Permanent Dentures

Patients that need to replace a full arch of teeth may think that a traditional denture is their only option. Fortunately, there is a better way with a stabilized denture. A stabilized denture as a dental prosthesis that is permanently fixed in place giving the patients a more stable restoration. A traditional denture uses adhesion, suction, and retention to stay in place but a permanent denture is held in place with dental implants. Depending on the patient's bone mass, 4 to 8 implants are placed on each arch to support a full denture.

Why should I get a permanent denture?

While a traditional denture is a good option for those who cannot endure implant placement surgery, an implant-supported denture has a number of benefits. For one, a permanent denture is significantly more comfortable than a traditional denture. Over time, bone loss can lead to an ill-fitting denture that is uncomfortable and irritating to the gum tissue or even causing sores. Some patients may even choose to stop wearing their denture altogether, missing out on socializing and even some of their favorite foods. An implant-supported denture is stable and will not slip around so patients have a better quality of life!

That leads us to bone health. Our tooth roots help support bone structure by stimulating bone regeneration, without which the bone will begin to deteriorate. Dental implants are essentially artificial tooth roots and work in the same way to stimulate bone growth. When a patient wears a traditional denture or a dental bridge for a number of years, the bone lacks the stimulation it needs in order to regenerate and stay healthy. This alone gives permanent dentures a leg up in supporting overall health.

Finally, the aesthetics and longevity of a permanent denture far outshine those of any other dental prosthesis. Yes, permanent dentures are much more expensive than other options but because they are so stable and durable, they rarely need to be replaced. Because other traditional restorations contribute to bone deterioration, they have to be replaced every 10 years or so. Dental implants are a permanent solution, as long as they are well maintained, so the only part of an implant-supported denture that may need to be repaired or replaced is the denture itself. Hopefully your implant placement surgery is a one time expense so a permanent denture could be more cost effective in the end.

How are permanent dentures placed?

Before any treatment is started, your Dentist will send you to either an Oral Surgeon or a Periodontist for an evaluation to make sure that you are a candidate for dental implants. The doctor will take a number of things into consideration during your evaluation including your medical history, what medications you are currently taking, and your lifestyle habits. Your jaw bone and gum tissue will be assessed to ensure that they are sufficient and healthy enough to support implants.

If it is determined that you are a candidate for dental implants and a permanent denture, the implant doctor will schedule you for implant surgery as well as any extractions that need to be done. Sometimes, implants can be placed immediately following extraction surgery.

In the event that there is not enough bone structure to support an implant, a bone graft may need to be performed and allowed to heal before the implant can be placed. A bone graft is performed by making an incision in the area being treated and implanting a piece of bone either from another area of your mouth or from even your hip or a cadaver donor that is harvested and sutured into place.

When it is time to place your implant, the surgery is performed under local anesthesia, administered via injection to the areas being treated. A small incision is then made in the gum tissue at the site for the implant, giving your doctor clear access to the jaw bone. Then, they will drill a hole in the bone and insert the implant. The gum tissue is stitched up around the implant, with a small portion protruding through the tissue, which is the part the abutment attaches to. A healing cap is placed over the implants to protect them while you heal.

Implants are left to heal and integrate for up to 6 months, during which you will wear a temporary denture. The temp will help you become accustomed to your new smile and bite before your permanent dentures is placed.

It is normal to experience mild discomfort for a few days after implant surgery but it should subside in a week or two. You may also notice slight bruising and swelling of your face and gum tissue and even minor bleeding or soreness at the implant sites. These are all common side effects of implant surgery and should subside within a few days. Any symptoms that persist or do not improve after a few days should be addressed by your doctor as soon as possible to make sure that you are not developing an infection, which could lead to implant failure.

Who is a candidate for a permanent denture?

Not everyone is a candidate for dental implants but for those patients who are otherwise healthy and are able to endure the time treatment the process takes, an implant-supported denture might be a great choice. Patients with pre-existing conditions such as uncontrolled diabetes or osteoporosis may need to consider other options but that does not necessarily mean that these patients cannot have dental implants. Before you begin any treatment, it is important to discuss your goals and any questions you may have with all of your doctors to make sure that you proceed with the treatment that will best serve you and your lifestyle.

Replacing Bone For Dental Implants