Following advanced tooth loss, patients can experience any number of oral and overall health issues. Traditional tooth replacement solutions allow patients to repair the look and feel of their smiles, but they do not restore the root structures of teeth that provide support and stability for dental restorations. Dental implants replace the missing root structures, creating a more natural looking, feeling, and functioning smile. This is especially important for those patients who have lost numerous teeth or a full row of teeth. By replacing the root structures of these teeth, patients are able to prevent further tooth loss, retain facial shape, and restore healthy dental function. If you're in need of advanced tooth replacement, we invite you to contact Rigdon Dental & Associates to schedule a dental implant consultation appointment in our Tulsa dentistry office.
Traditional dentures are prosthetic used to replace multiple missing teeth. They are made using a gum-colored base materials to support replacement teeth. Traditional dentures are removable prosthetics that rely on healthy oral structures for support. Partials fill in the gaps between remaining teeth and are held in place using metal clasps attached to these healthy teeth. Full dentures don't have any remaining teeth to provide support. Instead, the denture base is molded to fit snuggly against the gum tissue and jaw line. This creates suction that holds the denture in place. Without the replacement of the root structure, these tooth replacement prosthetics can only restore partial tooth function, which can make it difficult to eat a variety of foods and smile with confidence.
Implant-retained dentures are crafted much like traditional dental prosthetics. Rather than relying on surrounding tissues for support, implant-retained partial and full dentures are fixed to three to six dental implant posts. In most cases, you will not be able to remove your implant retained denture on your own. They will need to be removed by a dental professional. Once in place, these implant-retained dentures will look, feel, and function just like your healthy smile.
Compared with other tooth replacement options, implant supported dentures offer a wide range of benefits, including:
- Improved stability - anchored in place by dental implant posts, your denture will create natural function. Patients with traditional, removable dentures only experience about 20% renewed chewing range. Those who choose implant-retained dentures experience 70% or more renewal of tooth function.
- Longevity - traditional dentures need to be replaced every five to ten years. Implant supported dentures can last twenty years or longer with proper care.
- Maintain optimal oral health - the implant posts provide the stimulation necessary to maintain soft tissue volume and jawbone density. This means patients retain a healthy, youthful facial shape.
Once your dental implant supported partial or full denture is firmly in place, you want to keep it there as long as possible. With proper care you should be able to retain your implant denture for two decades or longer. Some patients are able to keep the same implant denture for the rest of their lives. Proper care for your implant supported dentures includes the following steps:
- Brush teeth at least two times every day using a soft toothbrush or denture brush
- Use water flossers or specialized flossing tools to remove plaque buildup around the edges of the denture
- Antimicrobial mouth rinse can reduce the numbers of plaque-producing oral bacteria and reduce risk for oral health complications
- Visit our team at least two times each year for dental exams where we will carefully examine the fit and function of your implant denture