There are several dental solutions to multiple missing or damaged teeth, and the use of implant supported dentures is one option that could be helpful for many people who suffer from these issues. Unlike full or partial dentures that are bonded to the gums with paste, these dentures snap into fixtures that are set directly into the jawbone. While these dental implants have a high success rate according to the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, there are several factors to consider to determine whether a patient is a viable candidate.
How do these dentures work?
Implant supported dentures require several dental surgeries because of how the fixtures are set into the jawbone. Dentists typically use either bar or ball styles, depending on the condition of the jawbone, to attach the dentures and give them a firmer fit than traditional dentures. The implants are typically placed in the lower jaw but can be used in either the upper or lower jaw, depending on the patient’s needs. Before implantation begins, dental surgeons will likely review patient records and oral health, as well as a few other details.
Factors that may affect patient viability
Dentists who perform implant surgery, such as a periodontist, may consider a variety of factors before deciding which patients are good candidates for the procedure. While each case is different, surgeons may take several points into consideration:
- The overall condition of a patient’s teeth
- Health issues like heart disease or diabetes
- Condition of the jawbone
- The presence of severe infection due to damaged or neglected teeth
Dentists will likely pull any decaying or infected teeth to make room for the implants and prescribe antibiotics to clear up the infection before the implantation surgery can begin.
Patients who already wear dentures may want to graduate to fixtures that are supported by implants to improve stability and no longer have to use messy pastes and other bonding products. However, before this can happen, dentists typically need to perform a complete oral exam to study the density of the jawbone. This can be accomplished with X-rays, which can reveal the condition of the areas in the jaw where the implants will be placed. Overall density can be vital when it comes to gauging patient candidacy, as the implants require stable bone to last for the life of each patient.
The condition of the gums can affect patient viability, as gingivitis or other types of gum problems may affect the implantation of these dentures. For example, if the gums are inflamed and prone to bleeding, the implantation surgery may exacerbate those issues. Some patients may have to have gum problems rectified before being considered for implanted dentures. Receding gums may also be problematic, but dentists will likely consider the severity of this occurrence before deciding whether a patient is an acceptable candidate.
Implant supported dentures can improve oral health and create a beautiful smile that can last a lifetime. Many different factors can affect patient viability, and consulting with a dentist for an initial consultation can help you understand if you qualify.
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