Dentures and Mini Implants
Denture therapy has made a dramatic improvement in many of our patient's lives. The transition from unhealthy, diseased, painful and unsightly teeth to a healthy, pain free, attractive smile can be life changing. We know this because we have done this for literally thousands of patients over the course of Dr. Gaston's career.
When it's time to consider a denture, these are the good things that happen:
1.) Improved Health
The removal of the diseased teeth removes millions of bacteria from your body. This affects not only your mouth, but also your entire body. The bacteria that cause dental disease travel through ones bloodstream and into every organ system. Bacteria of dental origin are proven to be a major causative factor in heart disease and are linked to strokes and the exacerbation of diabetes. Furthermore, ones immune system can be over burdened by constantly fighting infections such as periodontal disease which causes loosening of the teeth. Patients can experience fatigue and an overall feeling of illness. Removing the diseased teeth makes people healthier…period!
Many patients notice a gradual dissatisfaction with their smile as the teeth deteriorate. Many times the teeth shift and become crooked or flared, spaces occur and the color of the teeth changes to something undesirable.
A denture can be made to restore a brilliant dazzling smile! The wild popularity of TV's "reality show makeovers" demonstrate that improvements in the appearance of the participants teeth are the most important aspect of creating a new improved self image and look.
When making a denture, we assist our patients in selecting a healthy yet natural and age appropriate color of tooth. We also select a shape and size of tooth that matches the patient's facial features.
This all contributes to a dynamic new smile that looks natural, healthy and attractive.
The best fitting dentures can only chew 40% as well as healthy natural teeth. However, people with healthy natural teeth don't need to consider dentures. Most people have already lost many of their natural teeth. The remaining teeth can be painful, or loose, making it difficult to chew food effectively. Improved chewing ability depends on the level of chewing dysfunction that exists prior to denture therapy. In some instances we maintain the previous ability to chew, whereas in other cases we can dramatically increase ones chewing ability. Chewing food can be a challenge for patients who were eating well prior to dentures, which is why we always offer alternate treatments to restore teeth if it seems reasonable.
In most instances, when it's time for a denture, we can create for our patients a denture(s) that looks great, feels comfortable and improves their overall health. Our goal is to look and feel better…not guilty! We want our patients to chew comfortably and confidently and enjoy eating again. We've done it for others and we can do it for you too.
Mini Implants: Secure that Denture!!
In our previous discussion about dentures, we discussed how chewing with dentures can be perhaps the most challenging aspect to denture therapy. When talking with patients who wear dentures it is common and expected to find that they typically tolerate the upper denture well, but the lower denture tends to be "loose" and difficult to use compared to the upper denture. I would recommend that any person who is contemplating the transition to dentures to speak with people who already wear dentures. I suspect one would hear something along these lines… "My upper has never given me any problems but they could never get the lower right" or "The upper fits tight, but the lower is loose." This is an accurate description in my opinion. It's not that the lower denture isn't "right," it's that the lower denture has little to support it.
An upper denture stays in place primarily from the forces of suction along the roof of the mouth. A lower denture doesn't have suction to keep it in place. A lower denture stays in place by the force of gravity. The affects of a continually moving lower jaw, the stretching of the cheeks, and movement of the tongue tend to displace the lower denture.
Some can chew very well with their lower denture. I hope I made it!! Most, however, simply do the best they can with it.
Dentistry has solved the problem of loose dentures. The use of titanium implants has been common place for over thirty years. Traditional implants are small posts, similar in size to the teeth they are replacing, that are surgically placed into the jaw, and allowed to heal. Then a variety of tooth replacement options can be attached atop of the implants. Traditional implants are still the preferred method to replace teeth.
There are drawbacks to this approach. First, the time between implant placement and the subsequent attachment of teeth is generally 3-6 months. Second, the surgery is more involved and requires multiple appointments. Also, many patients are not good candidates for traditional implants because they don't have enough jaw bone to support the implants. Finally, and perhaps most prohibitive for many patients, is the cost.
Dentistry now has a new style of implant called "mini" dental implants, or MDI. They have been widely used for over a decade with similar success rates as traditional implants. They are considered less invasive, which means the surgery is less complex and is usually completed in one appointment of less than two hours. The denture is attached the same day as the surgery and the patient is eating comfortably that evening.
Dentures secured by mini implants can be simply removed by the patient, cleaned, and then "snapped" back into place. MDI's can be placed in areas where the jawbone is not sufficient enough in quality or quantity to place larger traditional implants. Many patients who have been without teeth for decades are included in this group. Perhaps the most exciting thing about MDI's is that they cost less than 1/3 the cost of traditional implants!!!
If you're struggling with a denture, please call for a free consultation and we can discuss how MDI’s can help you to laugh, live and smile more comfortably and confidently!!
Please Click on the box labeled Visit Dr Gaston's Mini Implant and Denture attachment system website if you'd like to learn more.
View video testimonials of Dr. Gaston's patients with mini dental implants:
View video testimonials from patients with mini dental implants: