Is it time for me to get full dentures?
The primary complaint of patients who wear full or complete dentures is that the fit changes over time. A complete upper denture relies on a combination of suction and muscle control to stay in place, and the complete lower denture stays in place with the help of gravity and the tongue. Even the perfect fit won’t last forever because of the jawbone deterioration that occurs in edentulous patients. The implant and prosthodontics specialists at Smart Smile Dentistry are passionate about helping every patient achieve a comfortable bite and full oral functioning, and that is why we offer implant-supported full arch replacement at our Gainesville, FL dental practice.
Full arch replacement
Have you been thinking lately of replacing all your teeth in one or both of your jaws? Are you having problems with most of the teeth in the jaw? Or have been told most of the teeth in a particular jaw cannot be restored? If that is the case then perhaps you should consult Dr. Paivi Samant for discussing various “full arch replacement” options of an entire jaw.
Why make a full arch replacement?
That is a primary question. Dr. Paivi Samant at Smart smile dentistry in Gainesville, FL, will always try to help you retain your natural teeth. But if you have already lost most of your teeth and are likely to lose the remaining ones, then it may become advisable to think of a full arch replacement, i.e., replacing all your teeth with a single artificial set of teeth.
Options for a full arch replacement at Smart Smile Dentistry
For a full arch replacement, there is more than one option. The traditional option is a full denture (upper or lower). The modern and superior option is the implant supported full bridge. We will give you a brief description of each in the following paragraphs.
Traditional complete dentures at Smart Smile Dentistry
- Construction -The traditional full denture has been quite popular till recent years when the implants became available. Artificial teeth are attached to a metal wire framework and the framework is embedded in an acrylic base so that the teeth only are visible above the base. The base is made such that it fits over the gums and is made in a color to match the gums. It adheres to the gums by suction or adhesives. In the case of the upper denture, it also extends under the palate and takes support from it as well. It is not permanently fixed but is removable and must be removed for cleaning and while sleeping.
- Advantages – The traditional denture has the following advantages.
- Expense – The traditional denture is not expensive.
- Quick acquisition – It takes very little time to make and use compared to implants.
- Easy manufacture – It is easily manufactured by a every dental lab according to measurements provided by almost any dentist.
- Disadvantages – However, the limitations of the traditional denture are many. Some are:
- Uncomfortable – One feels odd and uneasy when wearing dentures. It takes some time to get used to dentures.
- Irritation – Dentures may cause irritation to gums because of an imperfect fit, the presence of an unnatural cladding on the gums.
- Slippage – The dentures are not tightly held, and hence may slip or fall out. Sometimes they may cause clicking sounds during jaw movements.
- Embarrassments – Slipping out of the denture at the wrong moment may cause embarrassment in social and private situations.
- Bone loss – Empty tooth sockets, and irritation due to the denture may cause a phenomenon called bone resorption (eating away of surrounding bone).
- Face feature distortion – Loss of jaw bone around the tooth sockets can cause facial features to shrink around those regions.
- Need for relining – As the bone and gum flesh shrink under the denture the denture needs relining. This may happen quite frequently.
- Need for removal at night – The denture must be removed for cleaning, and at night and reinserted again. That is not convenient.
- Special storage – Dentures must be stored in special soaking solutions or in water when not in use. Else, they will shrink or distort and will not fit.
- Careful handling – Dentures must be handled very carefully. It they get dropped they may break or crack. Cracked or chipped dentures must not be worn.
With your teeth firmly in place, you can bite into tough foods and eat a varied diet.
Other options include implants supported prostheses. Before we proceed toward them, it is best that you learn what an implant is, and why implant supported prostheses have become so popular nowadays.
What is an implant?
The implant is a metallic post with threads along part of its length. The post is screwed into the jaw bone. Over a few months, the implant becomes a permanent part of the jaw bone because of a process called osseo-integration. This makes a fundamental difference from the denture which are removable, and can slip. The metal used in the implants is a titanium metal alloyed with certain trace metals to modify mechanical properties.
Osseo-integration and biocompatibility
Very few non-living materials are accepted by the human body. These materials are termed as biocompatible. Titanium is one of the biocompatible materials. Osseo-integration is a process which makes implants especially successful. When the titanium implant remains in contact with living bone cells for a few months, bone cells start growing into the surface of the metallic structure. This makes the implant a very strong but natural part of the body. The implant is now like a natural tooth root and may be even stronger. The only condition is that there is sufficient bone structure with strength enough to support the implant against all the chewing forces.
Implants supported bridges at Smart Smile Dentistry
When all teeth are supported on implants that structure is called a fixed full bridge. Implant supported full bridge is now very popular instead of the traditional removable dentures. Many patients are getting implant supported bridges at Smart Smile dentistry, Gainesville FL. The implant bridge has multiple advantages which outweigh its higher cost. It is useful for you to know some details about what implants are so that you can appreciate why implant bridges have these multiple advantages.
How do you get an implant bridge?
The implant is a lifetime solution. Hence, the installation process is high-tech and complicated. The standard implant procedure takes three to six months. The following steps are involved.
- Consultation and examination – When you visit Smart Smile Dentistry in Gainesville, FL, the process starts with a detailed examination. The examination will include general health visual and x-ray examinations. 3-D soft images are obtained and bone quality and volume assessed. The examination will determine whether the bone can support the bridge. If not, bone grafting may be required. Similarly, gum flesh may also have to be grafted. The number of implants required and their positions and angulations are also determined. Final decisions may be determined by budgetary constraints of the patient.
- Tooth extraction – Any existing teeth are removed, and the gums allowed to heal.
- Grafting of bone and gum tissue – This step is done only if necessary, and followed by a few months to allow the graft to take hold.
- Placing of implants – Once sufficient bone has grown, the implants are placed at the predetermined positions and angulations. Abutments are attached and the patient sent home to allow for osseo-integration. This can take three to six months. In the meantime, the denture bridge is prepared with 14 teeth per denture.
- Placing the bridge – Once osseo-integration is complete, the implants are loaded with the bridge.
All-on-four implant supported dentures at Smart Smile Dentistry
Implants can be costly. Luckily, you do not need one implant per tooth. It is possible to strategically position four implants per jaw to support a complete denture. This is known as as all-on-four bridge. In some cases, six or even eight implants may also be needed. All-on-four, six and eight prostheses have become very popular recently as a means of reliably restoring missing natural teeth in a single jaw.
My dentures slip or fall, what can I do?
To alleviate the embarrassment and frustration of your upper or lower denture slipping out of place, we can secure your prosthesis to your mouth, usually with four or more implants that are spread out along the arch. There are several types of dental implants and attachments used to anchor complete dentures in the jaw, and some of them allow you to remove the denture for cleaning and snap it back into place.
In addition to allowing you to smile and speak without the need to concentrate on preventing denture slippage, a full arch replacement supported by implants allows you to take pleasure in eating again.
Moreover, an upper implant denture only covers the alveolar ridge rather than the full palate. This gives you the chance to fully taste and feel the foods you are eating for a richer sensory experience.
Contact implant dentistry in Gainesville, FL
If you happened to be searching for “dentist near me” and you live in or around Gainesville, Florida, you should simply call Dr Paivi Samant at Smart Smile Dentistry. We can help you determine if Complete Dentures are the right choice for your unique dental needs. Dr. Samant is well-known among the residents of Florida for her exception dental skills and her caring attitude towards her patients.
Smart Smile Dentistry | 4404 NW 36 Ave | Gainesville, FL 32606 | (352) 376-5120