We live in a society that demands immediate solutions to virtually all of our problems. Given technological innovations and an ever-increasing knowledge base, many aspects of our lives get better and better.
Think about your teeth, for example. In the past, when teeth were removed due to a host of conditions, the solution was always a full denture or a removable partial denture. Advances were made in the '40s and '50s, and fixed replacements (bridges) became available to most people. But when all the teeth were lost, dentures were still the only replacement.
Many changes have taken place since, and we can make dentures fit better. Bottom line, however, it’s still a removalbe replacement that comes out of your mouth, often when you least expect it, or food gets under and it hurts your gums.
Are Dentures Really Better Today?
Enter a Swedish orthopedic surgeon named Dr. PI Branemark in the late 1970s. He discovered titanium dental implants. These were introduced to the USA in 1982. I took my implant dentistry training from him in ’83, and has been doing implants ever since.
In the early days, a very rigid and strict protocol was followed. Place the implants and let the bone grow to them for 4 to 6 months before you can attach a denture to them.
Since that time, there have been many advances. The surface of the implant has changed so bone grows to it much faster, the threads are more aggressive so they grab the bone better and we learned that under the “right conditions” you can fasten a crown, a bridge or a denture immediately after placing the implant(s) in the jaw. Immediate fixation and gratification strikes again.
A Real-Life Example
Today a longtime patient came in for a re-exam and asked a question that startled me a little. She had lower implants placed 17 years ago at my office, and has a fixed lower denture. They look and work as good now as they did when we first placed them. She is happy with the choice she made those many years ago, and has had a better quality of life as a result.
There are some basic requirements that come into play, but if you have the right quality of bone, you can leave the office with a fixed prosthesis. We use computer-enhanced treatment planning and implant placement techniques to restore those that have essentially no jawbone at all. We can do immediate load implant treatment in the upper and lower jaws. We can grow bone if necessary, and don’t ever believe it when someone tells you that you can’t have implants because you don’t have bone.
It’s lack of experience and knowledge talking on their part – not fact. There are many different options when it comes to implants that vary in both expectations and expense. After all is said and done, we offer a quick fix to those that have denture problems, partial denture problems and missing teeth in general and have been doing it for a very long time.
For a comprehensive evaluation of your oral health and tooth repair and replacement needs, please call Paul P. Binon DDS MSD at 916-786-6676 today. Our office is in Roseville, California, and we serve patients throughout the area, including Sacramento, Rocklin, Citrus Heights and other nearby communities.