Implant Dentures

Tooth loss is extremely prevalent in the United States. 20% of Americans over the age of 65 are missing all of their teeth. Luckily, significant medical advances have been made providing a multitude of dental treatment options to reestablish your self-esteem and ability to eat, speak, and smile confidently. Implant-supported dentures, sometimes called all-on-four, hybrid dentures, implant dentures, or teeth-in-a-day, are dental prosthetics that replace all of your upper teeth and/or lower teeth. These are more secure than traditional dentures and the dental implants act as artificial tooth roots, stimulating your jaw and helping to prevent bone loss.

Initial Implant Denture Consultation

Once it has been mutually decided an implant denture is the right option for you, the true process begins. This involves a significant amount of planning and preparation for your big day. For this reason, the term “teeth in a day” is often misleading and undervalues the education and collaborative expertise that goes into making the procedure possible.

On average, 2-3 weeks of pre-surgical planning is necessary, including fabricating an implant surgical guide and a temporary fixed denture to wear during healing. The planning process includes photos and impressions for smile and denture design and 3D x-rays to evaluate bone quality and plan implant size, quantity, and positions for the surgical guide. This is achieved by collaboration with you, the patient, on the appearance you want to achieve, Dr. Raymond, the dental lab technician, and the oral surgeon who will be placing the implants.

The Process of Getting Implant Dentures

Dental Implant Surgery

On surgery day, the oral surgeon will provide sedation, remove any remaining teeth, and precisely place your dental implants. Dr. Raymond or a lab technician will be on-site to then attach your temporary denture to those implants. This is all achieved in a 2-4 hour surgery. When you awake, your new fixed denture is in place and you can begin enjoying it immediately, hence the name “teeth in a day.”

It is important to note that there are restrictions while you heal, including chewing only soft foods and special care for keeping your new fixed teeth and implants clean for a speedy recovery. Typical healing time before moving to the final implant dentures is 4 months.

Creating Your Final Dentures

Once implants have fully integrated and you’ve been given clearance by the oral surgeon to proceed, we begin the process of creating a second, permanent set of dentures. While most patients are completely happy with their temporary dentures, they are designed for long-term wear. The final prosthesis is reinforced with a custom titanium framework which adds strength so you can resume chewing normal foods. Other options for improved strength include porcelain teeth vs. traditional acrylic denture teeth, and increased esthetic options for a hyper-realistic appearance not achievable with temporary materials. This also allows us to refine the appearance, tooth position, color, shape, and size of the teeth and the position of pink gum tissue for a completely natural appearance. At appointment, we will take an impression of your gums and the exposed portion of the implants to send to the dental lab.

Your New Smile

Once your dentures are ready, we will attach them to the implants and secure them in place. You will be able to enjoy a beautiful new smile that looks natural and allows you to eat and speak without worrying about your dentures slipping, rubbing, moving, or falling out.

Follow-Up Appointments

It is important to remember that a procedure like this does not mean you are done seeing the dentist. We recommend regular visits every 3-6 months where we will remove the dentures to clean and reattach them. However, some implant denture designs allow you to remove them at night for cleaning, allowing for more time between recare visits. Though less frequent, other maintenance is to be expected including the replacement or repair of worn denture teeth and pink acrylic. This will be determined by how you care for your dentures and if you grind or wear your teeth. Much like replacing worn tires on your car, sometimes we need to “retread” your denture.

The Clear Choice for Implant-Supported Dentures

Dr. James Raymond is a compassionate and skilled Tucson dentist whose goal is to help you love your smile. Our practice offers a variety of cosmetic and restorative dental treatments, including all-on-four implant-supported dentures.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment to discuss implant dentures or other restorative dentistry options.
Questions? Read Our Implant Dentures FAQ
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