Monday, August 24, 2009
Denture Wearers Seek Better Options
Mrs. S. was a 65 year old female who had been wearing a denture for about 10 years. She lost a number of her teeth due to gum disease and decay at early age and was given a full dentures. She talked about a time when she first got the dentures: "big, clonky pieces of plastic which was really tough to get used to! It caused me to gag a lot and best I could eat was mash potato and puree apple. It never really fit well so I started getting sore spots all the time. My dentist tried to reline them a few times, but it would only remain comfortable for a short time. Over the next several years, I had to get more relines as the dentures seemed to have less hold on my jaw bone. Just slipping all the time. It was not till recently that I realized my jaw bone was gradually being lost due to the denture. I tried using denture glues, but did not really work well and I was spending a lot of money on them. The denture is so loose now that I can not keep it in even during normal talking. It's really embarrassing. I like to go out a lot and spend time with family and friends. And like to also eat. But just can't! It's just horrible......."
Stories like this are not uncommon. People are living longer and healthier lives and dentures are simply not compatible with an active and healthy life style. Aside from social aspects, denture wearers may have problem getting proper nutrition affecting their overall health.
These patients are seeking better options!
For Mrs. S., two dental implants were placed, a 30 minute procedure under IV sedation and allowed to heal for 6 weeks before a new overdenture was made. She has been using the new prosthesis for about a year now and is extremely pleased and happy with it. She has become more social again and is enjoying her favorite foods much more than before.
Dental implants have transformed dentistry and oral health in ways we could have never imagined and they are certainly transforming lives of many denture wearers who are suffering as Mrs. S. did. The solution is amazingly simple and predictable: Placement of 2 or 4 implants to support an overdenture.
The simplest design is placement of two implants, one one on each side. After a 6-8 week healing, special attachments are placed allowing the dentures to 'snap' on to them. The implants provide great support of an overdenture allowing the patient to eat and speak comfortably. It also prevents further bone loss. It can also be easily removed for cleaning. No more relines, No more glues, No more slipping and sliding!
The second option is placement of 4 implants, two on each side. This give improved stability of the overdenture and therefore allowing patients even more freedom in their choice of diet and overall function. This is the most common design for patients with full denture.
Implants have 98%+ success rate and have extremely low complications when properly done. Patients report minimal pain after the surgery and recovery is remarkably fast. Sometimes the denture can be placed on the same day as the implant surgery or in 6-8 weeks once healed.
Patients of any age can have dental implants successfully, even with osteoporosis. There is no reason to have to live with limitations that regular denture bring; There are better options to help many live a better and more happy and active life.
Dr. H. Ryan Kazemi