Our goal is to never make a conventional full lower denture again. We’ve had too many experiences with patients whose quality of life is significantly decreased when they lose their own natural teeth and instead are forced to adjust to wearing bulky plastic dentures that float in their mouths. We don’t want anyone else to suffer through that nightmare, so we strive to make implant overdentures as affordable as possible.
Other than phasing out conventional lower dentures, one of our goals is to educate people about the importance of implants for maintaining both the upper and lower jaw bones. Your jaws exist to hold your teeth in. When teeth are lost, the bone thinks it’s not needed anymore and shrinks away. This shrinkage continues for the rest of your life, making already uncomfortable dentures even worse. When implants are placed in the jaw, it stops shrinking! They not only make denture adhesive obsolete: implants help maintain your jaw bone, your ability to eat and speak, and the entire support system for your lower face.
We offer complete packages that include the implants, ball attachments, and a stable denture that attaches to the implant. The bare minimum number of implants per arch is four for upper, two for lower. When more implants are placed, our price only slightly increases, but by an amount far less than what other practices may charge. Every case is thoroughly evaluated to assess force factors unique to each person, cosmetic requirements, and goals for your future. We will not “under engineer” a case to save ourselves a few bucks – we have high expectations for the long-term success of your dental restorations.
Options include: overdentures for the lower and/or upper jaws that are removable or “hybrid” overdentures that are fixed and can only be removed by a dentist. Patients having a denture placed the day of their extraction would heal with an immediate denture.
Dr. Michelle is highly trained in bone grafting procedures, sinus lifts or “bumps,” extractions, implant placement, denture fabrication, cosmetics, and full mouth restoration. You can always expect 100% honesty and respect; we treat you the way we treat our own families because we truly care about improving the quality of your life.
Implants can also be used to replace several teeth, eliminating the need to grind down healthy adjacent teeth to serve as posts for traditional Crown & Bridge therapy.
The implants are placed in the bone below the gum tissue. Like single tooth replacement, temporary abutments may be placed on the implants until the healing phase is complete.
After healing, the abutments are attached to the implants. They will hold a custom-made bridge that the dental laboratory will mold and match to your existing teeth.
In the final step, the custom bridge is cemented onto the abutments. The teeth have been replaced without disturbing the healthy teeth next to them, and bone loss has been halted.
If all your teeth are missing, implants may be used to support a denture. The number of implants is determined by the specific requirements of each case.
The implants are positioned just below the gum tissue and given time to fuse with the bone. Temporary abutments may be placed on the implants until the healing phase is complete. Your existing denture can be modified so that it may be worn without disturbing the implants during the healing process.
After healing, you will be fitted for ball attachments that attach to the implants to support your denture. Your existing denture may be modified to be worn during this period.
Your new teeth are firmly supported by the jaw, stimulating it and halting bone loss.
If all your lower or upper teeth are missing, a permanent bridge may be cemented to the abutments attached to your implants.
The implants are positioned just below the gum tissue and given time to fuse with the bone. Temporary abutments may be placed on the implants until the healing phase is complete. Your existing denture may be modified so that it can be worn without disturbing the implants during the healing process.
You will be fitted for a custom bridge that is cemented on abutments attached to the implants.
Your new teeth are firmly supported by the jaw, stimulating it and halting bone loss.
Generally if you in good oral health, you will be a candidate for dental implants. It is necessary to have sufficient bone in your jaw to hold the implant. A CT scan is taken to determine the amount of bone in your jaw. Your dentist will help you determine if implants are best for you.
Dental implants are the ideal way to replace missing teeth and to ensure proper support for a full or partial denture. Dental implants are replacement teeth that will look and feel just like your natural teeth. They can be placed into the upper or lower jaw to permanently replace your missing teeth.
At your first visit, the implant or implants will be placed into your jaw bone. Four to six months must pass before the restoration phase can begin. This time will ensure the implant has integrated to the bone.
When your implant is ready to be restored a small piece, called an abutment is placed on top of the implant. A porcelain tooth that looks and feels like your natural teeth is then attached to the abutment. The total time from start to finish for an implant is about 4 to 8 months.
It is possible to place multiple implants or single implants and immediately attach needed teeth to ensure you will never be without teeth.
We want you to receive the best dental care possible, that’s why we invested in the latest technology in dental diagnostics, the Galileos® 3D Dental Conebeam.
The placement of each implant is important when doing full mouth restorations and individual implants. We make sure that the biting forces are directed along the long axis of the implant to prevent extra stress from off-angle forces; this gives the implant itself a better long term prognosis as well as the crown, bridge, or denture. Using a surgical guide is an excellent way to ensure that each implant is placed exactly where we intend it to be. To make each custom surgical guide, a 3-D image is reviewed with our implant lab and the implants are virtually placed within this image. Our implant lab then fabricates a “stent” (or guide) that will snap onto your teeth securely, and this stent guides the implant placement to exactly where it was planned in all three dimensions. Having a surgical guide is particularly useful for full arch cases and for patients who have a limited amount of bone in the area. Our doctors will review each case individually and recommend surgical stents as needed. http://www.mcenterusa.com/mguide.htm
For patients who don’t like to take their teeth out at night and who like the more natural appearance of porcelain, this is an excellent treatment option. It begins with at least 5 implants for the lower or at least 7 implants for the upper. After healing and several phases of cosmetic try-ins to ensure the patient loves their smile, a metal framework bridge with porcelain teeth is permanently cemented onto the implants. Advantages to this method of restoration are that it has a more realistic appearance, it is never removed, and it has excellent chewing efficiency. If any chips occur in the porcelain, they can easily be repaired in most cases by simply preparing that tooth to receive a porcelain crown, much like you would do on a natural tooth. The porcelain fused to metal bridge requires more support, so we plan accordingly with number and size of the implants we use to create the structure.
If you want to be able to remove your restorations in order to clean them, or if it is advisable for you to remove your dentures at night due to clenching/grinding, this can be a good option for you. We generally will stick to at least 2 implants for the lower and at least 4 implants for the upper. We mainly use ball retained dentures.
A denture will be made with ball attachments on the underside that snap onto the gaskets in the denture, preventing any rocking or sliding. The gaskets can easily be replaced over time as they loosen, and a new denture itself can be made at minimal cost when the old one begins to show wear. The ease of replacement is a distinct advantage of this treatment, as is the ability to remove the denture to thoroughly clean it. Some patients also dislike the bulk of having a restoration in their mouths at all times, and appreciate that they can remove it at home. As mentioned earlier, if a patient has strong clenching/grinding habits, it can give more longevity to their implants if they are able to remove their teeth at night and therefore not impart the stress of nighttime grinding onto the implants and bone.
If you don’t have enough bone to support the number of implants required for a permanently cemented bridge, but still desire teeth that don’t come out at night, you may be a candidate for this option. The lower jaw requires 4-5 implants and the upper jaw 4-6 implants. The final restoration after healing is made out of acrylic like a conventional denture, but it isn’t extended nearly as far along the tissue as a normal denture. Also, it contains a titanium bar that is then screwed into the implants themselves. This type of restoration can be removed by the Dentist, but not by the patient. It can be removed for repairs but not on a daily basis for cleaning. A definite advantage to this option is that it allows patients to have non-removable teeth with fewer implants or less stress to the implants. A nightguard should be worn by these patients to decrease the wear to the acrylic teeth and the stress to the acrylic substructure.
All three of the above final restoration options can either have a healing period that consists of wearing a conventional full denture OR a non-removable temporary denture. A screw-retained temporary requires a certain bone density and a patient without severe bite forces, and the patient is placed on a soft diet for several months to protect the implants as they heal. This treatment involves slightly more risk to the implants themselves and also involves an increase in fee. A common treatment that helps alleviate cost and also keeps risk to a minimum is to have a conventional healing denture for the upper jaw and a screw-retained temporary denture on the lower.
If extractions are required, or if the amount of bone is insufficient for implant placement without additional grafting, or if there is extensive infection to be managed, the length of treatment time may increase and there may be additional fees. We will not compromise treatment that we hope will last 30 years because we want to save 3 months of healing time!
For current denture wearers who are tired of using adhesive but are otherwise happy with their dentures, there is an option to place several implants to help “tack” down the denture. Two to four implants in the lower and four to six implants in the upper jaw are placed, allowed to heal, and then the current denture is modified so that it will snap onto the implants. The end result gives you confidence without adhesive, but doesn’t differ greatly from the denture experience with which they are familiar. The other added benefit is that the bone around the new implants will recede at a significantly slower rate than the jawbone of a conventional denture wearer.