Why would you need implant dentures?
Implant dentures offers a new type of denture which can solve the problem of moving dentures. When dentures have been worn for a long period of time the bone supporting then tends to reabsorb (disappear). This means that many patients who have worn dentures for many years find they do not remain stable. Eating many types of food is difficult or impossible. Despite new dentures this problem continues.
The advent of dental implants has been able to totally solve this problem for most patients.
The implant-supported denture is stable, very retentive and enables most patients to eat and chew the kinds of food they haven’t eaten in years. In some patients biting into an apple is now the norm rather than a wish.
All of my patients who have undergone this type of treatment wondered why they didn’t do it sooner, they give great reviews of their implant denture. All my patients have been more than happy with the end result. Some patients may require a bone graft to create sufficient bone to place the implants, this now uncommon.
(I have included some x-rays and dental implant photos from my casebook. )
The procedure for implant dentures
The technique is similar for both the top and bottom jaws. The bottom jaw (mandible) is usually more straightforward than the upper jaw (maxilla). The maxilla requires a minimum of four implants.
The process starts with having the implants placed in the bone. This generally done either under deep sedation or general anesthesia and consists in having precision drilled holes into the bone. The implants are placed into these and the area allowed to heal. The implants may take up to 20 weeks to fully integrate – this is the time taken for the bone to join to the implants and lock them in.
The “locator tops” are placed on the implants instead of the healing caps. This completes the surgical side of the process.
The dentures then have to be adapted with a press stud like tops so they can clip to the locator tops.
Whether you need new dentures or not needs to be discussed with the correctly qualified dental technician or your dentist. Once the dentures have been fitted, the dentures will stay in the mouth unless unclipped by you.
Hygiene for Implant Dentures
Needless to say the usual denture hygiene needs to be undertaken. Remember this type of implant retained denture is like any other denture and is not a permanent fixtures. If you want permanent fixtures this is a different process but can be accomplished. The implants should last many years if not indefinitely.
With respect to implant Dentures, Dr Smedley works with a number of well qualified clinical dental technicians and practitioners for the provision of dentures of this type. In addition to this, he does have an experienced in-house clinical dental technician whose scope of practice is defined by the Dental Technician’s Board, includes the provision and management of dentures which are implant retained. The idea of an in-house technician is always to make this as economically viable as possible for the patients. Please don’t hesitate to discuss this with Dr Smedley if you feel it is appropriate.