Posted on: 15 October 2015
If you're missing multiple teeth, you have a few options for replacing them. You could have them all replaced with individual implants -- or you could go for the more modern option of having them replaced by an implant-supported partial denture. This consists of a denture piece that includes crowns to replace the teeth you're missing, as well as several small implants to which the denture attaches. Implant-supported dentures are becoming more popular among those who are missing multiple teeth because they offer the following advantages when compared to having several individual implants placed:
The recovery time is shorter.
The implants used for implant-supported dentures are smaller that those used for traditional implants. Also, you'll only need a couple of them, rather than one for each tooth you are missing. This leads to a shorter healing time with implant-supported dentures than with multiple traditional implants. It will take about 8 - 10 weeks for your jaw to heal after the initial implant surgery, and then your denture can be put into place. Traditional dental implants, on the other hand, involve 2 healing period of 3 - 6 months, and then another few weeks of healing after the caps are applied to the implants.
You don't need as much bone.
Many patients experience bone loss in their jaw. This may occur due to osteoporosis or another age-related bone condition, or it may result from losing a tooth and then not replacing it immediately. Patients with significant jaw bone loss are not usually candidates for traditional implants, since their bone won't be strong enough to fuse to the implant and hold it in place. However, since the implants used for implant-supported dentures are smaller and thinner, they can be placed in patients who have some bone loss.
Only local anesthesia is generally required.
Some dentists may insert one or two traditional implants with the patient under local anesthetic only, but if you're missing quite a few teeth, your dentist would likely need to put you under general anesthesia to replace them all with individual implants. Thus, if you have a medical condition that makes it dangerous for you to undergo anesthesia, multiple traditional implants may not be an option. Since only a few implants are needed for an implant-supported denture, and because they are applied in a less invasive manner, your dentist can perform the procedure under local anesthesia. You'll be awake during the procedure, but your mouth with be numb. Local anesthesia is usually safe even for those who cannot undergo general anesthesia.
If your jaw bone is minimal, you don't want to spend months recovering, or you are not a candidate for general anesthesia, then choosing an implant-supported denture over multiple dental implants is a wide decision.Share