18 May Better Fitting Dentures
Although every effort is made to keep a patient’s teeth, sometimes it is unavoidable, and the teeth need to be extracted.
It is now widely accepted that implant prostheses are a great improvement over conventional denture. Unfortunately, millions of individuals can’t afford fixed prostheses and therefore most are still wearing conventional dentures.
When this happens, there are many ways to replace the missing teeth ranging from extensive (and expensive) implant dentistry to complete upper and lower dentures. The complete denture treatment becomes a practical and affordable solution.
The complete dentures are made of acrylic (special plastic).
They rely on the soft tissue and bone in the jaw for retention and support. For many people this works adequately.
However, when there is extensive bone loss in the jaws construction of dentures is much more difficult. Good fit and retention are often very difficult to achieve. Bone loss is usually more pronounced in the lower jaw leading to an unstable lower denture. Generally speaking, the upper denture is less problematic.
Patients without natural teeth are often compromised because of the looseness of their teeth; lack of suction and stability because of their extensive bone loss. The wearing of dentures does not become a pleasure for many people.
Loose and unstable dentures can be managed by placing implants. These implants are strategically placed to support the denture. In so doing there is a vast improvement in the ability to chew foods and gain more retention, stability and support. Such a modified denture is referred to as an overdenture. Like other dentures, overdentures are removable.
This is where implants make a world of difference.
Eating replenishes the body’s nutrients facilitating the maintenance of body composition. Chewing is the first step in this process and prepares a bolus of food for the alimentary tract. The enjoyment of the food is highly dependent on the functioning dentition. A healthy mouth influences diet and nutrition.
Like conventional dentures, one’s facial appearance and smile is improved.
Two-implant overdentures provide patients with increased satisfaction and quality of life. In addition, these simple implant overdentures have been shown to significantly improve the nutritional state of elderly patients.
In broad outline, the treatment protocol involves first making comfortable dentures and then using those dentures to guide the implant positioning. The implants are placed either by an oral surgeon or periodontist. There is a waiting period of several months for the implant to integrate into the bone. Thereafter the denture is then connected to the implants with special attachments. This treatment will give you comfort for many years.
Maintenance of the dentures with effective cleaning is essential as well as careful brushing of the implant connections.
You will really appreciate the difference in the quality of life that overdentures provide.