Let’s face it- not everyone is able to maintain their teeth forever. Whether it be a history of poor dental care and periodontal disease or illness and family history, I see patients every week faced with the prospect of losing their teeth. As a lover of all things teeth, I greatly empathize with those facing this daunting inevitability. Just like losing a limb, it’s emotional, uncomfortable, clumsy, and sometimes painful to go from natural teeth to a prosthetic piece of plastic in your mouth. Thank God for dentures, but it’s about time they get with the times with all the changes taking place in dentistry!
Good news- there are SO many available options with dentures today that can not only make the process less dramatic but can also improve quality of life to a greater extent than before the teeth were ever lost! The answer lies in dental implantology, an area of dentistry I’ve studied, learned, and become quite passionate about over the last multiple years. With the technology available within my practice, I can now precisely plan the placement of implants using 3D x-ray technology. That information can be correlated with computer assisted design (CAD) software to design a surgical guide that ensures that, on the day of surgery, the implants are placed exactly where they were planned. My 3D printer makes this guide in a matter of hours, and the entire process remains completely under my control. Talk about technology changing dentistry!
By incorporating implants into your denture’s future, you now have a couple of options:
1) The Overdenture: a denture that simply clicks into place, removing the need for denture adhesives and eliminating the fear of the denture coming loose. This can often be accomplished with as few as 2 implants.
2) The Hybrid Denture: a denture that is completely affixed to implants, meaning you never have to take it out and you simply brush as you did your natural teeth. This often requires 4 or more implants but creates the closest thing to your natural teeth as possible.
For some, the thought of implants seems either too invasive or too expensive. Let me assure you that the surgical implant procedure has never been smoother. With the incorporation of surgical guides (as described above) and advances in surgical techniques, patients are often left shocked that the procedure was so quick and painless. I often tell patients that losing the teeth is the hard part- the implant placement is simple. As far as the cost is concerned, more and more dental (and medical) insurance companies are paying toward implants. At GFFD, we file both dental and medical insurances to help you get the most savings. In addition, we offer multiple payment options that may surprise you. Don’t let the financial aspect be a deciding factor before you consult with your dentist about it!
Finally, I’m going to share a couple of cases that have been life changing for these patients. If you know you’re headed toward dentures (or you’re already there), PLEASE know that there are options for you that can get you back the quality of life you deserve!