Implant supported dentures or implant retained dentures allow patients with minimal bone structure to wear dentures. They have a precision attachment that snaps onto the implant allowing the patient to speak and eat normally. These types of dentures are used on patients who do not have any denture support.
When Does a Person Require an Implant Supported Denture?
Implant supported Dentures are mostly used by the elderly and any other person who has been using dentures for a long time. When the maxilla and mandible of the upper and lower jaw lose their dentition due to injury, disease or decay, the bone ridges are left with nothing to support.
When teeth are removed, the sockets fill in with bone allowing the ridge to reshape. This is part of the healing process after tooth is removed. Conventional dentures can be used provided the gum has ridges. However, with age, the ridges disappear. This leaves the denture with no support making it impossible for the person to keep dentures in the mouth or use them as intended. It also makes it impossible for the individual to speak or chew properly.
Double Abutment Screw Implants
In this case, dentists take X-rays of the upper and lower jaws to determine if the individual has thick bones that can hold the implant. After determining the denseness of the jaws, the dentist selects two points on either side of the arch and opens up the gums in those areas. Obviously, this is done after the administration of anesthesia. The dentist then prepares small holes into the two areas, screws the implants into the holes and stitches back the gum. The heads of the implants are the ones that will be used to hold the denture in place.
Custom Metal Framework Implants
This implant procedure should be the last resort for any patient. Those who need this procedure are people with severe deterioration of the bone structure that it would be dangerous to put screw implants because it may interfere with underlying nerves under the gum tissue.
This procedure involves the complete retraction of the gum tissue to expose the bone underneath. The dentist then takes an impression of the exposed bone structure and stitches it back. The impression is used to make a surgical steel framework that will be fitted on the gums. The patient then goes back home and comes back on another appointment to be fitted with the titanium framework that will hold the dentures in place.
Once the patient heals, they are taken back to the dentist on another appointment so that the dentist can take impressions for a new denture. The new denture is constructed with attachments to fit smoothly with the implant screws.
When a patient has lost some teeth, the dentist may recommend dental implants to replace them. The biggest question patients might have is: Does it hurt to get a dental implant? The overwhelming response to that question is “no”! If getting a dental implant were painful, then there would be plenty of evidence to support that contention since hundreds of thousands of implants are placed each year.
When patients are considering implants, but are concerned about the chance of feeling pain, the most important thing to always remember is this: the actual procedure to get a dental implant is most often done with the use of a local anesthetic injection to totally numb the area. This “total numbness” is why dentists can emphatically say that getting a dental implant does not hurt.
Although the implant procedure itself is essentially painless, the “shot” to administer the local anesthetic can hurt. That pain can be a sharp sting, followed by pressure. But, both of these sensations are very short lasting. Some patients may feel some pressure during the implant placement, but this is usually not interpreted as “pain”.
However, dentists are very aware that there are patients who will say, “My dentist can never get me numb!” These patients are often even more anxious and worried about getting dental implants than most patients.
For these patients, there are a number of things that they can actually do to help themselves “get numb”, so they do not feel any pain during the dental implant procedure:
- Many dental professionals will be happy to give their patients medication to take prior to the appointment. These anti-anxiety medications are very effective at helping alleviate any anxiety the patient may have about the procedure. They not only help relieve patient’s fears, but they also help the local anesthetics work more effectively.
- Another helpful hint is for the patient to take an over-the-counter, anti-inflammatory medication (some common ones are ibuprofen and naproxen). Taking these as directed before your implant procedure reduces inflammation. This anti-inflammatory effect makes the local anesthetics be more effective and also helps reduce the chances of pain after the procedure. If patients are allergic to these types of medicine, using acetaminophen can be helpful.
- If patients feel that even these steps probably will not help them, they can consider using a dentist who offers intra-venous (IV) sedation. This method will essentially put the patient “to sleep” for the procedure, thereby insuring the patient experiences no pain.
People looking to get teeth replaced are usually very concerned about missing teeth either due to difficulty chewing, the drifting of teeth, or esthetics. Dental implants offer a super way to replace those teeth. And, the actual procedure to get those implants does not hurt!
For many years, the only option people often had to replace missing or lost teeth was a bridge procedure. The results of the bridge procedure were aesthetically pleasing so most patients were satisfied with this even though they knew the procedure would probably have to be repeated about every 10 years and that it posed a risk for future root canals, as it usually involved filing down healthy teeth to anchor the replacement one. After some time, the implant procedure began to emerge and evolve to the degree that it is now the better option instead of a bridge procedure when replacing missing teeth.
