Ask Dr. Vito Clarizio: Implant Supported Dentures Give You The Comfort And Security Of Natural TeethAsk Dr. Vito Clarizio: Implant Supported Dentures Give You The Comfort And Security Of Natural Teeth

It is estimated that over forty-five million Americans have either full or partial dentures; and with dentures often comes the discomfort and worry that is caused by rubbing or slipping of the prosthesis. Most people with dentures are limited in the foods they can eat because they no longer have the strong, secure biting ability that they had with their natural teeth. And for others, denture wearing inhibits their comfort in social situations because of the 'clicking' noises that slipping dentures can often make.

With implant-supported dentures, all of these issues disappear and dentures begin to function just like your natural teeth once did. In just one visit to your dentist, your dentures can be retrofitted using a mini implant system that will fasten them securely to your jaw. The advantage of using a mini implant system is that because the implants are so small they can often be placed in the jaw without cutting an incision in the gum. Once a hole is drilled, Titanium screws are placed in your jawbone and over time the bone grows into the threads of the screw reacting to the implant in the same way that your bone would react to the root of a natural tooth. The head of the implant, which is shaped like a ball, remains on the surface of your gums and holes are drilled into your existing dentures to hold an O-ring that will snap over the ball of the implant...securely holding your denture in place.

Once the O-rings on the denture are snapped onto the ball of the screw, the implant provides a solid foundation for your dentures, letting them look and perform like natural teeth. In some cases, your dentist may decide to modify your denture by creating a hollow (in the denture) that is in alignment with the placement of the implant in your jaw. The hollow is filled with a soft reline material that secures the implant, yet allows some movement. This method is often used for patients who have a tendency to clench their teeth. And some dentists will use this method for the first few months and then drill the holes in the denture and fit them with the O-ring for snapping to the implant. Securing your dentures with implants can be done in one visit to your doctor where only a mild anesthetic is used for the placement of four titanium screws that are about the size of wooden toothpicks (or in some cases, a little larger). Because the procedure to place the implants is minimally invasive, many patients are able to enjoy a light meal an hour or so after having them placed and their dentures retrofitted to attach to the implants.

Because lower dentures are the most difficult dentures to wear due to their tendency to slip and their difficulty with staying in place on the jawbone, mini implants are most commonly used for people with lower dentures. They can, however, also be used to secure upper dentures, in which case six implants are usually required. While mini implants work for the majority of patients who have dentures, there are certain medical conditions that prevent using implants: Uncontrolled diabetes Ongoing radiation treatments to the jaw (typically used to treat cancer) Substance Abuse Immuno-suppressed patients.

Age does not typically prevent the use of mini implant supported dentures although conditions such as severe osteoporosis, dementia or Alzheimer's can negatively impact the patient's success with this procedure. Once your dentures are retrofitted with implants, you will still be able to remove them for cleaning and then reinsert them after your mouth and dentures have been brushed and cleaned.
by Dr. Vito Clarizio
References and Bibliography
After graduating as a DMD in 1988 Dr. Vito Clarizio started his own practice in Whitestone, NY and has been in private practice here for over 20 years. He is loved by both his patients and his staff. His core staff has been with him since the beginning of the practice. http://whitestonegentledentist.com
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