According to the CDC, 1 in 6 adults aged 65 or older had lost all teeth between 2011 and 2016.
Severe tooth loss limits your ability to eat and affects your self-confidence. Denture implants are a long-term solution to missing teeth. They provide a natural replacement that looks and feels like a set of regular teeth.
Denture implants can also improve your chewing muscles and prevent your surrounding teeth from shifting.
Getting dentures requires considering your denture implant options and deciding whether it is the right treatment for you.
Continue reading for seven factors you need to consider before getting denture implants.
1. Good Candidate
Implant-supported dentures are excellent options for individuals seeking treatment to improve their ability to chew and smile. Before you decide, you need to find out whether you are a good candidate or not.
Consult with your dentist as soon as you experience tooth loss. They can conduct an oral examination and decide the appropriate course of action.
Denture implants may benefit people who:
- Have missing or severely damaged teeth
- Looking for more comfortable alternatives to dentures
- Want to improve speech
- Want to restore chewing function
- Want to boost their self-confidence
There is no age limit for implants; it generally depends on various other factors. In most cases, the right candidate will have:
- Sufficient jawbone density
- Healthy gums
- Good overall health
Individuals who are not suited to implants may have poor oral health, a history of smoking, or a health condition that affects bone healing. In some cases, the jaw is not large enough to support an implant.
2. Pick the Right Option
Denture implants are a good option for individuals who have never had dentures before or those looking to upgrade from traditional dentures. Implant dentures come in various options and depend on the type of treatment you require. Here are some of the options for implant dentures.
Four Implant Overdenture With Supporting Bar
This implant involves four implants and the attachment of a customized supporting bar. The bar remains fixed to the dental implants to support the overdenture. It can be used in both the upper and lower jaws.
Lower Two Implant Overdenture
The two-implant overdenture is a popular option to improve the lower denture's retention, stability, and function. This is the minimum definitive treatment advocated for patients who are missing their lower dentition.
Upper Four Implant Denture
The four-implant denture supports the upper jaw and retains the upper overdenture prosthesis. Metal reinforcement is key to the strength of the prosthesis, as biting force and muscle activity increase with implant support.
Upper Four Implant Overdenture With Bar
The upper four implant overdenture with bar is a less common technique used only in compromised situations. It entails the installation of four implants and the attachment of a custom bar.
Fixed Complete Denture
A complete fixed denture is a full set of teeth affixed to the jaw using multiple implants, usually between four and six. It is a custom fit to sit securely in place to increase retention, stability, and comfort. While this type of prosthesis works best on the lower jaw, it can also be utilized on the upper.
3. Bone Quality
Your bone acts as the foundation of your denture implants. Without good bone quality, the implants have nothing to latch onto. Once you lose a tooth, your jaw bone starts to shrink.
Over time, your bone will shrink more, and eventually, your jaw bone will collapse. Your dentist will take an x-ray to assess the condition of your jaw before deciding on the right treatment for you.
At this point, they may suggest getting a bone graft. Bone grafting is a surgical procedure that uses the transplanted bone to repair and rebuild damaged bones. A bone graft procedure will typically add up to 6 months of healing time to implant treatment.
However, in some cases, a bone graft is the only option for restoring the jaw bone and becoming a good candidate for dental implants.
4. Consider the Costs
Denture implant costs vary and can only be determined after an initial consultation. But there's no beating around the bush; denture implants can be expensive. The good news is that many dental practices have your best interests (and your wallet) at heart.
They can fit costs into your budget, and payments can be spread over low monthly payments. Most dental practices will also maximize your insurance benefits to minimize out-of-pocket costs.
At Meng Dentistry, we also offer cash discounts for payments made in full. Plus, we have flexible financing options to suit your budget.
Knowing your payment options can make the decision to get denture implants easier.
5. Learn the Procedure
Getting denture implants can be long and complex, but it is worth the wait. To ease anxiety and uncertainty, it's important to understand what will happen during your treatment sessions.
Depending on your treatment, your procedure may consist of your dentures getting attached to two or four implants on either the upper or lower jaw. Each implant is secured via a small incision. After the implants are placed, the gum and bone will take up to six months to grow in and around the implant.
Once the gums have healed, a supporting bar is attached to the titanium implant. The gums are given two weeks to heal around the abutment.
In the final stage, custom-made dentures are secured to hardware attached to the implant. This is the most exciting phase of treatment, where patients can finally see the finished result.
It's also important to understand what to expect post-treatment. While regular dentures restrict what you can and can't do, denture implants act and feel much more like natural teeth.
Although your new teeth won't become damaged by decay, you are still at risk of gum disease and bad breath. Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing daily will ensure you maintain your oral health.
You'll notice that you can eat a wider variety of foods, speak clearer, and smile more effortlessly. Depending on the denture implant you have, you may need to remove it nightly for cleaning.
6. Know the Pros and Cons
Getting denture implants is one of the most popular ways to replace missing teeth. The procedure has many advantages, but it's important to get an unbiased overview to make an informed decision.
Some of the significant advantages of denture implants are:
- Retain jawbone density
- Closely resemble natural teeth
- Ease of placement
- Full smile replacement
- Enhanced chewing ability
- Easy to look after
- Eat what you want
The reasons why you might want to seek out alternative treatments are:
- Not suitable for everyone
- Multiple appointments
- Require surgery
- Risk of complications
- Higher cost
Deciding whether to get denture implants is a personal decision. Your dentist will provide you with treatment options to help you decide what's right for you.
7. Check Out the Dentist's Experience
Successful denture implant surgery requires advanced knowledge, skill, and thorough planning. This treatment requires a specialist dental surgeon rather than your general dentist.
Choose a dental surgeon who holds relevant university training and specializes in the surgical and restorative phases of implant dentistry. They should also have significant experience under their belt and a significant presence within the dentistry community.
Finding a dentist close to home is also important. Denture implants may require more than one treatment, so you will unlikely want to travel miles for your appointment.
It's also important that your dentist is upfront about the treatment costs. If a practice isn't upfront about the costs, they might not be acting in your best interests. Thankfully, these kinds of incidences are far and few between.
A good dentist cares about your oral health and goes the extra mile to provide a comfortable experience. This is especially important if you find going to the dentist nerve-wracking and anxiety-laden.
Benefits of Denture Implants
Implant-supported dentures boast many benefits. Here are the top five reasons why denture implants are a great alternative to traditional dentures:
- Preserves gum tissue and bone
- Function like natural teeth
- Screwed in and don't come out
- Sturdy and doesn't need adhesive
- Enhanced chewing ability
Candidates for implant-supported dentures often suffer from a lack of self-confidence and jaw discomfort associated with missing teeth.
Denture implants help increase confidence and self-esteem and address any stress on the jaw that limits mobility and quality of life.
Considering Denture Implants?
Are you looking to improve your ability to chew and smile?
Meng Dentistry provides denture implant services. Our denture implants will preserve gum tissue and bone and function more like natural teeth.
We make our own dental implants and can have all treatments done under one roof. What does this mean for you? It means lower costs and fewer doctors!
At Meng Dentistry, our oral care services are comprehensive. We do it all from initial treatment to surgery and final restoration.
Your oral hygiene is important to us. Let's work with you to bring back your smile.
Request an appointment to improve your oral health today!