Implant Solutions for the Edentulous
Implant Supported Dentures
We frequently use implants to stabilise dentures.
Full dentures are not ideal. They are bulky, intrusive, decrease functionality and decrease the sense of taste and enjoyment of food and can decrease self esteem.
That said, with time, people do tend to get use to a full upper denture. With adequate ridge height, a suction seal can be achieved with the top denture which allows for some stability.
The same cannot be said for a lower full denture. Due to the movement of the tongue a seal cannot be maintained and the denture tends to float. Patients often report a high level of dissatisfaction with this, with associated decrease in nutrition and quality of life.
One of the most common implant procedures performed at our clinic is the placement of two implants in the lower jaw to allow fixation of the lower denture to the lower jaw.
We feel out of all the treatments that we do at Contemporary Smiles, this can have the most transformative affect on our patients lives. By the completion of the treatment, people can go from not wearing a denture at all and soft diet to the ability to bite an apple with total comfort.
We work closely with our local prosthetist, Mark Aitken at the Illawarra Denture Clinic, who does an excellent job of fabricating the final dentures for all our patients.
Although, the dentures now fit comfortably, it is critical that they are not left in overnight and that adequate hygiene is maintained so that they may survive into the future. It is important to see our therapist for regular 6 monthly cleans post placement of the implants!
Implant Supported Fixed Bridges
Implants can also be used to fix a bridge in permanently.
This is an established alternative for those with a failing dentition who are moving towards edentulism but do not wish to have denture.
The process generally involves the removal of the remaining teeth, with the placement of 4 to 6 implants. An immediate temporary acrylic bridge is fixated to the implants provided they are solid in the bone.
After a period of fix months, a final fixed prosthesis is placed on the implants.
The benefits of this form of treatment over conventional dentures are that
- There are fixed in the mouth allowing for greater functionality
- They are less bulky, feel like real teeth and do not move allowing for much greater comfort
- Patients greater levels of satisfaction and self esteem.
An important point to note is that although there may be no teeth left, maintenance and control of periodontal disease is critical around these prosthesis. If teeth are lost to uncontrolled periodontal disease and the factors that led to this outcome are not overcome, there is a greater likelihood that the implants could also become damaged by the same process. Please see section on periodontal disease.