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What’s the Problem?
Dentures by themselves do not function like natural teeth. The average denture wearer only wears the upper denture 60% of the time and the lower denture 20% of the time. Many do not wear them at all, because dentures are unstable and lack retention. We call the lower denture a “floater,” because it floats in the mouth, rather than being securely anchored in place. For this reason, denture wearers cannot eat the same quality of foods that they enjoyed with natural teeth. This results in poor nutrition, poor food digestion, and poor health.
In addition, the underlying bone that you rely upon to keep your dentures in place continues to dissolve because the denture does not stimulate the bone like natural teeth. Dentures actually cause the bone to go away. The more bone you lose over time, the worse your denture will fit. The good news is that dentures retained by dental implants can solve this problem.
Fixed Detachable (RP-4) – Teeth Anchored Exclusively By Implants
There are two types of implant retained dentures: Removable Overdentures and Non-Removable Fixed Dentures.
Removable Overdentures are traditional dentures that are anchored in the mouth by fitting directly over conventional or mini implants or over a bar connected to the conventional implants. Because they fit over the implants we call them overdentures. These dentures are removable and have to be taken out after meals and at night and morning for cleaning. You treat these dentures like regular dentures.
Non-Removable Fixed Dentures are the next option. These dentures are also called hybrid dentures or fixed detachable dentures. The dentures can be made of regular strength. These dentures stay in the mouth all the time. You treat them like natural teeth. Brush and floss them daily. These types of implant-retained dentures are anchored by five or more dental implants per jaw.
The Non-Removable Fixed Denture replacement teeth are classified as permanent (not removable) though the dentist can take them out if necessary without damaging the underlying implants. A fixed detachable gives the patient the best function next to natural teeth.
The Non-Removable Fixed Dentures are the strongest between the two types of implant-retained dentures.
Benefits of Replacement Teeth with Implant-Supported Dentures
For the denture wearer, implants can mean a life without pain, without embarrassment, and without unhealthy eating habits. For many, implants offer the patient a one and only chance to have replacement teeth that function like natural, healthy teeth.
Recent studies have shown that implant-supported dentures increase biting forces up to 10X within the first year and can increase biting forces up to 300X over the next 3 to 5 years. Imagine what it’s like to chew, speak, and smile with ease again. Implants are the single best thing that has ever happened in dentistry for the denture wearer.
The implant dentures that are removable are typically used when the Non-Removable Fixed Denture cannot be done. This is where there is limited bone or when trying to keep cost to a minimum.
When there is minimal bone, Mini dental implants can also be used to retain the denture.
Are Implant Dentures Right for Me?
Implant-supported dentures are great for patients with:
- Unsalvageable teeth
- Bridges you are unhappy with
- If you want to chew better
- Loose teeth
- Unstable or Ill-fitting dentures or partial dentures
- Painful dentures or partial dentures
- Loss of taste due to large upper dentures
- Bone loss due to removable dentures or partial dentures
Dr. Fitzgerald will carefully examine your oral status, bone density, and medical history to determine whether full or mini dental implants would be best for you.
What are Mini Dental Implants?
Mini dental implants (MDI) are toothpick-thin titanium posts that secure a lower denture. Unlike traditional implant surgery, MDI surgery is minimally invasive. The entire process, including denture stabilization, can be completed in a matter of hours. Dr. Fitzgerald uses the IMTEX mini dental implant system.
Imagine coming in for your mini dental implant appointment and leaving that same day with a full set of perfectly secured teeth. You can even enjoy lunch with a friend following implant placement. Mini dental implants are perfect for patients who don’t have enough bone for full implants or who have medical constraints that prevent surgery.
If you have dentures or are considering implanted dentures replacement teeth, call us today or click the link to schedule your complimentary consultation. Dr. Fitzgerald has a state-of-the-art office dedicated to personalized implant dentistry for residents of Plano, North Dallas and the DFW metroplex.