The implant procedure involves a series of steps that take at least two months to complete. First, a titanium screw is placed in the alveolus or bone pocket. This is done surgically under local anesthesia and takes about an hour. Usually, the titanium material begins to bond with the bone over time so that the implant will behave like a real tooth. After the screw is placed, an abutment, or a small fake tooth, is attached to the screw. The final step involves placing a crown over the abutment which is identical to a real tooth. Before the final, permanent crown can be placed, there is a wait of at least eight weeks while the implant bonds with the bone. Most patients have no problems with the implant procedure and after eight weeks can have the permanent crown attached. A small percentage of patients, however, do experience rejection of the titanium screw.
Not everyone is an ideal candidate for implants. The best candidates have good bone density in their gums, healthy gums, do not smoke and do not have diabetes. While smoking or suffering from diabetes do not automatically mean a patient is ineligible for implants, the conditions do lower the patient’s chances to have a successful implant procedure. For patients who do not have healthy gums, their conditions must first be treated before the implant procedure can be begun. However, once an implant procedure is completed successfully, it usually means that it will not fail later on so there is no need to repeat it or replace it.
The implant procedure is not inexpensive. However, it is cost effective over the long run. The cost of an implant for one tooth ranges from the higher end cost of a bridge procedure to several thousand dollars more. Paying about $4,000 or more for an implant might sound like an incredibly high price, but since implants do not usually need to be replaced, they are a better value than bridges, which will need to be replaced in the long run.
The purpose of dental implants is to imitate a real tooth. By securing a titanium post into or above the jaw bone, a dentist then places a false tooth on top of the implant to imitate a real tooth. A dental implant has two parts: a small titanium implant and a post. The latter is what will resemble the tooth upon completion of the procedure.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants can restore a smile and make it complete again. Implants also assist with chewing and reduce the possibility of gum decay.
Patients Needing Dental Implants
Patients that need dental implants usually are missing a tooth or will need to have one extracted. Once the dentist offers a dental implant as a treatment option, there are several factors that are considered. The first factor has to do with the condition of the jawbone and periodontal health. A dental implant will be screwed either into the jaw bone or fastened to the gum area, so the health and integrity of these areas is vital. A periodontist can check these areas and decide whether or not a potential patient’s bone structure and gums can handle dental implants.
The entire dental implant procedure can takes four months. The process depends on the health of the jawbone, number of teeth being replaced, and location of the implant. The first step for a single tooth implant is to surgically place the small titanium implant into the jawbone. The patient is then released to allow for healing. During the healing process, the gum and bone area will go through a process called osseointegration, in which the bone fuses around the implant. This makes the foundation of the implant strong and allows for the following step.
The next step is for the dentist to attach a post to the implant. The post will be the base for the new tooth or set of teeth. The post will be tightly fastened to the titanium implant on the second visit.
The final step is for the dentist to create a mold of the replacement tooth or teeth. Once the dentist has created a prosthesis, they will attach it to the implant and post structure. By then, the procedure will be successfully completed.
Dental Implant Care
Dental implants are designed to resemble natural teeth. Care after a procedure and on into the future requires regular brushing and flossing.
If you have missing teeth and are looking for an option for replacing them, you should think about dental implants. Maybe you are someone who had a bad experience with bridges or dentures. If so, dental implants may be the answer for you. Dental implants are a prosthetic device that feels and looks like real teeth. People who get dental implants regain the ability to eat food and chew gum without having to remove any false teeth again.
You must be a good candidate for the implants, and everyone is not. Before a dentist considers them an option for you, a dental screening is performed by your dentist to make sure you are a qualified candidate for the treatment. Your oral health is assessed first. One of the biggest problems with teeth missing and infections in the mouth is that after some time, they will cause a reduction in the amount of bone available in the gums. To receive dental implants, you must have an ample amount of bone in the mouth. The bone in the gum is for anchoring the dental implants so they have stability and proper placement.
Not only must you have good bone structure, but the patient must have excellent gum health. It is important to know that dental implants go directly through the gums and then become attached to the bones in the jaw. If you have any type of history of having gum disease or any reoccurring infections in the gums, you may not be a good candidate for dental implants.
Your dentist will take into consideration how often you had any emergency mouth treatment and oral infections recently. They will consider how well you are taking care of your teeth. If you hope to have osseo-integrated implants, you would have to be very diligent in the way you take care of your gums and teeth.
The ideal candidate for dental implants is the older individual whose bone structure in the mouth has completely developed. If a person has any history of gum disease, the disease needs treatment and curing before the person is considered a candidate for dental implants. For patients who have diabetes, they would have to meet with their physician first. This is because diabetes can increase the patients risk for complications. Smokers will have to use another type of treatment such as bridges and dentures, because smoking impairs the ability the body has to heal itself, and healing is required for the implants to be a success.
If you are interested in dental implants, now is the time to speak to your dentist. They will give you a referral to a cosmetic dentist who can provide you with more answers and consult with you about the implant process. They can provide you with a dental image of the look you will have after the procedure is done. Everyone should know that they will have minor discomfort for a short period of time after the procedure. Once the procedure is complete, you can show the entire world your new smile.
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