I have very few teeth left and I am loosing all my teeth. Are Implants my Best option? What are my options?
Ok, I will try to explain all your options, from the simplest and least expensive, to the more expensive and comfortable option.
- Complete Dentures – You can get complete dentures, but this option is the least desireable by todays standards, since it limits the kind of foods that you can eat with harder foods being more likely to hurt you and cause denture sores. You also have to learn how to eat with them, since with natural teeth you eat on one side of the mouth, but with dentures you have to learn to eat small amountson both sides at the same time to stabilize and seat the dentures as you eat.
- Mini Implants – These small diameter implants have become popular where cost is the most important factor. Another advantage is the fact that the implants are placed almost always without surgery and therefore less discomfort for the patient. To use mini implants to help hold a denture ir requires the placement of four of them in the area between the canines. Due to their small diameter and the fact that they are placed in function immediately, there is a higher risk of failure associated with mini implants.
- Overdenture on two implants – This is a denture that is retained by two regular implants placed in between the canines. The overdenture rests on the gums and moves a litle so you are still limited with what you can eat due to the fact that when you bite you are putting pressure on your gums.
- Overdenture on four implants – This denture moves less, is held more firmly in place and depending on where the implants are placed, it may allow you to bite harder foods and rely less on support by your gums.
- Bar overdenture on four implants – this option allows you to have a denture that rests totally on the implants and allows you to eat harder foods since you are not pressing on your gums when you eat.
- A Fixed-Removable Prosthesis or “Hybrid” – A hybrid prosthesis is made like a denture, but it covers a lot less gum tissue, for example, it does not cover the roof of the mouth with acrylic like a conventional denture. it requires a minimum of four, but preferably six implants and is screwed onto the implants so that only your dentist can remove it. It is harder to clean than a removable overdenture.
- A fixed bridge on implants – This is the best option, but it requires the greatest number of implants to support it. It is reserved for people that have plenty of bone to place the implants and feels almost like your natural teeth. It is also the most expensive option and is usually made of porcelain.
It is worth mentioning that when you loose your teeth the bone starts to remodel and dissappears slowly under the gum, and the longer that you are without teeth, the more likely that you may not have adequate bone for implants. Fortunately by placing implants, you can avoid that bone loss caused by extractions and healthy implants help keep the bone around them.
So the final answer is YES! Implants are your best option.
Carlos Boudet, DDS, DICOI
Dentist in West Palm Beach
Spanish Website: http://www.palmbeachdentist.net