bridges on implants. Dr. Paghdiwala has been placing implants for over 10 years and has a mastership in implant dentistry from the International Congress of Oral Implantologists.
No obligation consultations and second opinions are offered at Pearl Dental Arts, serving Newtown, Levittown and surrounding areas of Lower Bucks County and Philadelphia. Appointments can be set up by calling 1-888-PEARL-81.