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Living Life to the Fullest with Implant-Secured Dentures

Dentures are a dental appliance made to replace a person’s teeth. Before making the decision to get dentures, many denture wearers have likely endured years of tooth decay, tooth and bone loss, chronic pain, gum disease and declining oral health for many years. They may have believed that dentures would be a simple and problem-free solution that would allow them to live a pain-free life, with the comfort and performance of natural teeth.

 

The fact is, getting dentures is a life changing event. Dentures can be uncomfortable to wear and can cause embarrassing moments when they become dislodged or slip out of place, affecting the way we feel about ourselves, our eating habits, and even the way we talk.

 

A regular, full set of dentures rests on the gums, and their fit can shift as the jaw shrinks and bone loss occurs over time. However, one solution is to secure the dentures more securely with dental implants, which provide a secure foundation for the dentures to be firmly attached to the gums. Implant-secured dentures prevent slippage experienced by many denture wearers, improve eating experience, and increase a sense of security which enhances comfort and confidence. In fact, a study of denture wearers by the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery found that patient satisfaction and chewing ability increased significantly with implanted-secured dentures.

 

The implant overdenture procedure can be done at any point in the life of the dentures – for patients who have just been fitted for complete dentures (after healing from teeth extractions is complete), to patients who have worn dentures for a longer period of time. For full dentures, the procedure consists of placement of at least two dental implants in the jaw bone for each arch, then a rework of the patient’s existing dentures to install contact points that align with the implants. Once the dentures have been reworked and fitted to align with the dental implants, the patient is able to attach the dentures with snaps that give them a more secure and permanent feel. An implant expert can provide all the details for a patient’s unique situation.

 

Denture wearers face many challenges, but if their dentures are secured with dental implants, they can optimize their denture experience, eat more of the foods they love, and smile with confidence.

 

                              Check out these additional resources: 

Get to Know the Basics of Dentures

Implants vs Overdentures Comparison Study

Learn More About Dental Implants 

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My Perio Protect Journey, Part 2
I arrived at the Western Dental office in Hawthorne, California for a dental check-up. Being a new patient and a member of the Western Dental Plan, my exam and x-rays were free of charge. The main purpose of my visit, though, was to begin the Perio Protect program. Dental appointments can give me a twinge of anxiety, but the staff at the office made me feel calm and welcome. The first step of the process was getting a thorough set of digital x-rays from a very friendly and efficient x-ray technician (I was done in about five minutes). They needed those to build my file and to make sure I didn’t have any hidden problems before starting Perio Protect. But all looked good. Next was a teeth cleaning. The hygienist went to work on my teeth, cleaning, polishing and checking the depth of the gum “pockets” around each tooth. Anything over 3 millimeters, she explained, indicated warning signs of possible periodontal disease, or at the least, gingivitis (a milder form of the disease). I checked out ok, except for a few “4’s” around the back molars. Her advice: give extra attention when brushing, and make sure to floss. And Perio Protect was definitely going to help. After a thorough exam by the dentist, a dental assistant prepped the trays used to take impressions of my upper and lower arches. (The impressions would be used to make the customized Perio Protect trays I would need for my home-care routine.) She filled the trays with impression material (kind of like soft Silly Putty), then placed the first tray over my upper teeth and held it in place for a few minutes while the material set. After repeating the process on my lower teeth and rinsing out remnants of the impression material, they had all they needed. My part was done, for now. The office would send the impressions to a lab to make my Perio Protect trays. I’ll be back in a few weeks to pick them up and get started with the program. Can’t wait to reap the benefits!
My Perio Protect Journey, Part 1
Perio Protect is a take-home dental care treatment that prevents gum disease (with the added, long-term benefits of killing bacteria, freshening breath and whitening teeth). A Perio Protect kit consists of two light-weight dental trays made of a soft, pliable material that fit snugly over upper and lower teeth. Each tray is filled with a small amount of Perio Protect gel and worn for 15 minutes each day. The following describes one patient’s experience. Everyone loves the feel of a clean, fresh mouth. So when I heard how Perio Protect could maintain healthy gums and guarantee fresh breath by killing bacteria, I wanted to learn more. Being in the dental business, I was invited to attend a training session for dental hygienists that highlighted how Perio Protect works and the benefits of the treatment. By wearing customized trays filled with a small amount of Perio Protect Gel for 15 minutes each day, powerful medication is delivered deep below the gum line, reaching every possible nook and cranny where bacteria hide and multiply. Its clinical benefit is in the prevention and treatment of gum disease, but Perio Protect also alleviates swollen, sensitive or bleeding gums, maintains fresh breath and restores overall oral health. Over time, the mild concentration of hydrogen peroxide in the gel whitens teeth. Even though I’m meticulous about my oral hygiene, I learned what I was missing with my toothbrush, rinses and floss. I got a lot more detail than I needed, but enough to make me schedule an appointment the next day. I’ll report back after my visit. Stay tuned…