Implant Supported DenturesSaratoga Springs, NY
Implant supported dentures are a hybrid tooth replacement option that many people consider when looking for a solution to missing or decayed teeth. It is rare that an entire arch of teeth is lost at once, as in most cases, the individual may have one or two natural teeth left in an arch, resulting in a need for extraction beforehand. Extraction is typically not ideal, but in the case of implant supported dentures, it is actually better because it allows for entire arch replacement in one process.
To get a better idea of the implant supported denture process, it may be best to review the following information, which outlines what to expect, preparation tips, aftercare instructions and other things to get familiar with.
What to know about implant supported dentures
Implant supported dentures is an involved process that does require time and patience. However, most individuals find that it is worth it because the results are almost always successful.
The following overview on implant supported dentures should be reviewed in-depth prior to starting the tooth replacement process. Keep reading to learn more!
The process of getting implant supported dentures does involve a few parts, the first being the implant placement procedure. Implant supported dentures rely on dental implant placement, which involves a minimally invasive oral surgery. During the procedure, the dentist places dental implants directly into the jaw, beneath the gums. In most cases, only four to six dental implants are needed per arch.
The second part of the implant supported dentures process is osseointegration, which is where the natural bone fuses with the dental implants. The titanium make-up of the prosthetic pieces is biodegradable, which means the body rarely rejects them, resulting in osseointegration. This part of the process can take the longest, as it all depends on how quickly the individual's body works. In the case of implant supported dentures, it is best to expect anywhere from four to six months of waiting.
Lastly, the individual will visit the dentist for denture fitting. Because implant supported dentures involve two prosthetics, the dentists have to make sure that the fit is perfect. This requires impressions to be taken so a dental lab can custom-create the piece. After a few more weeks of waiting, the dentures can be attached to the dental implants via abutments, which are small metal connector pieces.
Implant supported dentures have advantages that other tooth replacement options do not. For example, because they are secured in place, they are stronger then traditional dentures, which can slide around when eating, speaking and even smiling.
Another advantage is that implant supported dentures can be replaced easily. Because the dental implants are permanent, if the denture piece itself gets damaged, stained or worn, the dentist can easily have a new piece made based on the original impressions. This is advantageous because single tooth replacement with dental implants and crowns requires the old crown to be removed, which can be uncomfortable, whereas a simple denture replacement does not cause much awkwardness or discomfort.
How to prepare
There are a few ways to prepare for the dental implant placement procedure that is required to start the implant supported dentures process. To start, individuals should ensure that they have a friend or family member available to provide transportation home afterward. The medications required for the procedure do have lingering effects, which can get in the way of operating a vehicle.
Secondly, it is highly recommended to take a few days off from work or school in advance. This will allow the individual to heal and to wean off of the medications. In addition to resting and taking it easy, it is best to prepare food ahead of time. Hard, tough and chewy foods should not be consumed right after the procedure, resulting in a need to have soft or liquid items on hand.
Aside from preparing at home, individuals should consult with the dentist beforehand. Questions or concerns can be appropriately addressed to help ease nerves or fears, thus resulting in little to no dental anxiety.
How implant supported dentures compare to traditional dentures
In comparison to traditional dentures, those that are supported by dental implants tend to make quite a difference, especially as it relates to cosmetic dentistry. Most individuals who visit a cosmetic dentist do so because they are unhappy with the appearance of their smile. Thankfully, cosmetic dentistry focuses on both form and function, which is why implant supported dentures come so highly recommended.
Unlike traditional dentures, implant supported ones rely on another prosthetic to keep them in place. These prosthetics are small titanium dental implants that get embedded beneath the bone, under the gums. Once fused with the bone, the dental implants become quite secure in the jaw, resulting in dentures that stay in place, with little friction when eating, smiling or speaking.
Implant supported dentures do not typically slide around, become loose or even fall out, as they are supported by four to six dental implants. This security makes for a more natural-looking smile, while also ensuring that eating and speaking can be done properly.
After implant supported dentures have been applied, there is a period of adjustment. While this period does not take nearly as long as with traditional dentures, there will still be a time where individuals have to learn to eat, speak and smile with fake teeth.
For the healing process and aftercare tips, dentists recommend rest and little to no physical activity for a few days. The implant placement procedure can take a toll on the body, as it does require anesthesia and pain medications. It is also advised to eat soft foods, make use of ice and practice good oral hygiene to avoid infection. Follow-up appointments are advised and should never be skipped.
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