Implant Supported Dentures is a procedure that many patients may not be aware of although many doctors are recommending it for those looking for a permanent dental solution. The procedure has received an overwhelmingly positive response from those patients who have worn traditional dentures in the past. These patients are enthusiastic by this procedure because of the greater comfort and freedom it allows. In the following conversation, we discuss these advantages and what certain patients’ and denture wearers should know before considering this procedure.
When do patients usually consider implant supported dentures?
Most patients who come in for dentures come for more than just aesthetic reasons. They also want a solution that gives them a high degree of comfort and the ability to speak and chew food comfortably. A lot of my patients are not satisfied with only eating soft food and would like to eat more of the foods that they love.
Is implant supported dentures a permanent dental solution?
For the most part. I would say that 90% of the time dentures supported by implants are considered a permanent procedure. Usually when I do this procedure, I will use bone grafts to secure the prosthesis so the implants stay in place.
Do patients have to worry about replacing their dentures at all?
Absolutely. Many patients mistakenly believe since they regard this as a permanent procedure that they do not have to visit their dentists every few months. However, it’s necessary for the dentist to make sure all the connections are secure and that nothing is broken. Patients must remember to take care of their dentures just as they would their natural teeth. It is important that patients know that getting their dentures checked every 3 or 4 months could save them a lot of time and money in the long run. Some patients may not do these basic checkups. These patients are more likely to need a full replacement down the line. That is one reason I emphasize the need for continual patient care. Patients should do all they can to protect their investment.
Are there any complications?
Although it is rare, teeth can fall out and screws can come loose. Patients who want to make sure their dentures last a long time should take care of their oral hygiene which is extremely important. Patients should take precautions to protect their teeth and keep their mouth clean to prevent complications as much as possible.
What about patients with gum disease?
Patients who come in for this procedure should have their gum disease under control by seeing their doctor or dentist regularly. Fortunately, treatment for gum disease has improved to the point where it has become easier to treat symptoms. The patient needs to make sure that everything is in good shape before doing this procedure.
What determines the cost of the procedure?
It really depends on the patient. I look at the number of implants or the span of the prosthesis when determining the cost. However, it’s based mostly on the patient. For some patients securing the implant could be more time consuming since you have to use more materials while for other patients it may be much easier.
Is this type of Procedure covered by Insurance?
Absolutely. The cost of dentures supported by implants are usually covered by insurance. However, how much depends on the individual’s health coverage. Usually the cost of the procedure goes beyond what the insurance covers. Most of the time insurance will pay 60% to 70% depending on the situation; however I’ve had patients whose insurance paid for the whole procedure. Patients need to be preauthorized so they know what their share is going to be before going into a procedure.
How do these dentures supported by implants look compared to regular teeth? Are they natural?
Patients who have had this procedure are generally very happy with the way their implants look. A lot of patients have very aesthetic concerns and are quite picky. Fortunately, the materials are getting better and the look comes out pretty close to what they are expecting even if it does not look exactly the same as regular teeth. We talk to the patient before and let them know what they should generally expect after measuring how much room they have and determining the extent of bone loss. These factors will greatly influence how the implants look but the results are generally very aesthetic.
How do patients who have worn traditional dentures before feel after this procedure?
Most patients who have worn dentures without implants in the past are extremely comfortable after this procedure and wish they would have done it sooner. These denture wearers no longer have to worry about dentures that move around or that fall out while they are eating or speaking. They really appreciate how much of a big change getting these implants are.
How about patients who are wearing dentures for the first time?
Those patients may need to adjust to wearing dentures which can take anywhere from several weeks to a few months. A lot of patients wearing dentures for the first time feel like there is a big piece of plastic in their mouth. It’s kind of like getting used to a prosthetic hand. However, all of my patients get used to it eventually and are happy with the results.
Implant supported dentures is a good option for both patients looking to replace their teeth or former denture wearers looking for a permanent dental solution. Both patient types are extremely satisfied with the look and feel of their new implants. However, just as it is really important for most people to visit their dentists regularly for a routine checkup, it is even more important for those who have had this procedure to see their dentist so they can maintain their dental work. Many patients who do not follow up after their procedure have regrets due to complications that could have been averted. These complications end up costing the patient more time and money in the long run. However, those patients who keep in contact with their doctor can enjoy their new implants for years to come.
Written by Cosmetic Town Editorial Team based on an exclusive interview provided by Dr. Babak Manesh in Encino, CA.