Dentures are the most common and easy solutions to replace missing teeth, but they do have their drawbacks. Dentures can become ill-fitting over time and begin to irritate the gums. They offer a somewhat natural look but they do not function as well as other tooth replacement remedies. Dental implants are the best option to replace missing teeth. If you’re thinking about transitioning from dentures to implants, here’s what you need to know:
About Dental Implants
With dental implants, a titanium anchor is implanted in your jawbone and topped with a prosthetic tooth. Your jawbone will eventually fuse to the implant anchor, providing a strong root to maintain bone structure. Dental implants are the superior option for tooth replacement because they function like natural teeth and look identical to natural teeth.
Switching to Dental Implants
Once your dental implants are in place and the area has healed, you’ll notice several advantages over dentures:
- No more ill-fitting dentures slipping around your mouth and clacking
- No more food trapped between your dentures and your gums
- Easy maintenance — Dental implants are brushed and flossed like regular teeth
- You can eat anything you want
Dental Implant Preparation
Before your dental implant surgery, Dr. Sanchez will assess the health and density of your jawbone. If you have experienced bone loss in your jaw while wearing dentures, you might need a bone graft to add bone mass, ensuring your jawbone fuses successfully with the implant. A bone graft procedure involves adding bone material to the future implant area. The donor material is typically taken from elsewhere in your mouth or from a tissue bank, which works similarly to a blood bank. It takes about four to six months to heal before the dental implant procedure can commence.
Dental Implant Surgery
Dental implant surgery involves several steps, and the first one—if bone graft surgery is not needed—is implanting the titanium anchor into the jawbone. Depending on the quality of your jawbone, the implant might be submerged under the gums to heal, or an abutment might be placed right away above the gumline. It takes about 4-6 months for the jawbone to fully fuse to the anchor. Our dental implant dentist, Dr. Sanchez will monitor the healing process during check-up appointments.
Once the fusion is complete, Dr. Sanchez will attach the abutment to the implant and take impressions of your upper and lower jaws to create a prosthetic tooth that fits perfectly with the rest of your teeth. Once completed, the fabricated tooth will be cemented to the abutment.
Transitioning from dentures to implants
During the 4-6 months your mouth is healing from surgery, a temporary prosthetic denture may be put in place. Another option is using a temporary flipper, which is similar to an orthodontic retainer, but with one or multiple teeth attached. However, flippers are not meant to be used as dentures, so you shouldn’t eat hard foods with it in place.
All-On-4® Dental Implant Solution
Dental implants can be used to stabilize prosthetic teeth, using a procedure called All-On-4®. Using only four implants per arch, Dr. Sanchez will attach a set of permanent prosthetic teeth that look and feel like real teeth, with many of the advantages of individual dental implants.
Get the strong, healthy smile you deserve with dental implants
If you currently wear dentures, you probably won’t need much convincing to choose a better, stronger, easier-to-maintain option for teeth replacement. If you have questions about the dental implant procedure, dental implant expert Jose David Sanchez D.D.S. at Sedation and Implant Dentistry of Tehachapi is here to help. He will talk you through the procedure and discuss your options and concerns. Give us a call today at (661) 822-3727 to schedule a consultation.