Implant for Denture Users

What problems do dentures cause?
How do dental implants help denture users?
What is a dental implant?
Can I get a fixed denture that does not come out?
What kind of foods can I eat afterward?
Do I have enough bone for implants?
Can I be too old for implants?
Can I get implants with my osteoporosis condition?
Can dental implants be rejected?
How many dental implants do I need?
What is Teeth-in-a-Day?
Why are dental implants better than partial or full dentures?
Will my new teeth look natural?
Who is a candidate for dental implant treatment?
How Long Does It Take To Complete Treatment?
Is the Surgical Procedure Painful?
How Long Do Implants Last?
Do Dental Implants Ever Fail?
Does the Body Ever Reject Dental Implants?
Is It Possible To Use an Existing Denture with Dental Implants?
What Is Involved With Taking Care of Dental Implants?
What Is the Cost of Implant Treatment?
Is Dental Implant Treatment Covered by Dental Insurance?
Does Medical Insurance Cover Implant Treatment?

What problems do dentures cause?
When all of your teeth are missing, the jaws deteriorate rapidly. In addition, as the bone melts away your muscles migrate, or pull back from their natural position. Your lips cave in as they lose support and wrinkles increase dramatically as your facial structures collapse. Complete tooth loss and the deterioration of the jaws can also result in significant overall health problems related to improper digestion and malnutrition.
If you replace your missing teeth with dentures, you are compromising your facial structures. Dentures accelerate the bone resorption process as they put pressure on and compact the gums and underlying bone. As facial structures continue to collapse, the dentures must be relined (made thicker) to compensate for additional bone loss. Replacing your teeth with implant supported overdentures (or bridges) will preserve the bone and prevent the further deterioration of facial structures and the related health problems that would normally occur with complete tooth loss.

How do dental implants help denture users?
Dental implants provide long-term support for your teeth that are stable and easy to eat with, while preserving your jaw bone and facial structures.
My dentures are loose and can not eat well. What are my choices?
Dentures cause irreversible loss of jaw bone over time, and become increasingly loose and difficult to chew with. Frequent relines and expensive adhesives do not improve the condition, which progressively gets worse. The best alternative is dental implants to support either a removable denture (known as overdenture) or a fixed denture (hybrid prosthesis or bridge). Even the simplest design can improve your denture retention, eating, and self-confidence dramatically.

What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a substitute tooth root that serves the same function as a natural tooth root. It preserves bone and provides a stable foundation for a replacement tooth that looks feels and functions like a natural tooth. Dental implants are made of titanium, which is a biocompatible material used in orthopedic implants.

Can I get a fixed denture that does not come out?
Absolutely. Many people do not like removable dentures and find it quite embarrassing. With dental implants, you can have a fixed prosthesis that cannot be removed by you. It resembles natural teeth and is quite comfortable.  Depending on the particular design, four to eight implants are necessary for a fixed prosthesis.

What kind of foods can I eat afterward?
Patients report significant improvements in their chewing ability and diet.  You can eat steaks, apples, corn on cobb, and other foods that are practically impossible to eat with conventional dentures.

Do I have enough bone for implants?
Sufficient bone is important for the long-term success of dental implants. During examination, Dr. Kazemi will evaluate the amount of bone you have. Various X-rays such as panorex or CT-scan may be needed for proper diagnosis and treatment planning. Implants for lower overdenture are usually placed in the front part of the jaw where there is usually adequate bone, even in severe cases of resorption. The upper jaw bone may require bone augmentation depending on the number and location of the implants. A good clinical evaluation, along with appropriate X-rays or CT-scan will tell whether you have enough bone to support implants.

Can I be too old for implants?
Some older patients fear their jaw bone is too weak for implants.  Fact is, dental implants are equally successful and have excellent prognosis in older patients. There is no age limit for dental implants and for many, improved chewing, teeth stability, and self-confidence adds quality to their lives. Implants have been placed successfully in patients over 85 years old with similar success.

Can I get implants with my osteoporosis condition?
Absolutely. Osteoporosis does not effect the health of the jaw bone. Dental implants are equally effective and successful.

Can dental implants be rejected?
Rejection does not occur with dental implants. The overall success rate for dental implants is 98 percent with almost 50 years of clinical research to back them up. Because implants are made of completely biologically compatible “bone-friendly” titanium material, they naturally heal and integrate with the surrounding tissues.

