Do you wear full upper and lower dentures?
If the answer is yes, then chances are you already know how loose dentures can cause pain and discomfort while eating, make chewing difficult and reducing your self-confidence and quality of life.
It is important to note that once your natural teeth have been extracted, the absence of jawbone stimulation from the tooth roots will cause your gums to shrink. This bone resorption will continue throughout your lifetime, making it more difficult to wear dentures as you get older.
The way nature has shaped our upper ridges, most people experience some ‘suction’ that helps to hold them in place. But lower dentures? Now that is a different story.
Experience shows us that although there are some exceptions, lower ridges will almost always shrink more than upper ridges over the course of your lifetime. This is why many people experience difficulty with lower dentures. The shape of the lower jawbone is also much different than the upper, making suction extremely rare, if not impossible. The more your gums shrink, the more difficult it will be to wear dentures comfortably. Even the best quality denture will only perform as well as the ridge it is supported by.
Would you be interested to know that there is a permanent solution to these problems? The solution is dental implants, and they can CHANGE YOUR LIFE.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a small screw made out of a special metal called titanium, which is readily accepted by the body. It is like an artificial tooth root which is placed in the jawbone to provide a solid foundation for anchoring your dentures.
Over a relatively short period of time, the bone grows around the implant, securing it permanently. In as little as eight to ten weeks, your denture can be firmly secured in your mouth.
A Common Scenario
Although everyone is different and there are many scenarios in receiving dental implants, the following routine is very common and may assist you in understanding the process.
- A consultation with your denturist can determine if implants are an option for you. He may then refer you to visit an oral surgeon.
- The oral surgeon will usually complete a radiograph (X-ray) of your jawbone to ensure that you are a good candidate. An appointment for implant placement may then be set. All information is relayed to your denturist… we work as a team!
- The oral surgeon places the implants, complete with healing caps. (Because implants are ‘hollow’, the healing caps are simply tiny screws that plug the exposed end of the implant while you heal).
- Within a few short days, you will visit your denturist. He will modify your denture and place a temporary soft lining material inside of it. This will allow you to wear your dentures while you heal.
- You will have a follow-up visit with the oral surgeon after a few weeks. They can monitor the healing progress and set a date to have the healing caps removed, and LOCATOR® attachments placed on the implants.
- After healing is complete, the oral surgeon will remove the healing caps and place a LOCATOR® attachment into each implant.
- You will then visit the denturist to have the temporary liner replaced with a fresh one. This liner stays soft and will mould to the shape of your ridge as you use the denture and eat your meals, giving your denturist a perfect impression of your ridge.
- Often the very next day, your denturist will permanently reline and place the retaining caps inside of your denture. The job is complete! Now, when you place your denture, the retaining caps will ‘snap’ onto the LOCATORS®, holding your teeth securely.