Dentures are a removable replacement teeth option for people who want to smile again with confidence. Complete or conventional dentures are used when all natural teeth are gone. Partial dentures or dental bridges are used when there are several missing teeth, but a number of natural teeth remain.
Many people get dentures because they look and feel almost exactly like natural teeth. However, dentures have their downsides as well. They can slip and slide around in your mouth, making it difficult to eat and talk. They can also cause sore spots on your gums.
In recent years, modern technology has helped to develop implant-supported dentures – a newer option that’s becoming increasingly popular.
What Are Denture Implants?
Denture implants are a type of dental implant installed to replace missing teeth. They are fused to your jawbone and serve as artificial tooth roots. A denture implant is more stable than a removable denture, and it can be a permanent solution if handled with care. You may choose dental implants if you want to:
- Improve the fit of your dentures.
- Eat and talk with more confidence.
- Improve the overall look of your smile.
- Have your missing teeth replaced with permanently fixed false teeth.
- Achieve natural biting with your artificial teeth.
Preparation for the Process
Your dentist will examine you first to ensure that you’re a good candidate for dental implant procedures. Like other major processes for replacing a missing tooth, getting denture implants requires some preparation. Before you undergo implant surgery, you’ll need to go through several thorough evaluations.
Comprehensive Dental Exam
Your dentist will perform a comprehensive dental exam to check your overall oral health before moving forward with the dental implants. You may undergo dental x-rays and 3D imaging so your dentist can create implant models of your teeth and jaw.
Medical History Review
You might need a blood test or other tests to ensure you’re stable enough for the surgery. Inform your doctors about any medications you’re taking, as well as any allergies that you have.
After your evaluation, your team of specialists will develop a plan tailored to your needs. It will include the type and number of implants that are needed (usually two or four dental implants). The plan will also consider your remaining natural teeth and preserving them as much as possible.
There are stages in every implant surgery, and denture implants are no different. Here’s a brief overview of the process:
Damaged Tooth Removal
Your oral surgeon will remove any damaged or decaying teeth and those in the way of the implants. They will check the surrounding teeth, including the upper or lower teeth, to make sure they are in good health.
You may need a bone graft if you don’t have strong enough bone to support the implants. A bone graft is a common procedure to add bone to your jaw, either from another part of the body or synthetically made. If you need a bone graft, it will take several months to heal before the denture implants can be placed.
Dental Implant Placement
Next, it’s time to place the implants. The surgeon will make an incision in your gum and insert the implants into your jawbone.
Bone Growth and Healing
The healing process can take several weeks to months. During this time, the jawbone will grow around the implants and fuse with them.
Abutment and Artificial Tooth Placement
The abutment is a small connector piece used to attach the implant to your new teeth. The abutment, like tooth roots, will be placed on top of the implant, and your new teeth will be attached to it.
One option is to have implant-supported dentures, perfect if you are getting a full set of teeth. The second option is to have fixed dentures or dental bridges. This is usually chosen if you get implants to support one or more teeth, but not a full set.
Dentistry as Unique as Your Smile
General and Cosmetic Dentistry of Tampa provides exceptional dentistry in a wide range of services. We know how much dental dentures can mean to our patients. Whether you’re looking for a full set of teeth or just a few implants, we can help you achieve the smile you desire.
Our dentists are among the top in the country and we are experts in denture implants and traditional dentures. We are your Tampa dental specialists, offering you dental solutions to keep you smiling in the long term. Schedule a consultation with us today! You can reach us online, or call the Tampa office at 813-960-5869 or the South Tampa office at 813-874-5869.