The dental implant is one of the best options for patients looking to maximize the retention of their dentures. Dental implants are made from titanium, and are surgically placed in the mouth to create an attachment point for crowns, bridges, or in our case dentures. They are the Cadillac option when it comes to dentures, granting better chewing ability leading to healthier digestion, and improved retention and appearance, which increases patient confidence.
While the dental implant has many positive attributes, there are some drawbacks. The patient will require implant placement surgery, which can be quite costly. The total cost of the implant placement surgery is unknown until consulting with the oral surgeon. The patient may require some extra procedures to accommodate the implants, such as bone grafts or sinus lifts. The patient must also practice meticulous oral hygiene to prevent infection, which can cause failure of the implants. The implants require at least 6 months of healing time, so healing caps cover the newly inserted implants, allowing the surgeon to suture gingival tissue overtop. The bone requires time to heal and attach to the new implants, this process is called osseointegration.
After the oral surgeon uncovers the implants and removes the healing caps, abutments are then screwed down into the implants, this gives the dentures something to secure to. The dentures can then be retrofitted with corresponding housings, which keep the dentures locked in place. Much like the trailer hitch on trucks, the implant abutment is the ball and the housing is the coupler. The patient is scheduled for an appointment to retrofit the denture with the corresponding housings, these housings contain nylon gaskets that require changing on an annual basis. Once the process is complete, the patient is left with dentures that snap into place, the degree of retention can be adjusted by using softer nylon gaskets.
While the cost of implant placement surgery can be staggering at first, testimonials prove that implants dramatically increase the overall happiness, confidence, and health of the patients who followed through with the procedure. Make the investment in yourself that will make you smile.