Full Dentures and Dental Implants.

About Metro West Denture Clinic and dental implants.

Metro West Denture Clinic is a Brisbane based, “dentures only practice,” operating since 2004. Patients come to us seeking advice and treatment options for a problem. Some seek advice when facing imminent tooth loss, while others may have current dentures, which negatively impact on their quality of life.

If you have dentures and are thinking about implants as a solution to a problem, we have the experience and professional authority to offer advice on the treatment options available including dental implants.

We do not place implants but have established collaborative professional relationships with dentists and dental specialists who have extensive experience in implant placement and after-care. We do however, design, construct and fit the prosthetics that attach to them.

What are implants?

Dental implants are made of specially designed surgical grade titanium, which can be surgically placed into bone. Surgical grade titanium is biologically compatible and as part of the healing process, bone will grow to form a close connection with the implant in a process called integration. Once integrated, (a process generally taking 3 -4 months,) dental appliances can be connected to the implant offering stabilization/fixation similar to a natural tooth. Dental implants are used in cases where natural teeth are missing.

If you have denture problems are implants the only solution?

Dental implants are a proven and successful solution for patients with denture fixation concerns.

However, as discussed in Aprils Newsletter, advances in denture design and construction along with the lower suction denture technique will for many people, offer a stable comfortable non-surgical, less expensive, successful treatment option.

There are cases where we will recommend patients think about implants to stabilise a lower denture or provide retention for a partial denture but this can only be determined after a consultation to determine your specific needs and requirements.

Reasons full denture wearers may consider dental implants.

Some patients with full lower dentures experience discomfort, instability, displacement and even food-trapping. As a result, patients may frequently avoid certain foods or use copious quantities of denture glue in social situations.
It is not uncommon to hear full denture wearers say that their problem is their gums or lack of them. Many have been told, “ its not the dentures, it’s your gums”, or that is what you should expect with dentures; “use denture glue or get implants”!

In most instances your dentures don’t have to be uncomfortable. At Metro West Denture Clinic, we understand that patients want stable dentures which:
• don’t cause discomfort,
• don’t jump about when they eat,
• don’t get food underneath.
• let them eat the food they want
• don’t impact on their quality of life
• let them smile, eat, and live with confidence

Patients may consider implants or implant-retained dentures due to difficulty or discomfort with their lower dentures, but in many cases, an implant-retained denture may be an unnecessary expense. For a large percentage of the denture wearing public, stable dentures are possible without implants.

Reasons why their current dentures are unstable!

In most instances it is because
• The dentures no longer fit the gums, which have changed over time, or
• The dentures have simply worn out, altering the engineering and relationship of denture teeth from that, which is required for stable dentures.
• In some cases, it may be that the dentures were not well designed.

Everyone knows that the success of a skyscraper revolves around accurate design and precision engineering. The same applies to dentures. Successful dentures require, accurate clinical records and precision in manufacture. There is also a new technique that offers a large percentage of patients, lower dentures with suction.

More information about implant options for full denture patients.

Snap on dentures or Implant retained dentures

Dental implants, when used to retain a full lower denture do provide a very high level of security.
The science and techniques used are well established and proven. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3517958/

Dentures made using this technique have an attachment manufactured into them, which snaps onto the implant locking them in place. Dentures stabilized with implants require precision in their engineering as stress and torque on the implant may negatively impact its longevity.

Patients should be aware that dental implants require a surgical procedure. As previously stated, we collaborate closely on treatment planning and optimal implant placement with dentists and dental specialists but do not place the implants. A referral can be provided. We design and fit the dentures that snap onto the implants.

Overwhelmingly, we have found that patients with implant-retained dentures have a high level of satisfaction.

Find out more at:

The “All on 4” or “Bolt on Dentures”.

There is currently a lot of marketing promoting “All on 4” as the solution for patients who have concerns with their dentures. Known colloquially as a bolt on dentures “All on 4”, refers to a prosthesis made for patients missing all their teeth in either upper or lower jaws which is attached securely by screws to 4 implants. A full arch fixed denture is secured (secured with screws) to 4 implants, hence its name, “All on 4.”

At Metro West Denture Clinic, we do not recommend this treatment option.

While a sound technique, patients considering this treatment option should be aware of the following:

• All-on-4 is the most expensive treatment option to fix full denture concerns.
• Can be said to be over-engineering a problem, when an implant-retained denture (snap on) has been shown to provide excellent denture stability.
• Can be also said to be under engineered, as the minimum number of implants required to support a fixed prosthesis is 4. Failure for any reason of even one implant, can be catastrophic for the whole supported prosthesis.
• Their design necessitates a high level of dexterity and diligence when cleaning to reduce the possibility of peri-implantitis and subsequent implant failure.
• Maintenance can be costly and ongoing.
• A recent article https://www.ncbi..nim.gov/pubmed/22299086 posted the research that dentures fixed to implants had a complication rate in excess of 80% over 10 years

Do implants fail like teeth?

The answer is yes, in some cases.

When current implant placement protocols are followed, there is a high success rate of implant integration with bone. Being surgical grade titanium, implants are not subject to decay. However, the bacterium that causes periodontal disease (also called gum disease and pyria and a major cause of tooth loss) remains present in the mouth. These bacteria can cause implants to fail in a disease process called peri-implantitis.

Oral hygiene is important for implant survival as it removes food debris, on which the bacteria feed. For patients who have implant retained dentures, we recommend that the implants be cleaned with an electric toothbrush without toothpaste. We also recommend that they have regular professional cleaning by a dentist.

For more information, the following articles may be beneficial.

Smoking tobacco has also been shown to adversely affect implant survival rates. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17938497

In summary.

There are a number of options available to patients who experience problems with full dentures some of which include using implants in various forms for stability.

In the first instance, we recommend that patients seek assessment of their current dentures. For many patients a combination of the suction effective lower denture technique and precision denture construction results in highly stable, comfortable dentures. Sometimes, suction is not possible to achieve, however we have found that by using the techniques recommended above, patients still achieve a higher level of stability and comfort with their dentures.

In some instances, we will recommend the placement of two or three implants in the lower jaw be considered. Dentures can then be made to snap onto these implants, which has been proven to give a very high level of security.

All-on-4 is not a treatment we offer. We will discuss this treatment with you and should you wish to explore this option more fully can make a referral.

If we can be of further assistance or you require more information, please call us on 3172 3810

Richard Wellington
Dental Prosthetist
Metro West Denture Clinic

Unit 5 132 Yallambee Road Jindalee 4074




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