Today’s permanent dentures are not the same false teeth your grandfather kept in a cup by the side of his bed, or the ones that rattled around in your grandmother’s mouth when she chewed her food. Permanent dentures today look so natural, no one will ever know you’re wearing them.
Dental Implants 3D Computer Generated Video
The purpose of permanent dentures is to replace the natural teeth you have lost from either injury or poor dental hygiene, but with greater stability. Conventional dentures, bridges, and partials are removable; in other words, they “float” in your mouth. While they may be less expensive than implant-supported dentures, they often cause gum soreness, discomfort when chewing, occasional speech problems, and they do not prevent bone loss or shrinkage. Traditional dentures may also affect your sense of taste due to the plastic covering your upper palate.
Before dental implants were designed and perfected, there were few good solutions for people who had lost many or all of their teeth. But today there are several different types of permanent dentures (also known as fixed implant bridges) – permanent partial dentures, implant supported dentures, and dentures in a day or same-day dentures. Permanent dentures are custom fitted and permanently fixed in place (attached to implants beneath your gums). These dentures will allow you to eat and talk just as though they were your own natural teeth. They will also help prevent further bone loss.
If you are suffering with decayed or missing teeth, have trouble chewing or speaking, have conventional removable dentures that don’t fit properly, or you are simply embarrassed to smile because of the poor condition of your teeth, consider permanent dentures.
Did you know?
In conventional removable upper dentures, at least 75% of the denture material (acrylic or plastic) is only there to help create good suction so your denture doesn’t fall down. With permanent dentures (a.k.a. fixed bridge implants), most of this material can be eliminated because the denture will be “snapped” onto the implants to hold it in place. You will no longer have the feeling of plastic on the roof of your mouth and covering your gums. These permanent dentures will feel and behave like real teeth.
If some of your teeth are still healthy, permanent partial dentures may work for you. The missing tooth/teeth are replaced with a bridge supported by an implant. This could require porcelain crowns to be made for the teeth adjacent to the missing one(s) in order to properly support the bridge.
Would you be pleasantly surprised to know that you can actually get same-day permanent dentures? After an exam, x-rays and impressions, the dentist will make custom titanium posts for your implants and attach your permanent denture, all in the same day. Often this is all accomplished in a dental laboratory on your dentist’s premises. You may have heard the technique called “All-on-4™” because a complete set of permanent teeth can be placed on just four to six dental implants. The dentist can place the implants at angles to use the best available bone in your jaw. This procedure is specifically designed for patients with complete tooth loss in one or both arches. Same-day dentures are wonderful for busy people or for people who have to travel long distances for their dental work.
How it’s done
First, your dentist may need to extract teeth to make sure your permanent denture can be positioned correctly and will be a perfect fit for you. Titanium rods are surgically implanted directly into the jawbone beneath your gum tissue. Your dentist will position them based on where he/she expects to place your new denture. You will be given a temporary tooth or teeth so you can eat properly and don’t have to go around with missing teeth. After a few months, when your gums have completely healed and the implant has integrated with the bone, your new permanent denture (or partial or bridge or tooth) can be attached to the titanium posts.
The advantages and disadvantages of permanent dentures
The biggest advantage of permanent dentures is that they are supported by implants and fixed in place. They are not removable and they don’t slide around in your mouth when you eat. You no longer need to worry about eating apples or corn on the cob for fear that your denture will dislodge.
- They look and feel like your own teeth. Your dentist will match the color of replacement teeth to your natural teeth so it will be virtually impossible for people to notice a difference.
- Dental implants blend into the structure of your bone, helping prevent the receding gums and bone loss that are common with traditional dentures and bridgework.
- They are very secure. They won’t wobble and slide around. You will be able to speak and eat without worry.
- Because the dentures are anchored by implants, there is no need to use denture adhesives to hold them in place.
- The success rate of dental implants and permanent dentures is excellent.
There are also some disadvantages:
- The implant part of the procedure involves cutting into your gums (and sometimes bone grafting) which is surgery, and no surgical procedures are completely risk-free.
- The entire process can be time-consuming, depending on how many teeth are involved. The titanium rods have to be implanted and heal completely before the permanent denture can be placed. Unless you are getting same-day permanent dentures, the entire process is done in stages so you will have to make repeated visits to the dentist over a period of months.
- Swelling is a common side-effect after surgery and can be uncomfortable. Also, many patients experience some pain for several days after the procedure.
- It is unlikely that the implants in the bone would have to be replaced often. However, the teeth on the permanent denture are made of acrylic resin or plastic and may wear out, requiring replacement at some point. Also, if you had a small implant-anchored bridge inserted, the porcelain crowns on the anchoring teeth could potentially chip or break and need repair or replacement.
- Dental implants can be very expensive in comparison to traditional removal dentures, partials and bridges.
Are you a good candidate for permanent dentures?
The ideal candidate for permanent dentures, and implants in general, is in good health. Implants are most likely to be successful if you have adequate healthy bone in your jaw to support them. Healthy gum tissues (free of periodontal disease) are a plus.
If you don’t have adequate or healthy bone, your periodontist can correct the problem by grafting bone or bone substitute to increase your chances for successful long-lasting implants that will support your dentures for many years.
Cost of permanent dentures
Yes, your permanent dentures will cost more than removable dentures, partials and bridges. This is often the biggest drawback for patients considering this option. But think about the importance of your self-confidence and your appearance before you decide against them.
The costs depend upon whether you will be replacing a few teeth or all of them, as well as the state of your oral health. Remember that the procedure involves surgery and possible other treatments to get your mouth ready for the new teeth or partials or dentures.
Implanted crowns and each of the implanted anchors for a permanent denture can range from $1,200 to $3,500. You must consider the cost of the surgery, the implant post, the crown, and synthetic bone if required. If a great deal of gum and bone restoration is required, you can expect a complete set of implant-supported dentures to cost between $10,000 and $30,000. The price will vary by location so be sure to comparison shop.
If your dental insurance offers low coverage for implants, or you have no dental insurance, talk to your dentist. Many times they offer financing and payment plans for patients in this situation.
Consult your dentist to see if permanent dentures are right for you. Make sure he or she has a lot of experience with implants and dentures. The complications are few and the benefits are great. Most patients are very satisfied with the outcome.