An implant retained partial denture is a denture that is held in place by dental implants and can be removed from the mouth during sleep or when dentures need cleaning. However, unlike conventional dentures which simply slip into place, these partials are anchored to fixed titanium posts embedded in the jawbone that emulate natural tooth roots.
Implant retained partial dentures are much better for patients than standard dentures because the implants themselves keep the jawbone constantly stimulated with the vibrations of chewing and eating. This prevents bone recession that always results when natural teeth are missing.
Implant retained partial dentures are also intended to evenly distribute chewing forces over the entirety of the arch and surrounding. This makes them work like more like natural teeth, and to act in harmony with remaining natural teeth. A person with these special partials can better enjoy daily life and eating without stress, discomfort, or embarrassment.
A person needs implant retained partial dentures anytime they lose teeth to an accident, tooth decay, gum disease, or altercation. It is never a good idea to leave the upper or lower arch. Teeth rely upon one another for alignment, so even one lost tooth creates enough of a gap to shift the remaining teeth in the arch completely out of alignment. Opposing teeth extrude from their sockets into the gap, and people often end up biting their lips and jaws because of the misaligned teeth.
Also, when teeth shift out of alignment, there is also a greater risk of tooth decay because portions of the teeth become more exposed to bacteria and plaque, and many of these areas are very hard to brush and floss. Periodontal disease also results from this buildup.
The worst consequence, however, of doing nothing is jawbone loss. As previously noted, this happens when there are no tooth roots to keep the bone stimulated.
Tooth grinding, or bruxism, can also be a result of doing nothing about missing teeth. Unequal forces placed on shifting teeth will not only wear down the enamel over time, it will also start to affect the jawbone joint itself, medically referenced as the TMJ.
Implant retained partials will prevent many, if not all of these problems, if the patient qualifies for implantation and acts quickly enough. They definitely will halt bone loss because the jawbone will treat the implants just like tooth roots and thereby retain its normal vitality and strength.
To determine if implants are right for a patient, dentists conduct a complete oral examination. They check previous medical history and discuss any condition that could interfere with the healing process. They also check for oral cancer, and they perform a complete visual examination of the mouth to determine the health of gums. They also check on the health of the jawbone itself by taking panographic x-rays, and, when necessary, also use CT (computerized tomography) scans. Then, they make a model of the patients mouth by taking impressions and bite registrations.
Implant retained partials offer several benefits. They are less expensive than the porcelain crowns that are used to make dental bridges and cosmetic tooth restorations. They can be removed and cleaned when necessary, or taken out during sleep. They also are the only type of dentures that can halt bone loss, so even though they are more expensive, they are well worth the money.
Houston Cosmetic Dentistry is a specialized field that requires extensive knowledge and experience to be done correctly. The Medical Center Dental Group in Houston, Texas brings all of that and more to the direct benefit of each and every patient we treat. Although we are located in the world famous Houston Medical Center at Scurlock Towers, we routinely see dental patients who travel from Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Beaumont and Midland Texas to see Dr. Dale Brant, Dr. Charles Campbell or Dr. Elizabeth OSullivan-Winslow for their cosmetic denistry services that includes: