Many patients who are missing multiple teeth prefer a stable dental restoration that can be removed from the mouth at their convenience. Rather than inserting a fixed prosthesis which can only be removed by a dental professional, a variety of removable options are also available, including partial dentures, full dentures, and implant-supported over dentures. The patient’s age, lifestyle, health, and preference will determine the correct removable prosthetic solution to meet their needs.
What are the benefits of removable implant-supported dentures over a fixed prosthesis?
Unlike a fixed prosthesis, a removable denture can be snapped on and off of its dental implant support posts. This allows patients to remove the denture at any time and according to their preference. This is a great solution for patients who do not like to wear the prosthesis at all times and only wish to wear the denture for functional purposes, such as eating.
Removable dentures also make it much easier to clean both the prosthesis and the rest of the mouth. This is particularly helpful to patients who utilize a partial denture and still have healthy teeth in the arch to keep clean. When the denture is removed, patients can brush and floss their natural teeth with ease. When a fixed prosthesis is placed, it is slightly elevated above the gums to allow patients to clean the area underneath. Removable dentures allow the wearer to remove the prosthesis for easy cleaning and decrease the time necessary to maintain the health of the mouth and the dental implants.
Unlike other removable prosthetic options which rely on adjacent teeth or adhesive to stay in place, the dental implants support the removable denture and firmly attach to the prosthesis while it is being worn, making functions such as eating and speaking easier than ever. And, whether the denture is fixed or removable, it is nearly indistinguishable from natural teeth.
Is the procedure for the removable implant-supported denture different from that of the fixed denture?
Much like the fixed denture, patients seeking a removable option will undergo a review of their medical history, an oral examination of any remaining teeth and gums, and may need to have additional 3D scans to ensure that they have a proper bone height and width present to place dental implants. And just like a fixed denture procedure, bone grafting or the removal of failing teeth may be necessary before implant placement.
The dental implants are placed during a single surgical procedure, then allowed a length of time to heal and properly fuse with the jaw bone. Once this is complete, and the implants are securely anchored in the bone, the abutments, which support the denture, are affixed to the implants. A support bar may be attached to the abutments, which allows the dentures to snap on and off of the implants at the patient’s convenience.
On occasion, a removable denture is used as a temporary solution for patients prior to undergoing a more permanent solution for tooth replacement. Dr. Marashi and Dr. Ricciuti at Greater Charlotte Oral & Facial Surgery are happy to review your options to develop a treatment plan that best suits your needs and restores both oral function and a radiant smile.