Moving From Partials To Implant Dentures
Dentures and partials are a popular choice for replacing missing teeth lost to disease or trauma. Valplast, Cusil and SunFlex partials are some of the popular brands in use today. Partials can be made with or without metal clasps or hooks that attach to adjacent teeth.
Long Term Partial Usage
As with normal dentures, a partial is designed to be supported by gum tissue. Proper design of a partial denture can provide most patients many years of good function and aesthetics.
Long term use, again, like dentures, can cause underlying bone to resorb, causing the gum tissue to seemingly shrink or disappear. Long term denture and partial wearers are now discovering they lack the underlying bone necessary for a snug fit.
The patient pictured here had an unusual combination of bone loss associated with long term partial usage and additional bone loss caused by untreated bone cysts caused by bacteria accumulation.
The adjacent mid-treatment photo shows implants placed next to a crater that shows how destructive these cysts can be. Once the cystic tissue was removed the large holes were all that remained of the healthy bone in these areas. This patient had a total of 4 cysts, causing severe bone loss in critical areas.
Cysts are typically caused by inadequate oral hygiene habits: decay and death of a tooth result in infection and abscess formation. Bacteria eventually seeped into the bony tissues supporting the anchor teeth and, when left untreated and infected for an extended time, develops into a cyst that encroaches upon healthy bone structure.
Guided Tissue Regeneration (GTR)
The cavernous holes of bone loss are shown here, in one segment, being filled in with special bone grafting material along with a GTR membrane that enables the dentist to control the growth of new bone and soft tissues.
Hard and soft tissue regeneration begins almost immediately that will, in time, recreate healthy bone where it is needed the most to provide a solid foundation for additional implants.
Bone Ridge Rehabilitation
Multiple bone grafts along the mandibular bony ridge create the width and height of bone necessary to have long term implant success.
Implants are placed in the healhiest areas in several areas to promote maintenance of the new bone that is similar to what mother nature provides with natural teeth.
More implants preserve more bone.
Metal Reinforced Denture
More and more patients are choosing metal reinforcements for cosmetic and premium denture prosthetics. Patients who enjoy eating chewy foods prefer having the stability of eating without fear of flexing denture acrylics.
The closely grouped anterior implants provide solid biting while the reinforced sections serve the posterior area of the patient’s bite.
Snap In Denture Feature
Zest locator devices are used on the implant abutments that will match with special housings that are attached to the underside of the denture. The hollowed out areas indicate the placement of special fittings that create the snap-in feature that most denture wearers enjoy having.
Once snapped in place, the denture does not move or flex, creating the confidence for being able to eat just about anything a person desires without fear of discomfort, pinching, rocking or clicking noises.
Depending on the quality and style of the cosmetic features of the denture, many patients experience the benefits of a porcelain bridge… but without the added cost.