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Your Total Guide to Transitioning from Dentures to Dental Implants 2022

If you have multiple missing teeth in a row, you can choose to replace them with dentures or dental implants. Dental implants are long-lasting and comfortable, but you might notice your dentures becoming more challenging to use after a few years. Read below to learn everything you need to know about transitioning from dentures to dental implants. 

Why Transition from Dentures to Dental Implants? Your Total 2022 Guide

Transitioning from dentures to dental implants significantly impacts your quality of life and restores your natural oral functions. Dental implants are a permanent tooth replacement solution, whereas dentures need to be replaced about every 5 to 7 years.

Dentures Vs. Dental Implants

The most significant difference between the two is that dental implants replace the entirety of the tooth, whereas dentures only replace the top, visible portion of the tooth. Dental implants replace the roots of missing teeth and enable a restriction-free diet.

With dental implants, you no longer deal with:

  • Restricted diet
  • Gum sensitivity
  • Embarrassing slippage
  • Messy glues
  • Tedious cleaning

A dental implant is a small titanium screw that goes into your jawbone to replace the missing roots that anchor your visible tooth to the jawbone. When your jawbone lacks stimulation from the roots of a tooth, the bone begins to resorb/atrophy or shrink. In one year, the jawbone will lose 25-50% of its volume in the area where a tooth was lost. Dentures replace the tooth above the gum line, not the roots, so the jawbone continues to resorb, whereas dental implants replace the roots and halt jawbone resorption.

Missing All Upper or Lower Teeth? Consider Dental Implants !

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What is Involved in the Transition from Dentures to Dental Implants?

Transitioning from dentures to dental implants involves several procedures over 4 to 10 months. The process begins with a consultation to determine if you are a good candidate. Your Oral and Maxillo-Facial Surgeon will take X-ray or CT scans during your consultation to evaluate your jawbone mass.

Bone Grafting

Bone grafting involves surgery replace or to add enough jawbone mass to support dental implants. Following a bone grafting procedure, the supplemental bone grafts will fuse with your jawbone, which takes three to six months. The longer you have had missing teeth or been using dentures, the more likely you will need bone grafts before receiving dental implants.

Dental Implant Placement

An Oral Maxillo-Facial Surgeon can sometimes circumvent bone grafts (in very atrophic cases) using longer (Zygomatic) dental implants if you need implants in your upper jawbone. Zygomatic implants are longer than traditional dental implants to reach the zygomatic (cheek) bone above your upper jaw. In some cases, bone grafting and implant placements can occur during the same procedure.

If you are transitioning from a lower denture or complete set of dentures to dental implants, traditional dental implants must anchor into the lower jawbone. Once you have sufficient bone mass to support the implants, you will schedule an implant placement procedure.

If you are transitioning from dentures to dental implants, you are probably a good candidate for implant-supported dentures. Implant-supported dentures are similar to traditional dentures in that they replace a row of teeth with a single dental prosthesis. However, unlike conventional dentures, implant-supported dentures are anchored to your jawbone with four to six dental implants, eliminating embarrassing slippage and dietary restrictions.

Osseointegration

Once your implants have been placed, your jawbone will fuse with the titanium implants; a process called osseointegration. Osseointegration takes three to six months for most patients. During osseointegration, you will adhere to a soft diet to avoid disrupting the healing process. Your Oral Maxillo-Facial Surgeon will monitor the process of osseointegration to ensure the implants and jawbone are healing correctly. Also, your final prosthesis will be designed and fabricated during this period.

Final Prosthetic Placement

When the process of osseointegration is complete, you can schedule an appointment to receive your final dental prosthesis. Once your implant-supported dentures are placed, you can return to a restriction-free diet. The difference is life-changing for those transitioning from traditional dentures since implant-supported dentures look, feel, and function like natural teeth.

How to Care for Your Implant-Supported Dentures

Dental implants and implant-supported dentures require the same care and maintenance as your natural teeth. If you are transitioning from dentures, it may have been a while since you practiced standard oral hygiene. Treat your implants like natural teeth that need twice daily brushing and once daily flossing.

Your implant teeth will not decay like natural teeth, but bacteria and plaque can still negatively impact your gums and breath. Pay special attention to flossing between where your dental crown or prosthetic meets the gum line. Call our office to schedule a consultation to learn more about transitioning from dentures to dental implants and restoring your quality of life and comfort.

 

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