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Loose Dentures?  Think Dental Implants


For over a century, dental patients who are missing most, or all of their teeth, have had to endure a life with removable dentures.  For most, it is a life changing experience that they wish never happened.  Many factors could be responsible for them being in this situation, however, the end result for all is quite similar.  

Most denture wearers complain of discomfort,  difficulty chewing, eating, and speaking because the dentures are not permanently secured to the mouth.  Some dentures may experience a certain level of “suction,” however, most dentures can be removed with minimal effort by the patient.  When dentures move around during a meal, food particles and debris is allowed to seep  underneath the plastic, and irritate the gun tissue.  

This leads to sore spots under the appliance, which in extreme situations, may force the patient to forego wearing the appliance all together.  When dentures move under biting forces, which includes all dentures, the underlying bone is negatively affected, causing it to recede.  Over time, recession can lead to even worse sore spots, looser dentures, and even more food impaction.  Fortunately, today there is a solution to all these problems.  It involves dental implants.

Traditionally, dental implants have been used to replace one or two missing teeth in and around other healthy teeth.  Porcelain crowns would be fabricated, and fixed to the implant to complete the smile.  

Dental implants are not only for porcelain crowns.  Routinely, today we use dental implants to secure dentures in the mouth.  Both complete and partial dentures are able to accept dental implants to increase the retention of the appliance.  By placing dental implants below a denture, it holds the appliance down firmly using rubber gaskets and “o” rings, which allow the denture to snap into place.  The retention of the gaskets can be modified to allow a custom fit which the patient will be comfortable with.  When implants are utilized, the dentures are strongly secured to the gun line, allowing less movement, less sore spots, and much less food impaction below. 

Most patients who wear dentures see the benefit of having dental implants to hold down their appliance.  Most ask, “How many do I need?”  Of course, this would depend on that individual’s unique situation.  Generally, a minimum of two dental implants under a denture is required.  In most situations, four dental implants would be ideal to insure adequate retention, stability, and security. 

I am asked all the time, “How do I know if I’m a candidate for dental implants?  Typically, most patients are candidates for implants.  A thorough review of the patient’s medical history is a must.  We are looking to confirm there is no uncontrolled bodily disease, such as uncontrolled diabetes and hypertension, as well as confirming the patient is healthy enough for surgery.  A 3D dental CAT scan can be done in the office to verify the presence of adequate bone thickness, and height where the implants are planned.  

Surgery usually only lasts about an hour, and the patients don’t usually complain of any discomfort after the procedure is done.  Once the implants fully integrate into the bone, which takes 3-4 months usually, the dentures can be secured to the implants.  For most, this day is a life changing event for them.  Secure dentures, without the need to denture glues, leads to a more comfortable, secure, confident dental patient.


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