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A procedure that has staggeringly high success rates, is easy to perform, is getting more affordable with each passing day and improves the quality of life for its patients immeasurably? Too good to be true? No! Implant-supported dentures do it all.

There was a time when losing all your teeth and adjusting to a set of removable dentures was considered to be an inevitable part of old age. It was considered normal that the kind of food you can eat and enjoy will change, as will the appearance of your facial structures due to loss of bone support along with other changes that signify old age is upon you.

Luckily, those times are long gone.

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Is Tooth Loss Age Dependent?

This was something that a lot of people believed in the scientific community and a large majority of the public still continue to believe it. The answer to the above question however, is an emphatic no. Long-term studies have conclusively proven that tooth loss is not age related, but  is age associated.

There is huge difference in those terms. To put it simply, even though there is nothing to suggest that just the process of ageing has anything to do with tooth loss, it is more likely for old people to have missing teeth since the cumulative effect of poor oral hygiene, habits and medical issues adds up to cause tooth loss.

Also, those people that have sought out dental treatment during their younger years by getting a root canal treatment or crowns and bridges begin to see these treatments runs their course and require further care. A lot of them at this point decide to get the teeth extracted rather then again go through the entire treatment cycle.

So a combination of things mentioned above along with certain syndrome related tooth loss means that even with the latest techniques available to patients, a large community of completely edentulous patients exists.

What Different Kinds Of Fixed Prosthesis Are Available To Patients?

There is quite literally no limit to what can be done for completely edentulous patients now. Thanks to the mainstreaming of Implant procedures all over the world, it has never been easier to rehabilitate a completely edentulous patient.

Some common options available are fixed implant supported dentures. If the patient can afford the required number of implants then a completely fixed prosthesis can be given to the patient. Such prosthesis comes close to replicating the natural dentition in look, feel and function.

Six implants in each jaw are enough to support a fixed denture prosthesis.  Another kind of prosthesis, which is commonly given to patients, includes an implant supported denture. Here, the number of implants is reduced and the denture which sits on top is made in such a manner that it can be removed by the patient.

However, it provides excellent retention and support during the time it is fixed in the mouth. It is a compromise when compared to a completely fixed option, however much better that the regular dentures that have remained essentially unchanged since their inception.

The third kind of implant supported denture is placed using a minimum of two implants in the mouth. This works similar to an overdenture, where the purpose of the implants is to only provide some added retention to the dentures.

See Also: Tooth extraction: Would You Be Able To Recognize Infection And Other Complications?

They are similar to regular dentures in some respects, in that the dentures wobble and move during function; however the added retention improves the quality of life greatly as compared to conventional dentures.

  • 1. http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/cosmetic-dentistry/dentures/article/implant-supported-denture
  • 2. The Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry. Volume 86, Issue 5, November 2001, Pages 468–473. Mandibular implant-retained overdentures: A literature review

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