When I get dental implants, should I request an immediate denture?

2018.05.19

I’m going to have my remaining teeth extracted and get 6 dental implants put in. I need dentures and I am finding that there are more types of dentures than I knew about. It’s good in a way because I am hoping for something that will look half way like natural teeth and that won’t leave me walking around toothless. It is also a little scary because I want to be sure that I make the right choice for dentures. Can you give me information on an immediate denture? What is involved? Should I ask for an immediate denture for my implants? – Robin

Robin – An immediate denture is received on the same day that your natural teeth are extracted, or on the same day you receive dental implants. In advance of the extraction, the denture is made. The denture is crafted based on an impression of your mouth. It will be secured to your dental implants as a form of temporary tooth replacement.

What to Expect with Dental Implants and Immediate Dentures

Diagram of a dental implant bar placed in the bone with a denture hovering over it and ready to be secured to the implants.

Bar-retained implant overdentures

The advantages of an immediate denture are that it will look natural because it is based on impressions of your natural teeth. Of course, you can request a different look for your final prosthesis. Also, the dentures are placed immediately, so you don’t have to go without teeth for any period. Whether it’s a temporary denture or your permanent prosthesis, it will be immediately loaded on your dental implants.

If your immediate denture will be your permanent denture, it will cost more than conventional dentures because it will need to be adjusted as your jawbone shrinks after your teeth are extracted. The denture will need to be refit and relined. It is possible that you will need a new denture altogether. It is wise to receive dental implants because they slow the progression of jawbone shrinkage.

If you need a complete set of dentures, your molar teeth may be extracted before the dentures are made. This will give the extraction site time to heal, and it will help the denture fit better. Sometimes, implant overdentures are recommended, because they can be placed over your remaining natural teeth.

We recommend that you visit a dentist who is experienced in restoring dental implants with dentures and in cosmetic dentistry. The teeth of cosmetic dentures will look natural, and a cosmetic dentist will customize the dentures to match your preferences and facial features. He or she will also thoroughly explain your options for dentures, as well as which options will be most compatible with your needs.

This post is sponsored by Dr. Michael Szarek, a Lowell, MA accredited cosmetic dentist.

Dental Implants and Diabetes

2018.03.05

My father is thinking about getting dental implants. My concern is that he is diabetic. Are there any healing issues with the implants for diabetics? – Thanks. Danek

Danek – Diabetes has several effects on overall health that cause many patients to wonder if it’s safe to get dental implants:

  • Affects bone formation
  • Delays wound healing
  • Increases the chances of getting an infection

Dental Implants and Diabetes

Diagram of three phases of dental implants, for information on implants and diabetes from the office of Lowell, MA dentist Dr. Michael Szarek.

Healthy dental implants fuse to the bone

A 2016 study published in the International Journal for Implant Dentistry shows several factors that should be considered for diabetic patients following dental implant surgery:

  • Patients with poorly controlled diabetes have delayed osseointegration (the healing period when implant and bone fuse).
  • Sinus lifts and bone grafting are successful in patients with fairly to well-controlled diabetes.
  •  After one year, the status of the implants is equal in healthy patients and patients with controlled and uncontrolled diabetes.
  • In the long-term, there is an increased risk of periodontal disease in diabetic patients.
  • Within the first six years, the implant survival rate is the same for diabetic patients as it is for healthy patients, but in the long-term (up to 20 years) diabetic patients have a reduced implant survival rate.

Whether implants can be placed for a person with diabetes is determined on a case-by-case basis. In advance of implant surgery, your father’s dentist will review his medical history to determine if he is a candidate for the implants.

The implant dentist will give instructions about how the medication should be taken the day of the surgery.  All patients with diabetes who receive dental implants should be diligent in doing their part to keep diabetes under control. Maintaining well-controlled diabetes is an important factor for the continued success of the dental implants.

Schedule consultations with two to three implant dentists to discuss your father’s medical history and the anticipated outcome for dental implants.

After an oral surgeon places dental implants, a skilled cosmetic dentist restores the implants with lifelike porcelain crowns. No one will be able to distinguish your father’s implants from his natural teeth.

This post is sponsored by accredited cosmetic dentist Dr. Michael Szarek of Lowell, MA.

Losing weight with dentures? 4 ways dental implants help

2018.01.12

My husband’s dentist recently recommended dental implants because has been struggling with bad dentures for the past 3 years. We have had many conversations with his dentist. I can’t count how many adjustments, readjustments, regular liners and soft liners have been tried. No matter what his dentist does, either the dentures are too loose or too tight and causing irritation and sores on his gums. Either they slip out or hurt his gums so bad they bleed. He can’t eat right with the dentures so most of the time he either skips meals or eats very lightly. Sometimes he takes the dentures out just to eat. He has lost 30 pounds since he had the dentures and he is not a big guy to start with. What does our dentist need to do to get this right? Are dental implants really the answer? – Flo

Flo – Your husband should consider securing his dentures with dental implants.

