Teeth may be lost due to gum disease, dental complications, or injuries. Gone are the days of patients being unhappy with ill-fitting dentures. With the advancement of dental implants, you can now restore your smile with better functionality through implant-supported dentures at Lepore Comprehensive Dentistry in Dunedin, Florida.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are titanium restorations used to replace missing teeth in various ways. These posts are made of metal and placed into the jawbone during oral surgery. Doing so offers a foundation for a restoration like a dental crown, dental bridge, or full denture. The most popular way dental implants are used is for fixed hybrid dentures. Fixed hybrid dentures are used along with dental implants, which offer stability for the denture. It eliminates the need for denture adhesives, as they are placed over the implants and are fixed and removed by the dentist.
Fixed Hybrid Dentures
For patients requiring replacement of all teeth in the upper and/or lower arch of the mouth, screw-retained dentures with dental implants are an excellent treatment option. They improve your appearance by replacing your missing teeth while providing improved overall function for eating and speech, with the added stability of a fixed restoration, thanks to the use of implants. It will require multiple appointments for your doctor to place the dental implants and to design your dentures.
Screw-retained dentures are a prosthesis placed in the mouth containing replacement teeth mounted in a base made of pink resin formed over a metal structure to create an exact fit over your existing gums. They are secured in place using dental implants, which are artificial roots placed into the supporting bone. Utilizing implants not only provides a solid foundation for the denture teeth, allowing for optimal eating and speaking but also helps to preserve the surrounding bone from shrinking over time without a tooth root structure to support it.
The first step in this process is to take an impression of the area, which your doctor will use to create a set of temporary dentures for you. When the temporary dentures are completed, diagnostic images are taken of the area to plan out the placement of your dental implants. Next, the area is prepared, and your dental implants are placed. If your doctor feels that the implants are stable enough to handle the force of biting, abutments will be secured into the implants, and the temporary dentures will be secured to the abutments. At subsequent visits, your dentist will monitor the healing process, letting you know when the area is ready for the next phase of treatment. Once your implants have fully healed, your doctor will take new impressions of your mouth. These impressions will be used to create your final dentures.
During follow-up appointments, your doctor will check for proper fit and bite alignment of the final denture. It may require multiple incremental try-in fittings to ensure the best final result for you. Once all adjustments have been made, the final denture is fixed in place. With the process completed, you will have a restoration specially designed to replace your natural teeth in a way that greatly improves your appearance while being securely fixed in place in a way that promotes optimal function when eating or speaking.
Caring for Fixed Hybrid Dentures
Taking proper care of your denture is important to maintaining good oral health and ensuring the longevity of your restoration and the implants supporting it. Just like your natural teeth, your denture requires proper daily cleaning to maintain optimal health.
Hybrid dentures can be brushed with non-abrasive denture toothpaste and should be brushed twice a day. Using short, back-and-forth strokes, gently brush the outer, inner and chewing surfaces of the denture teeth, as well as the pink acrylic portions of the denture that are able to be reached.
Caring for your denture can be challenging because of the need to not only brush and floss around it, but to also care for tissue underneath it to eliminate plaque buildup that can inflame the gums and damage the implants.
The harder-to-reach area between the denture and the natural gums also needs regular cleaning to eliminate remaining food particles and plaque that harbor harmful bacteria.
Hybrid dentures are designed to leave a small space between the denture and the gum tissue that allows for cleaning without removing the denture. There are a few options that can be used to clean this space. Specially designed 'superfloss' can be threaded through the space and worked back and forth along the gumline to remove buildup. Additionally, an interdental brush, an electric water or air flosser can be used. Cleaning this area is vital to maintaining healthy gum tissue and keeping your implants free of infection-causing bacteria.
Your doctor will work with you to schedule regular visits so that your denture can be professionally removed and cleaned. Also, the screws holding the denture in place will need to be periodically replaced. These visits are a critical component in keeping your denture in optimal condition and your implants and gum tissues healthy. Proper regular cleaning of your denture and surrounding gum tissues will keep your denture in optimal condition and help prevent bacterial buildup that can potentially lead to implant-related gum disease, and, ultimately even loss of your dental implants.
