Traditionally, patients who were missing most or all of their teeth could only replace them using conventional full or partial dentures. Unfortunately, traditional dentures can shift, slip, or wobble during routine activities, such as chewing or speaking. Alternatively, implant-supported dentures, available at our Orlando, FL, dental practice, are affixed directly to your jawbone using tiny metal posts. This provides unparalleled stability and unlike traditional dentures, preserves a dense and healthy jawbone. Dr. Alfredo Gapuz is highly trained in implant dentistry and can complete all stages of your treatment in one location.
Benefits of Implant-Supported Dentures
Compared to their traditional counterparts, implant-supported dentures offer a host of benefits. For example, implant-based restorations provide:
- Increased stability: Traditional dentures tend to shift or slip over time, resulting in embarrassing situations. Because implant-supported dentures are supported by titanium posts in the jaw, patients who choose this option can enjoy unparalleled stability.
- Longevity and durability: Conventional dentures must be replaced every ten years or so, even with regular maintenance. Dental implants, on the other hand, can last a lifetime with appropriate care and maintenance.
- Jawbone preservation: Following tooth loss, bone degradation is a natural process. As a result, the underlying bone continues to change over the years, resulting in an ill-fitting denture. Conversely, dental implants mimic the micromovements of natural teeth roots. This keeps the jawbone strong and healthy, preventing bone atrophy.
- Prevention of TMJ disorder: As changes occur in the supporting jawbone, traditional dentures can become wobbly. This changes the way the teeth fit together, which can ultimately lead to orofacial pain and issues with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Because implant-supported dentures preserve the natural bone structure, the bite remains consistent and supports proper jaw function.
- Natural-looking results: Because implant-supported dentures are attached directly to the jawbone, they become a part of you, resulting in a lifelike appearance. Patients who choose this treatment can enjoy natural-looking aesthetics and an improved quality of life.
Am I a Good Candidate?
Anyone considering an implant-supported restoration must be in good oral and overall health. For instance, candidates should not have any serious medical condition which could hinder the results of treatment. In addition, they should be free from gum disease and tooth decay. If these problems are a concern, restorative treatments will be recommended first.
Implant-supported dentures are supported by titanium posts placed in the jaw, so patients who choose this option can enjoy unparalleled stability.
Qualifying patients must also have sufficient bone tissue to support the implant posts. In order for dental implants to be reliable over the long-term, they must be placed into healthy, dense bone tissue. To assess jawbone health, Dr. Gapuz will utilize x-rays and 3-D imaging.
If individuals do not meet the necessary requirements, preparatory procedures can often be performed to improve their eligibility for implants. Some of the most common prerequisite procedures include:
- Periodontal care: If gum disease is present, Dr. Gapuz may recommend a dental cleaning, also known as scaling and root planing. This procedure reaches under the gumline, sweeping away plaque and bacteria.
- Bone grafting: If bone loss is present, patients can undergo a bone grafting procedure to increase volume and density in the area. Bone grafting can add up to nine months of healing time to the treatment timeline.
- Sinus lifts: When the upper molars have been missing for some time, the maxillary sinuses can drop down and occupy the space once inhabited by teeth roots. Implants cannot be placed in this condition, as they would penetrate the sinus membrane. A sinus lift procedure can be performed to raise the membrane to its proper position, therefore making it possible for implants to be placed.
How Implant-Supported Dentures Are Placed
Patients who undergo implant treatment at our practice can choose oral conscious sedation or NuCalm™ sedation to ensure their comfort.
To begin the procedure, Dr. Gapuz will make small incisions in the gums to access the underlying jawbone. After preparing the bone, the dental implants will be strategically placed. In most cases, the implant posts will need to heal for four to six months before the final restoration can be attached. During this time, you will typically be provided with a temporary restoration and the natural bone tissue will integrate with the implants, providing a solid foundation for your denture.
Once the implants have healed, Dr. Gapuz will attach your final restoration. The result is a beautiful smile with a prosthesis that will not wobble, shift, or slip.
Choose the Gold Standard in Tooth Replacement
Dr. Gapuz has been providing top-tier dental care for over 30 years and is well-equipped to address any oral health needs you may have. Dental implants are not typically covered by insurance, so we accept CareCredit® and Wells Fargo Health Advantage® financing options to help you invest in this advanced treatment option. To learn more about whether implant-supported dentures are right for you, schedule a consultation at our practice. Contact us online or call us at (407) 545-4087.