How many dental implants do I need?
The number of implants and treatment options are based on your desire and needs. You may choose between a fixed or removable prosthesis, each requiring certain number of implants and planning. Following implant placement, you may continue using your existing denture may be modified and used as interim while implants are healing.
Removal prosthesis options (overdentures)

  • Two Implants: Simplest and minimum number of implants for support of an overdenture. You will have great denture retention and can eat quite comfortable

  • Four Implants: Provides better support for your removable overdenture. Having four implants allows less denture extension or flanges and increases comfort dramatically. In some cases, a fixed prosthesis may be possible with four implants.


Fixed prosthesis options

  • Five-Six Implants: Ideal for a fixed-hybrid prosthesis. This is an overdenture that has metal sub-structure and is fixated to the implants. The prosthesis can be removed only by your dentist, if necessary. This eliminates denture extensions or flanges and feels more natural.

  • Eight Implants: Indicated for a fixed bridge. This prosthesis is made of porcelain or other ceramics and is supported by implants via screws or cement.



What is Teeth-in-a-Day?
It is is possible to have extractions, implants, and your implant-supported denture all in the same day. However, success depends on the health of the extraction sites, integrity of the surrounding bone, and location of implants. Immediate implant placement shortens the overall treatment time and consolidates your procedures into one. However, it is must be done with caution and only in selected patients who meet strict criteria.
Teeth-in-a-Day is largely a marketing fad advertised widely. Teeth-in-A-Day means you have your teeth removed, implants placed, and receive crowns, bridges, or dentures all in one day. Here is the catch:While promising, the current science, knowledge, literature, research, and expertise is not sufficient to achieve predictable results. The approach may be successful, but only in very few candidates who present with no infection around their teeth, have great amount of bone, and all conditions are ideal. If conditions were this perfect, why would they need to have their teeth extracted to begin with? Many commercial “implant centers” do a hard sell to fit a patient into a treatment plan. Healthy natural teeth end up being extracted in order to place multiple implants and connect them with an immediate prosthesis on the same day! There are some evidence-based studies on this approach, but there are too many variables not yet thoroughly understood. Use of this approach in poor candidates results in high rates of failure and implant loss.

Why are dental implants better than partial or full dentures?
Dental implants can last a lifetime, unlike bridges, partials and dentures that may need to be replaced several times. Since dental implants prevent the bone resorption that occurs when teeth are missing, the natural appearance of the smile is preserved. With implant treatment, there is no compromise to adjacent teeth; they are not cut down to place a bridge, or loosened by the hooks on removable partials. Dentures and partials have the added disadvantage of accelerating the bone resorption process, which causes the appearance of premature aging.

Will my new teeth look natural?
Your new replacement teeth will look, feel and function like natural teeth. And since implant treatment is the only solution that prevents bone resorption, which can cause your smile to look unnatural, the long term esthetics will be superior to any other treatment option.

Who is a candidate for dental implant treatment?
Nearly everyone who is missing one or more teeth and in general good health is a candidate for dental implant treatment.   There are a few medical conditions that can undermine the success of implant treatment, such as uncontrolled diabetes.   However, there are very few conditions that would keep someone from having implant treatment altogether.
Quality and quantity of available bone for implant placement is more often a factor in qualifying for dental implants than medical conditions. However, even people who have lost a significant amount of bone can qualify for dental implant treatment with additional procedures to add bone or create new bone. Advances in this type of treatment have made it possible for most people who would not previously have been considered candidates to have successful implant treatment.

How Long Does It Take To Complete Treatment?
The entire treatment may take from several weeks to several months depending on prosthesis design, number of implants, quality of bone, and your personal needs. A full denture may be placed immediately on the implants providing you with well supported teeth on the same day. But usually it is best to allow implants healing for two to three months before the final denture or prosthesis is made.

Is the Surgical Procedure Painful?
Most implant patients report that the discomfort is far less than they expected, and is significantly less than a tooth extraction.  And although everyone is different with regard to pain tolerance, most patients are very comfortable simply taking Tylenol afterward.

How Long Do Implants Last?
Documented clinical research demonstrates that implant supported replacement teeth have been successful for over 50 years. These were some of the first root-form implant cases ever completed and they have been closely monitored from the beginning. It is highly likely that these cases will be successful throughout the lifetime of those patients.
Dental implants are designed to be permanent; however many factors contribute to the long term success of implant treatment, such as home care and regular maintenance visits to the dentist or dental specialist. By comparison, research demonstrates that the typical tooth supported bridge lasts from 7-10 years and that partials and dentures are functional for approximately 5 years. Insurance statistics indicate that bridges, partials and dentures last 5 years and they generally pay for replacements every 5 years.

