Tooth loss as you age is not uncommon, and at some point, you may be faced with the prospect of wearing full or partial dentures. You may be apprehensive thinking about the possibility, but dentures can give you back your beautiful smile and add shape to your mouth and cheeks. Better yet, you’ll be able to laugh, chew, and speak without the embarrassment and discomfort of gaps in your smile.
Removable partials are often a cost-effective treatment for replacing multiple missing teeth. The addition of an implant or implants placed strategically can enhance the partial’s stability, function and comfort. Dental implants are especially useful for supporting partials when there is no available back tooth to clasp the partial in place.
The design of a partial usually involves a major connector that supports clasps on both sides of the mouth to stabilize the partial. Generally, partials on the bottom teeth tend to move more, and dental implants are effective for preventing this movement.
We make dentures, and we make good ones, but they’re still dentures. Some people do very well with a full upper denture. This would be the case where there is good bone volume and support, the patient has good muscular control, and they possess adaptability.
However, a full lower denture, more often than not, is a failure. Muscular control becomes critical and often isn’t enough. The Standard of Care today is that two implants (with attachments) are recommended as a minimum for stabilization. Certainly, many people will have success at this level, and success is the name of the game. It’s good to know that we also have the option of transitioning to additional implants to bolster what’s not working well enough, restoring your ability to chew comfortably.
At Northport Family Dental, we commonly see a patient who’s doing well with their full upper denture but is suffering with problems with their full lower. Transitioning to a lower hybrid can make all the difference. We often refer to this particular type of restoration as a fixed-detachable. Outwardly, there are some similarities to a denture, most commonly an acrylic base material and teeth.
But the difference is that, when we fashion a hybrid denture, we fabricate a milled titanium bar, and secure it to the acrylic teeth and gum. The entire unit is then attached to supporting dental implants, but is removable by the dentist as needed.
Newer materials, such as Zirconia, are also being used for this type of restoration. Different situations call for different types of materials and our recommendation is usually based on what the lower denture is opposing.
When upgrading from a Full Upper Denture, it can also be replaced with an implant-supported Hybrid. It requires a minimum of six implants for support. Additional implants allow for more advanced restorative options. We can discuss in detail the many options available to you.
There are many advantages to using a fixed-detachable denture. We’re no longer concerned with adhesive or trying to improve a prosthetic that wobbles and doesn’t stay seated. The stability and fit of the hybrid eliminates the problem of foods like seeds getting caught underneath; causing discomfort while trying to eat, like a pebble in your shoe. A very big improvement!
Aside from enhanced stability and chewing efficiency, one of the advantages of an upper hybrid is that it doesn’t cover your entire palate. This frees up the taste buds in the area of the soft palate, restoring much of your ability to taste the foods you love.
If you would like more information about our dentures solutions, please call our Northport Family Dental office to arrange a convenient consultation. Dr. Rubin or Dr. Quinn will be happy to sit down with you to discuss dentures as well as our other tooth replacement options.