If you have been wearing dentures for years but are now starting to consider getting dental implants, you no doubt have many questions. While dentures and dental implants are similar in many ways, there are also differences that can impact your ability to receive the implants. If you’re curious, here’s what you need to know.
If you have worn dentures for as long as perhaps 10 years, you may be experiencing what is known as facial collapse, meaning your jawbone has shrunk due to the lack of minerals brought about by missing teeth. While this may sound as if dental implants are out of the question, that is not so.
In some situations where there is a significant loss of bone density within the jaw, bone grafting procedures can be used to build up your jawbone. This can be done by either taking bone from other parts of the body, such as the hip, or using artificial bone to build up the jaw.
All-On-4 or All-On-6
In many situations such as these, your dentist may instead bypass bone grafting procedures and use what are know as all-on-4 or all-on-6 techniques with your dental implants. When dentures are worn for an extended period of time, the bone thickness in the front of the mouth generally remains about the same, and thus can support shorter implants. Using this to their advantage, your dentist can then place your implants at certain angles. By doing so, the implants give you a natural-looking smile, are resistant to becoming displaced, and eliminate the need for bone grafting.
If you have been a long-time denture wearer but now want to explore the possibility of obtaining dental implants, don’t hesitate. Instead, contact St. Louis Prosthodontics today for a consultation and to learn more about dental implants.