The Treatment Process for Implant-Supported Dentures
Implant surgery will take place under local anesthesia and some form of deeper sedation. Before beginning the process, your dentist can help you determine whether nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation, IV (intravenous) sedation, or general anesthesia best suits your needs. Once you are comfortable, your doctor can place the implant posts with minimal discomfort.
Drs. Pinnix or Betancourt will place between two and six implants. The exact number will depend on the size and type of your restoration. If you choose a full implant-supported denture, your dentist will typically use the All-on-4® method, placing four small dental implants at a slight tilt to provide a strong base for your prosthetic with minimal impact to your jaw. A partial denture will require two or more posts, depending on the size of the restoration. After your jaw heals, your dentist will attach your denture to the implants.
An implant-supported denture may be a good option if you are missing all the teeth in your top or bottom dental arch. This type of restoration may also be appropriate if you have significant dental damage and you require multiple extractions.
These posts will be set in small pilot holes that your dentist can create through tiny incisions in your gums. For traditional dental implants, the healing period takes approximately four to six months while your bone tissue fuses with the implant posts. In some cases, you may need to wear a temporary removable denture during this time. Alternatively, if you qualify for All-on-4 implants, your dentist can attach a custom-crafted restoration on the same day as your surgery.
Once you have fully healed, you can return to the office for the next step in the procedure. If you are going to receive a standard implant-supported denture, your dentist will need to perform a second surgery that removes any gum tissue that has grown over the implant posts. Once this is complete, he can attach your restoration. It could be permanently fixed in place, or you may opt for a fixed hybrid prosthesis. This second option is just as stable but also offers the benefits of a removable restoration. Even if you receive an All-on-4 implants, your dentist will take off the original prosthetic and attach the final restoration at this time.
The Benefits of Removable and Permanent Dentures
All of our dentures can have tremendous and lasting benefits. Your prosthetic will renew your ability to eat and speak clearly. Your denture will also improve your appearance, replacing missing teeth and filling out your lips and cheeks.
Just as there are many benefits to receiving dental implants, there are a number of reasons to choose custom a implant-supported dentures over a removable one:
- These restorations offer unparalleled stability. You will typically be able to enjoy an unrestricted diet. Your denture will never slip around in your mouth, allowing you to eat and smile with confidence.
- Implant-supported dentures look more realistic than standard dentures because they do not have a plastic base. Instead, they sit right against the gums and attach to dental implants with a ball-and-socket connector. In addition, we meticulously design our restorations and use the latest materials to craft an incredibly natural-looking prosthetic.
- Dental implants replace missing tooth roots. Like natural roots, they will emit regenerative signals, which will stop jawbone recession. Implants are the only type of restoration to perform this important function.
Tips for Cleaning & Maintenance
Dentures are strong, resilient, and made to last. However, they require proper maintenance and care for long-term success. In general, you can care for implant-supported dentures as if they were your natural teeth. Traditional dentures require additional care.
Our doctors have a few recommendations to help keep your removable appliance looking and feeling great:
- Rinse after eating: After every meal, remove your dentures and rinse them thoroughly to eliminate food particles and debris. This will help keep your mouth free from harmful bacteria.
- Handle with care: When you remove your dentures, we recommend placing a towel on the countertop or in the sink. This will protect your appliance should you accidentally drop it. Clean your dentures gently to avoid bending any metal or plastic clasps.
- Clean your mouth: Caring for your gums and any remaining teeth is just as important as keeping your appliance clean. When you remove your denture, clean your gums, inside of your cheeks, tongue, and the roof of your mouth with a soft-bristled toothbrush or piece of gauze. Be sure to clean any residual denture adhesive off of the appliance so it does not irritate your delicate soft tissues.
- Brush your appliance daily: Your dentures should be thoroughly brushed at least once a day. To do so, use a nonabrasive denture cleanser and a soft brush to sweep away plaque, food deposits, and other debris. If you use adhesive, be sure to remove any residue from your prosthesis.
Dentures should be soaked overnight to avoid warping.
- Soak your dentures overnight: There are several denture-soaking solutions on the market. These can keep your dentures looking and feeling fresh. If you prefer not to use a soaking solution, you should place your dentures in a glass of water. Keeping your appliance moist is essential for keeping its shape and avoiding warping.
- Rinse before wearing: In the morning, be sure to thoroughly rinse your appliance after removing it from the denture-soaking solution.
- Attend routine checkups: Regular dental examinations are absolutely crucial for denture-wearers. During these visits, Dr. Pinnix or Dr. Betancourt can assess your appliance to ensure it is still working properly and fitting well. It is normal to require occasional relines and adjustments. As the underlying bone changes shape over time, your denture may become loose or wobbly. Should this occur, simply schedule an appointment with your dentist.
Regular dental examinations are absolutely crucial for denture-wearers. During these visits, your doctor can assess your appliance to ensure it is still working properly and fitting well.
Products & Activities to Avoid
When it comes to caring for any type of dentures, there are a few things to avoid as well. These include:
- Whitening toothpaste: These products are too abrasive to be used on dentures and can cause tiny scratches in the surface of your appliance. Additionally, there is nothing in whitening toothpastes that can brighten the color of prosthetic teeth.
- Products with bleach: Using bleach on your dentures can weaken the structure of your appliance and corrode any metal clasps. In addition, these products can discolor your appliance.
- Abrasive cleansers: You should always avoid using hard-bristled brushes and harsh cleaning materials, as these can damage your appliance.
- Hot water: Extreme temperatures can distort your dentures. Therefore, you should avoid placing them in hot water, and be sure to store them properly when not in use.