Do Dental Implants Ever Fail?
Dental implant treatment is one of the most successful procedures in the medical-dental field, with documented success rates over 98%. Although successful treatment is very predictable, there are rare occasions where the bone does not completely bond to the implants. When this occurs, new implants are placed, and the success rates for the replacement implants are even higher.
Smoking or putting too much pressure on newly placed implants, as with excessive grinding of the teeth, can cause problems with the bone bonding to the implants and should be avoided.

Does the Body Ever Reject Dental Implants?
No. Rejection does not occur with dental implants. The overall success rate for dental implants is 98 percent with almost 50 years of clinical research to back them up. Because implants are made of completely biologically compatible “bone-friendly” titanium material, they naturally heal and integrate with the surrounding tissues. Because titanium is accepted so well by the human body, it also used for orthopedic implants, such as hip and knee replacements.

Is It Possible To Use an Existing Denture with Dental Implants?
Sometimes it is possible to use a patient’s existing denture, as opposed to fabricating a new denture to snap onto dental implants, by altering it to accommodate the necessary attachments. However, there are a number of factors that must be considered. Since each patient’s situation is unique, the possibility of using an existing denture can only be determined in evaluation with a dentist or dental specialist.

What Is Involved With Taking Care of Dental Implants?
The home care recommended varies depending upon the type of implant supported replacement teeth. For example, a single implant supported crown is cleaned like a natural tooth, with regular brushing and flossing. Implant supported bridges that replace a few teeth are cleaned like tooth supported bridges, brushing and flossing with a floss threader.
Home care is a little more complicated for people who are missing all of their teeth, in that special brushes and floss are often recommended. With overdentures, it is necessary to clean the implant attachments, as well as the overdenture.   Permanently fixed implant supported replacement teeth are cleaned like all other bridges.
In all cases, it is recommended that patients see their regular dentist and hygienist at least twice each year unless they routinely see the periodontist, in which case they would continue to alternate visits. It is usually recommended that the patient see the surgical specialist who places the implant(s) at least once each year as well. These visits, combined with proper home care, are essential to the long term success of implant treatment.

What Is the Cost of Implant Treatment?
An investment in dental implant treatment is an investment in overall health, appearance and well being, as it involves preserving the integrity of facial structures, as well as replacing missing teeth.
The actual cost of implant treatment is based on a number of factors, such as the number of missing teeth being replaced, the type of implant supported teeth (treatment option) recommended and whether additional procedures are necessary to achieve the proper esthetic and functional result.
There is often a misconception that there is a set cost for each implant. The fees are calculated based on the amount of time the dental specialist anticipates spending to complete treatment (implant placement, other surgical procedures, fabrication of replacement teeth,…) as well as the estimated cost of implants, other components and materials necessary to complete treatment – and dental laboratory fees.
The fee is usually comparable to other methods of tooth replacement; however, long-term, implant treatment is generally more cost effective than other options, such as bridges, partials and dentures that need to be replaced every 5-10 years.
The only way to accurately estimate the cost for an individual patient is to have an examination and evaluation with a dental specialist.

Is Dental Implant Treatment Covered by Dental Insurance?
Insurance coverage of implant treatment depends on the individual policy.  However, it is rare to receive any substantial coverage. Since the benefit coverage is determined strictly by the amount the employer wants to spend on the policy, and the insurance companies want to build in their profit margins, there are major limitations on most dental insurance plans.   In reality, the plans are only designed to cover routine maintenance, emergencies and basic care.
The insurance companies use statistical data to determine the most common procedures submitted on claims, and then they set their own “usual and customary fee” schedule for these procedures. They also determine the specific restrictions and limitations for each plan. Because the plans are only intended to cover the basics, there is an annual maximum allowable benefit of $1,000-$1,500 on most plans.
Although most companies exclude implants as a covered benefit, many of the will pay the same benefit they would cover for the lowest cost alternative treatment option (partials and dentures) and some of the diagnostic records, if a specific request is made for “alternative benefits”. Even if an individual policy includes implants as a covered benefit, the amount of coverage is still limited to the annual maximum allowable.

Does Medical Insurance Cover Implant Treatment?
There are a few cases where medical insurance is available for people who are missing all of their teeth, and as a result, have medical complications. This type of coverage depends solely on the individual policy. Other than these situations, medical coverage is very rare.
Work related injuries and other types of accidents are the other cases that are sometimes covered by insurance. Medicare does not cover implant treatment. All in all, it is best to assume that there is no medical insurance coverage available.