Patients who have worn dentures for a number of years may want to upgrade to dental implants and take advantage of the benefits that treatment has to offer. Unfortunately, however, long-term denture wearers may experience bone loss that can present an obstacle to dental implant success. It still may be possible for these patients to get implants, though.
The key element of dental implant success is the quality of bone available at the implant site. The patient must have enough bone to support osseointegration, the process in which the bone bonds with the implant’s surface. After tooth loss, bone loss follows, which can jeopardize osseointegration.
Bone grafting can help patients overcome this challenge.
Prior to placing an implant, an oral surgeon can insert additional bone material at the desired location. The new bone then fuses with the existing bone, and the patient will have adequate bone to bond with the implant.
Patients who need bone grafting likely will face a longer treatment timeline, though, as it’s necessary for them to heal sufficiently from that procedure before moving forward with implant placement.
Some denture wearers may be able to avoid bone grafting with an innovative technique known as All-on-4, however.
All-on-4 uses just four implants to anchor the prosthetic arch, and those four implants are placed toward the front of the jaw, where the bone tends to wear away much more gradually than at the rear of the jaw. The two outer implants are angled so that they can support the weight of the entire rear section of the denture.
This treatment can dramatically reduce the treatment timeline for patients who have already experienced some bone loss. The four dental implants can be placed in just a few hours, and most patients can be fitted with at least a temporary to restore the smile’s appearance at that same appointment.
Long-term denture wearers aren’t automatically precluded from getting dental implants. Speak to an experienced oral surgeon in our practice to learn more about what treatments can be feasible in your case. Contact Central Oklahoma Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates at 405-624-1300 and schedule your informative consultation today.