How Dental Implants Stabilize Dentures

  • The implants are surgically placed in your jawbone.
  • During the healing period, the fixtures fuse to your bone.
  • Standard implants can be used, or you can choose snap-on dentures, which use two implants and are more affordable. If it’s in your budget, choose implant overdentures with four to six fixtures will provide maximum stability and help the prosthesis feel more like natural teeth.
  • The dentures will rest on the implants, instead of on your husband’s gums, so they will no longer irritate his gums or cause sores. When dentures are stabilized with dental implants, chewing efficiency will improve, so it will be much easier for your husband to eat with dentures.
Diagram of snap-on dentures which are secured by dental implants, for information on stabilizing your dentures from the office of Lowell, MA dentist Dr. Michael Szarek.

Snap-on dentures

You can consider getting a second opinion. It can increase your comfort level in the dentist’s recommendation. Or it might help you determine that you need to switch dentists. Find an experienced implant dentist who is also skilled in cosmetic dentistry. Your husband will get cosmetic dentures that fit well and that are secured to quality implant fixtures. The change will finally give your husband a positive experience with dentures.

This post is sponsored by Lowell, MA dentist Dr. Michael Szarek.

How long will it take for my dental implants to stop hurting?

2017.09.27

How long will it take for my dental implants to stop hurting? My dentist keeps telling me to give it more time. I got the implants in August to secure my dentures. They are tender overall but when I eat it’s totally uncomfortable. I’ve lost weight because of it. Most of the pain is on the top left side of my mouth. That helps because I usually chew on the right side anyway. It’s just the pressure from chewing. Sometimes it feels like it’s going into my sinuses. How much longer is it going to take before the pain goes away? Thanks Dinah

 

Dinah,

During several weeks after getting dental implants, pain and discomfort are normal. If you received your implants in August, by no means should you be feeling pain when you chew. Your dentist shouldn’t tell you to give it more time.

Although Dr. Szarek would need to examine your implants to let you know exactly what’s going on, your dentist needs to take a closer look to identify the source of your discomfort. If he can’t figure it out, we have some suggestions.

When Implant Dentures Hurt While Eating

We suggest that you give your dentist another opportunity to address the issues. If you’re not satisfied with his efforts:

  • Schedule consultations with at least two, experienced implant dentists.
  • Don’t provide your dentist’s name.
  • Be specific about your symptoms, and when and where you feel the pain.
  • Let each dentist know when you received implants and that the pain occurred after receiving them.

Your implants and your bite (the way your denture teeth fit together) will be carefully checked. It’s possible that more diagnostic studies are needed.

The implant dentist will determine if your denture needs to be adjusted, or if the dental implants are causing your discomfort. If you decide to have the work completed by a new dentist, your dental records can be transferred. Ask your current dentist to give you at least a partial refund toward the corrections that need to be made.

 

This post is sponsored by Lowell, MA dentist Dr. Michael Szarek.

Dental implant-supported bridge, partial denture, or dental bridge?

2017.07.31

Are you comparing a dental-implant supported bridge, a partial denture, and a dental bridge? Consider the differences and the pros and cons for each.

Partial denture

A partial denture has a metal or a gum-colored framework. Acrylic teeth are embedded in the base to replace missing teeth.

Pros

  • One or more teeth can be replaced with a partial denture.
  • It’s the least expensive form of tooth replacement.
  • It more appealing than missing teeth.

Cons

  • It’s not as aesthetically pleasing as a dental bridge or implant-supported bridge.
  • It is clasped onto your adjacent teeth, so it’s uncomfortable, and it can weaken the supporting teeth.
  • It doesn’t prevent bone loss in the spaces where teeth are missing.

 

Dental bridge

A dental bridge replaces one or more missing teeth. Replacement teeth are suspended in the middle. Each end of the bridge has a dental crown that is placed on the natural teeth either side of the missing ones. The end, or anchor, teeth have to be shaved down to accommodate the dental crowns.

Pros

  • A cosmetic dentist can provide porcelain crowns in a bridge that look completely natural.
  • It’s more comfortable than a partial denture.
  • It lasts longer than a partial denture.

Cons

  • Natural teeth on either side of the missing one(s) serve as an anchor for the bridge. They have to be shaved down to accommodate the crowns. This can weaken the anchor teeth.
  • It doesn’t prevent bone loss in the spaces where teeth are missing.
  • A bridge with a metal framework darkens replacement teeth and interferes with translucence. The replacement teeth won’t match your natural teeth, unless a cosmetic dentist adjusts the tooth color and translucence to accommodate the darkening caused by the metal.

Dental implant-supported bridge

A dental implant-supported bridge replaces multiple missing teeth. Instead of using your natural teeth as anchors, dental implants are used.

Pros

  • No work needs to be done on adjacent teeth, because they don’t serve as anchors.
  • A cosmetic dentist can provide dental crowns for the bridge that look completely natural.
  • The implants that anchor the bridge stimulate jawbone growth.

Cons

  • It’s more expensive than a partial denture and other types of non-implant bridges.
  • There is usually a healing period of at least several weeks before a permanent bridge is secured to the dental implants.
  • If you’ve already experienced jawbone shrinking in the spaces where teeth are missing, you might need bone grafting before implants can be placed.

 

Before you make a decision or request a specific form of tooth replacement, consult with an accredited cosmetic dentist to discuss your options.

This post is sponsored by Lowell, MA cosmetic dentist Dr. Michael Szarek.