I have noticed in the process of writing my monthly “Ask the Dentist” columns for the Advisor-Source Newspapers and Senior Living News there are certain topics that have become very popular. One of the most popular dental topics is when I write about ways to improve the retention of a denture. Even though it is not a glamorous topic, those who struggle keeping a loose denture in on a daily basis find it most important. In fact, there are approximately 50,000,000 people in the United States who are “edentulous” (literally meaning lacking teeth) who struggle daily with prosthetic devices. A majority suffer a great deal of discomfort as a result of loose or ill-fitting dentures. Many denture wearers simply withdraw from any type of social engagement as a result of being compelled to wear them.
When teeth are removed due to dental decay or periodontal disease the underlying bone starts to shrink. This resorption process continues over many years leading to a sunken appearance of the face, wrinkles, reduced structure for dentures to be placed on, and overall aging. If it is possible to save teeth that is always the best. If this is not possible or the teeth have been removed, the use of dental implants (mini or standard size) can create internal stimulation within the bone. This internal stimulation strengthens and keeps the bone the same size eliminating the effects that were previously mentioned.
If the jaw bone shrinks and the person wears a complete denture for years it can be possible to place mini implants into the jaw to add a snap fit so the lower denture remains stable giving the patient the ability to eat much more easily and eat more nutritious and healthy food. Four (4) mini implants are used to support the denture. There are more needed because they are only the size of a wooden toothpick.
Sometimes larger dental implants are indicated if there is enough bone available in the jaw. The advantage of these larger implants is that the snap that is placed in the denture provides a firmer connection than the “mini implant”. We typically place only 2 dental implants to hold a lower denture in place. The only way to evaluate which style implant is best for you is to have a consultation with us. This may include taking a panoramic (entire jaw) x-ray. This is necessary because it shows all of the boney structures in the jaw.
Either dental implant system can use an existing denture if it is functional and relatively new. The healing time is about the same even though the mini dental implant can allow for the denture to snap in on the same day. It usually takes about 4-6 weeks for the dental implant to heal before the complete denture can be attached to the full size implants.
The cost is slightly more to have the 2 standard dental implants done compared with the mini-implants because of the protocol needed.
In my opinion, the 2 standard dental implants are the best choice, but is some one has medical problems the mini implants are slightly less invasive and can work for them.
To get my opinion Please call us at (586)247-3500 to set up a dental consultation. If you are one of the first 10 patients to inquire about these overdenture options we will include a panoramic x-ray at no charge (value $115.00). The offer expires December 1, 2008.
Dr. Antolak treats his dental patients in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere where you are treated like a guest in the home. His motto is to “relax while we take care of your smile”. He specializes in cosmetic dentistry, implant dentistry and general dentistry using sedation dentistry if necessary for his high fear patients. He has been treating patients for the past 21 years and is located in Shelby Township, Macomb County Michigan.