With fixed hybrid dentures, patients have a permanent option to consider. The fixed hybrid denture is the best solution for patients missing all their teeth in a particular arch (upper jaw, lower jaw, or both) and wanting something much more comparable to their natural teeth. This implant restoration is fixed or screwed into place and can’t be taken out by the patient. The doctor can only remove it if needed at recall hygiene appointments. This is an amazing restoration, perfect for someone who dislikes taking a denture in and out of their mouth.
- A unique metal bar/framework is devised that is screwed onto the implants as a firm foundation and increases stability. The replacement teeth are set on top of the denture framework.
- Fixed restorations (screwed-in) give the most bite force and functionality back and can feel like natural teeth.
- It replaces missing teeth and stops gum tissue loss due to irreversible bone resorption.
- Less bulky material is needed compared to traditional dentures.
- Small spaces are left between both the gums and appliance to allow for proper cleaning—good oral hygiene is vital with dentures that are not removable.
- Implants stabilize bone loss and take the pressure of the dentures off the gums.
All about implant dentures at Lepore Comprehensive Dentistry explained by Dr. Ryan Lepore
What are implant dentures?
Hi everyone. Dr. Ryan Lepore here to discuss a topic that many of my patients ask me about – Implant Dentures. Implant dentures, to me, are the standard of care for a patient who has lost their teeth.
What are the types of implant dentures?
Implant dentures vary. Sometimes it may be just using two implants to support a lower denture. The dentures snap in and out. We call this a removable option. Implants, after being placed by one of our surgeons, it takes 3-4 months to integrate or become solid enough to support the force from the snap-in components.
So, the implants would be placed, while you wear your existing denture or new standard denture. They become stronger over 3-4 months then we design the denture to snap-in. Our favorite procedure done at Lepore Comprehensive Dentistry for implant dentures are the screw-in dentures or what we call fixed implant dentures, or hybrid dentures.
This is an amazing procedure that you may have seen commercials about referring to “Same-Day Teeth” or “Teeth-In-A-Day”. This procedure has an ability for a patient with a failing set of teeth or denture to have implants placed, a surgical procedure performed, and an interim screwed-in denture completed all on the same day.
You walk out with a new smile. After about four months, we start the process of trading your interim screwed-in denture for a more definitive, longer-lasting screwed-in denture that looks and feels even better and lasts longer.
What make Lepore Dentistry special about implant dentures?
What we do differently to other offices is the amount of planning associated with this procedure. I work with a team of the best specialists. I know during early mornings or late evenings that I have the opportunity to talk with them to intricately plan your case, well before your day of surgery.
We take the time to get to know your goals and desires to make sure that we can deliver the results you are after.
How do I care for fixed hybrid dentures?
Taking good care of your fixed hybrid denture helps it last longer and ensures good oral health and wellness over time, increasing the longevity of the denture and reducing the costs of using it over time. Fixed hybrid dentures should be brushed at least twice daily using short strokes, brushing the outer and inner chewing forces. Brushing the pink acrylic part is essential as well. Maintaining fixed hybrid dentures with home care may seem challenging because of the need to brush and floss around the appliance, but caring for the tissue underneath can prevent gum inflammation and damage to the implants. The hardened area needs regular cleaning to remove food particles and plaque that can help bacteria form.
Hybrid dentures are designed to leave a space between the gums and dentures to ensure proper cleaning without removing the denture. Patients can use specially designed floss to a thread within the space to remove buildup. Interdental brushes, electric water picks, or air flossers can also be used. Cleaning this area is vital to reduce the risk of infection and inflammation. Drs. Ryan Lepore and Erin Dougherty encourage patients to visit the dentist regularly to remove the denture and ensure the areas around the implant are clean and healthy.
Locator Retained Overdenture
For patients requiring replacement of all teeth in the upper and/or lower arch of the mouth, a locator-retained overdenture with dental implants is an excellent treatment option. An overdenture improves your appearance by replacing your missing teeth while providing improved overall function for eating and speech, combining the stability provided by dental implants with the convenience of a removable denture. It will require multiple appointments for your doctor to place the dental implants and design your overdenture.
A locator-retained overdenture is a removable prosthesis placed in the mouth containing replacement teeth, mounted in a base made of pink resin to create an exact fit over your existing gums. It securely snaps in place using button-like fittings called locators. The locators are fixed in place using dental implants, which are artificial roots placed into the supporting bone. Utilizing implants not only provides a solid foundation for the denture teeth, allowing for optimal eating and speaking but also helps to preserve the underlying bone, which can shrink over time without a tooth root structure to retain it.
The first step in this process is to take an impression of the area and design a temporary denture for you. When the temporary denture is completed, diagnostic images are taken of the area to plan out the placement of your dental implants. Next, the area is prepared, and your dental implants are placed. Special healing caps are placed over your implants while you heal. At subsequent visits, your doctor will monitor the healing process, letting you know when the area is ready for the next phase of treatment. You can continue to wear your temporary denture during this time. Once your implants have fully healed, your doctor will take new impressions with the locator abutments attached. These impressions are then sent to a laboratory to start the process of creating your final overdenture.
During follow-up appointments, your doctor will check for proper fit and bite alignment of the final denture and locator attachments. It may require multiple incremental try-in fittings to ensure the best final result for you. Once all adjustments have been made, the final overdenture is placed onto the locator attachments. With the process completed, you will have a removable restoration specially designed to replace your natural teeth in a way that greatly improves your appearance, with the added advantage of attaching to fixed implant-supported locators to promote optimal function when eating or speaking.
A locator retained denture is a removable implant-supported appliance where the denture “snaps” into the dental implants. This type of teeth replacement solution can function with two implants for your lower jaw; however, at least four implants are typically recommended. For your upper jaw, a minimum of 4 is required.
Benefits of Locator Overdentures:
- Supremely excellent retention and stability to traditional dentures
- Easily removed and cleaned
- Life-like appearance
How do I care for a locator retained overdenture?
Caring for this appliance is more straightforward as the patient can remove this particular type of denture. Patients will want to ensure their denture remains moist by storing them in a cleaner solution at night when not wearing them. By removing this denture, patients can ensure they reach the gum tissues where food particles can get stuck to ensure proper oral health and wellness every day. After receiving locator retained overdentures, patients will receive instructions from Dr. Ryan Lepore or Dr. Erin Dougherty on caring for their new oral appliance.
Which type of fixed or attached denture is right for me?
During a consultation with Dr. Ryan Lepore or Dr. Erin Dougherty, patients in Dunedin, Florida, will talk to them about their unique dental needs. Patients needing to replace all the teeth in the dental arch have several options. Learning about each helps make an educated decision on the most appropriate solution. For some, the ability to remove the denture at home is essential to ensure easy care, while others want more stable solutions such as hybrid fixed dentures. Patients considering these implant-retained dentures will also need to have sufficient bone structure to ensure the successful placement of the implants before placing dental appliances. This is determined with dental X-rays that allow our team to see the patient’s jawbone structure and determine if implants can be placed easily. Patients who are not proper candidates for implants can still have these dentures placed if they seek bone grafting procedures to build up the bone and prepare it for implant-retained dentures in the future.
Schedule a consultation today
To learn more about Hybrid Implant Dentures or Locator Retained Dentures and how we can help you, give our team a call today at (727) 608-4690.
Drs. Ryan Lepore and Dr. Erin Dougherty and their team at Lepore Comprehensive Dentistry of Dunedin, FL, can help you learn how to replace missing teeth with today’s incredible offerings. The office is located at 822 Milwaukee Avenue and is open to new patients.