Making dentures more stable and secure
The more teeth we loose the less retention there is for dentures. When teeth are lost there is nothing for the bone to hold on to so over a period of time the bone slowly resorbs. This can cause problems for people who have full lower dentures. A lower denture relies on the bony ridge to help seat it correctly. Without this ridge the denture moves around continuously and can make eating and speaking very difficult, not to mention the embarrassment caused too. The same goes for the upper denture although the denture relies on suction to the palate.
To make your dentures more stabile they can be retained by dental implants. This works by means of special clips, rather like press studs, which your denture is clipped onto. To be able to do this treatment you need enough bone for the implants to be placed. We take a CT Scan to check this. Once it has been deemed you are a suitable candidate for implant surgery we place 4 implants in the upper jaw and 2 implants in the lower jaw. They are then left to heal for about 12 weeks. In the mean time your original dentures will be adjusted so that you will not be without teeth. After this time we start preparation for your new dentures. Unfortunately your old dentures cannot be adjusted to fit the implants, new dentures are needed. This treatment can also be called All on 4, or fixed-removable treatment – fixed dental implants with removable dentures.
A more fixed option
If you prefer to have fixed teeth rather than removable ones you have the option of a fixed bridge. This requires more implants to be placed as the bridge needs more support than dentures. This is also known as fixed-fixed treatment.
You can expect the whole process to take about 6-9 months to complete. This includes healing time and appointment availability. It is important to remember that during this time we will never leave you without teeth. If we cannot adjust your own dentures we will have new temporary dentures made. It is also important to remember that if you don’t have enough bone available all is not lost. Bone can be added or alternative treatments may be available.
Speak to one of our dentists today who can give you more information and arrange a consultation with an implant dentist. Don’t let the sound of ‘implant surgery’ put you off having treatment. Treatment itself is no worse than a filling, it just takes a little longer. You will be completely comfortable during treatment and if you prefer, sedation can be arranged for our more nervous patients.