Implant Retained Dentures
Most experienced denture wearers will tell you that eating, speaking, and anything else that requires much mouth movement is difficult. Plus, denture adhesive paste is sticky and does not work well. Implants have been utilized for many years to stabilize dentures, but each case requires different implants and attachment techniques to work efficiently. Although these implants are used to anchor dentures, sometimes bone grafts or augmentation is still necessary. Our in-office equipment, such as the Planmeca ProMax 3D scanner can determine whether it is needed or not. When at all possible, we try to save teeth. However there is a point when we decide to extract hopeless teeth and recommend implant retained dentures.
Recently the use of miniature implants has become very popular. Imtec MDI and Intralock are a few brands of mini implant that eliminate the need for bone grafts, which normally require months to integrate with the jawbone, due to their specific design and size. Miniature implants are usually used to anchor a denture to an upper or lower jaw. Patients who have had bone loss issues in the past and those who have been told they could not have implants usually benefit the most from mini implants, if traditional short implants cannot be used.
Traditional implants are the most durable and trusted base for dentures. Utilizing even just two implants can drastically change stability in a denture or a partial denture. Not only will adding implants help function tremendously, but also by stimulating the bone around the areas where the implants are placed, bone loss will decrease.
Edentulous patients’ jawbone structure deteriorates more rapidly as time passes, and dentures get more difficult to fabricate and much more of a hassle to wear. Stimulating the jawbone will help to ensure that the jawbone stays intact. The use of four implants instead of two is often used for greater retention, and usually with our implants you do not need a palate.
Once the implants are placed and osseointegration (the process of implant fusing to bone) has occurred, male locating attachments are placed on the implants. Female locating attachments are placed inside the denture, allowing them to “snap” into the implants. Male and female locating attachments are used to keep the device securely fastened to the implants. Zest Anchors is one of the leading manufacturers of locating attachments used in Koeppel Dental Group. The unique quality of this brand is the ability of the attachment to pivot around the implant. Giving these locating attachments more resilience and tolerance for the high mastication (chewing) process. The strength of the attachments can be easily changed, allowing patients to place and remove dentures without disturbing the implants. Sterngold is also a very advanced attachment system used in our office. They were the first company to produce denture attachments know as ERA attachments and are continuing to reinvent and improve them today. Dr. Koeppel, director of Koeppel Dental Group, has been using them for over 25 years.