Blog Bucktown Dental Associates
Enjoy Life with Implant Dentures
Maria (not the real patient name) came to Bucktown Dental Associates with several denture problems. She had a loose bottom partial denture and a top full denture that kept falling every time she spoke. She could not enjoy eating or feeling comfortable in social gatherings. Sound familiar? Maria is diabetic and had advanced gum disease associated with the remaining bottom teeth.
Dr. Elseweifi’s plan was to make a removable implant denture for the lower jaw. Denture stabilization in the bottom jaw was to be achieved using mini dental implants. A mini dental implant is a small diameter dental implant with a diameter less than three millimeters (3mm). Dental implants are particularly useful in the lower jaw where less bone is available to retain a removable denture. The patient could not get the top dental implants at the same time. Therefore, an upper full denture was planned.
Denture procedures were started before teeth were extracted. At the time of teeth extraction, four mini dental implants were placed in the lower jaw. Dental implants were placed in the previously healed areas of the lower jaw without any gum incisions. The entire surgical procedure took 40 minutes, including extraction and placement of dental implants. The new lower denture was then modified to hold into the dental implants using a soft reline. This step allowed the dental implants to heal (attach to the bone) without early pressure caused by the denture. After 4 weeks, attachments were added to the inside of the lower denture to hold into the mini dental implants and securely retain the denture.
Maria left the office with a secure lower implant denture. Together with a beautiful upper denture she now enjoys food and can chew without pain or discomfort. She plans to have dental implants placed to hold the top denture. In her last follow up visit, Maria said that she can eat, speak, and smile with confidence.
Implant Supported Denture
Securing Dentures with Dental Implants
In the old days, missing teeth would have only been replaced with a partial denture or full denture. Recently, implant supported dentures come as the first choice for teeth replacement.
What is an implant supported denture?
An implant supported denture (also called implant denture, overdenture or implant overdenture) is secured by two or more dental implants and is very different from those dentures used by your parents or grandparents.
A conventional full denture simply rests on the gum. It often needs a mild adhesive for retention. A conventional partial denture rests on the gum but is also held to the teeth by attachments called clasps. Implant supported dentures are held in place by dental implants (titanium roots) anchored in the jaw. Simply, the implant denture is snapped in for a secure fit and snapped out for easy cleaning and care.
An implant supported denture has many advantages. First, the implants stimulate the jawbone and prevent it from shrinking. Therefore, they preserve the jawbone and appearance of the face. Second, the implants provide a better foundation to support the denture and securely hold it in place. This is particularly useful in the lower jaw where bone is not enough to hold conventional dentures. Finally, implant dentures significantly increase chewing strength compared to conventional dentures.
There are many alternatives for implant supported dentures (overdentures):
Bar-retained dentures: A full denture is retained by a metal bar that is attached to two to five implants. The implant denture fits over the bar and is securely clipped into place.
Ball-retained denture:A full denture is retained by attachments that connect to the implants. Each implant has a ball-shaped ("male" attachment) that fits into a socket ("female" attachment) on the denture.
Mini implant retained denture: A full denture or a partial denture is retained by attachments that connect to small diameter implants called mini implants. Mini implants provide the least cost for implant dentures. They are particularly useful where bone is not enough to accommodate standard size implants.
The type of implant supported denture you need is determined based on bone availability, general health and cost. Dr. Elseweifi will examine you and discuss all options.
Digital technology was brought to complete and implant dentures. CAD/CAM is now used to automate the making of removable dentures. The objective of this technology is reduce the number of visits to only two; thus, accelerating the process for the patient and reducing dental office cost.
In a conventional denture procedure, records, such as impressions and bite records are taken over several visits. A trial denture is then used to review fit and esthetics with the patient before the denture is finalized and delivered. In a digital denture procedure, all denture records are captured at the first visit. A computer then creates a virtual denture that is milled into a final denture. The denture is delivered to the patient in the second visit.
Manufacturer of digital dentures claims many advantages for the procedure. First, the CAD/CAM technology creates a precise-fitting denture. Second, a permanent digital records can be kept and used to produce duplicate dentures. Third, a special denture material is used that eliminates bacteria. Digital technology can be used for complete dentures, immediate dentures, and implant overdentures.
Digital dentures are new and have no long-term clinical success. They require training and acceptance by dentists. In addition, esthetic try-ins of digital dentures, even though are possible, are not done routinely with digital dentures. Trying in dentures is important to verify esthetics of teeth, support of lip muscles, and phonetics.
Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) describes a group of mental and physical defects that can affect the fetus. It is caused by alcohol consumption during pregnancy. FAS can result from consuming any amount of alcohol during pregnancy.
Alcohol consumed by the mother crosses the placenta and causes damage to the developing fetus. The most significant damage affects the developing brain and results in psychological or behavioral problems. Brain damage is permanent and the effects are irreversible. There is no cure for fetal alcohol syndrome but it is 100% preventable.
Signs and symptoms of fetal alcohol syndrome include distinctive facial features, joint and limb deformities, small head, vision defects, intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, and abnormal behaviors. FAS often causes heart defects.
As we provide dental care for special needs children, we often see kids with FAS. Patients usually present with varying degrees of intellectual disabilities. Although kids with fetal alcohol syndrome do not have specific dental abnormailites, they are often fragile and require special care.
Dental implants are the best tooth replacement option. However, dental implant cost is a major consideration for anyone advised to have a dental implant. To make things more frightening, many dental insurance plans do not cover dental implant treatment or only cover a fraction of the cost. In addition, dental insurance annual reimbursement is usually limited.
Dental implants used to be very expensive, costing tens of thousands of dollars. This is not the case anymore, Implant technology is very advanced with many alternatives, types, and manufacturers. This has caused dental implant prices to drop significantly and offered many options for patients with different tooth replacement needs. These options include conventional implants, and mini implants. Today, dental implant cost may be less than the cost of a conventional bridge.
So, how can you afford to pay for dental implants? First, check your dental insurance plan for implant coverage. Even if the plan does not pay for implant placement, it would most likely pay for implant crowns or implant dentures. Second, dental implant treatment is usually done in stages. So, it may be possible to pay for one stage at a time till treatment is completed. Third, dental implant cost is usually much lower when the dentist does all phases of treatment from implant surgery to implant restoration. Fourth, always ask about dental financing options. Some options like CareCredit can give you extended payment possibility.
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