Got missing teeth? According to the American College of Prosthodontists, about 120 million Americans have at least one missing tooth and 36 million Americans have no teeth. For individuals who are missing multiple teeth or for those who have many teeth that are significantly damaged or decayed, dentures are often recommended.
In fact, about 90% of people with edentulism, or the condition of being toothless, use dentures as a restoration method. Edentulism can occur in one of two forms: partial or complete. Both partial and complete edentulism can be managed with the use of partial or full dentures.
At Fox Valley Dental, we recommend the use of implant-supported dentures because they are strong, durable, and provide better results that traditional dentures. While traditional dentures can slip and affect speech, implant supported dentures stay in place and restore the ability to eat and speak properly.
Additionally, the dental implants used stimulate the bone and prevent bone reabsorption from occurring. With traditional dentures, the jawbone will change shape over time as the bone is reabsorbed in the body. This is because the lack of teeth means that the jawbone is not being stimulated, and so the bone density in the affected area will decrease over time.
Implant supported dentures are composed of four dental implants and a customized acrylic based denture piece that attaches to the implants. Because they use four dental implants, they are also commonly referred to as all-on-four or all-on-4 dental implants.
There are two different types of implant retained, or all-on-four, dentures: bar-retained and ball-retained. Bar-retained dentures use a thin metal bar between the implants and the dentures to hold them together. This bar sits along the gum line and spans across two to five of the implants. Ball-retained dentures use special ball-shaped attachments on the tops of the implants to fit into attachments on the dentures.
Candidates for implant supported dentures are individuals who have missing teeth or teeth that are significantly damaged or decayed beyond other restoration methods. You will also need to have adequate bone mass to support a dental implant or be willing to undergo a bone graft to build up a lack of bone mass.
Because adequate bone mass is needed, it is recommended to get implant supported dentures within a year of losing your teeth. Within the first year after tooth loss, about 25% of the bone is lost. The more time passes, the more bone material will be lost. While bone grafts can help, avoiding bone loss entirely is the best option.
To determine if you are an ideal candidate for implant supported dentures, you will need to schedule a consultation with Dr. Dokhanchi. During your consultation, he will examine your teeth, gums, and bite to determine if implant supported dentures are the best restoration option for you. He will also take dental x-rays to examine the underlying bone structure to determine if you have adequate bone mass to support the implants. Once he has evaluated your mouth and your x-rays, he will present you with a customized treatment plan.
Want to find out if you are an ideal candidate for implant supported dentures? Schedule a consultation with Dr. Dokhanchi of Fox Valley Dental today!