Dental Implant dentistry is not a one-size-fits-all kind of a practice. In fact, we customize for each person who comes into our PermaDontics center. Each patient has different dental issues and we have several treatment options to them.
If a patient has several missing teeth or may soon be losing many teeth the best option is to replace the missing teeth with a permanent bridge attached to several dental implants.
A fixed set of teeth is attached to 5 or 6 dental implants. This feels and functions like your own teeth. These teeth are permanently attached, there is no movement of the teeth as they are rigidly attached to your dental implants. This treatment option is a treatment of choice for most of our patients. These patients feel whole again after losing their teeth.
This option comes with a Lifetime Guarantee and is highly recommended by us at the PermaDontics Center. These teeth need very little maintenance as they do not move. In terms of maintenance, we recommend you have these teeth cleaned at least twice a year as you would your own teeth.
A second option we offer involves inserting 3 dental implants to support an over-denture.
An over-denture is essentially a denture that snaps onto the dental implants. We at the PermaDontics Center here in San Diego use attachments called “Locators” that connect the denture to the dental implants. These attachments eliminate the need for adhesives in most cases.
The dentures need to be removed for cleaning twice a day. These over-dentures are more stable than regular dentures but some minor movement does occur during function.
Therefore, it’s possible for food particles to get lodged under the dentures causing gum irritation and pain. Because these dentures move slightly and because they need to be removed twice a day, the attachments do get loose in time and need to be replaced every 12 to 18 months. The dentures also need to be re-lined and refitted every 2 to 4 years. This option requires new dentures to be made every 6-7 years.
The 3rd option involves inserting enough dental implants to support fixed crowns and bridges which are fabricated in 3 or 4 different sections to replace all the missing teeth in one jaw. In order to accomplish this, the patients will usually require sinus lifting and bone grafts to allow us to insert at least 8 dental implants in the upper jaw and 8 in the lower jaw.
In the lower jaw it may be necessary to reposition the nerve to allow us to insert enough dental implants in the back part of the lower mouth. This particular treatment is substantially more expensive than the fixed 4 on 5 procedure as noted earlier. It also involves a more complex surgical dental implant procedure for the sinus lifting and bone grafting as well as the nerve repositioning.
We recommend this treatment for younger patients between the ages of 25 and 45 who come to us with more bone available for the insertion of at least 8 ental implants.
Missing teeth can also be replaced with dentures only without the use of dental implants.
We do not recommend this option as patients find it difficult to eat and function with dentures. Dentures can float around in the mouth and this movement can cause gum irritation and pain. Dentures do not have the same biting force as regular teeth. Patients with lower dentures, in particular, find it very difficult to function. Thirty percent (30%) of these patients do not wear the lower denture at all. An additional thirty percent (30%) have been shown to wear the denture only for chewing.
Whichever option you choose, make sure you are fully informed and choose what works best for you and your lifestyle.
If you’re missing teeth or have problems with your dentures please call PermaDontics for more information and to arrange for your complimentary consultation. You’ll be glad you did. Give us a call at 866-Resolve.