In the past, patients who had lost all of their teeth had few options other than conventional dentures. Those appliances came with disadvantages, including a fit that deteriorates over time and dietary limitations.
With the introduction of dental implants, however, these patients now have a more secure and stable option for replacing their missing teeth.
Dental implants, which are placed in the jaw by an oral surgeon, anchor the prosthetic denture into the jaw. The implants, which serve as artificial tooth roots, help to prevent jawbone erosion and make the denture more effective at chewing.
Dentures that are supported by dental implants feel much more natural to patients. They don’t require adhesives with an unpleasant taste, and they stay put. Furthermore, dental implants improve the fit of dentures over time. Because the jaw is not wearing away, its shape remains constant and the appliance retains its fit. Alternatively, conventional dentures require periodic re-fittings as the jaw’s contour evolves.
Although extensive bone loss often presents an obstacle to dental implant placement and long-term denture wearers may experience such bone loss, dental implants can still be feasible for edentulous patients through a procedure known as All-on-4.
With All-on-4 dental implants, the oral surgeon strategically places the dental implants in sites at the front of the jaw. These sites are more suitable for implant placement because the bone remains intact for a longer period of time here.
Those four implants are sufficient to support the denture. The outer two implants are angled underneath the gumline so that they can support more weight, including the back stretches of the denture.
The All-on-4 procedure takes just a few hours, as well, and many patients are able to leave the oral surgeon’s office with a fully restored smile on the day of the appointment.
Implant-supported dentures can be tremendously beneficial to edentulous patients, with their improved fit, comfort and function. If you have found standard dentures to be inconvenient and uncomfortable, consider upgrading with dental implants. Discuss your options with our oral surgery team today.