When you first received your dentures, you were beyond grateful. They did give you a complete smile and make it easier to chew food, after all. However, you’ve since realized that compared to your natural teeth, traditional dentures leave much to be desired. If you’re interested in getting replacement teeth that look and feel almost exactly like your original ones, you may want to get an upgraded denture that is attached to dental implants. Transitioning from dentures to dental implants can be quite a change, so here’s a basic guide to what you can expect!

Before Getting Dental Implants

If several years have passed since you lost your natural teeth, your dentist will likely determine that you need a bone graft before implants can be placed. This is because the jawbone naturally shrinks after teeth go missing, which may render it unable to adequately support implants. Grafting additional bone material (which can come from a donor or elsewhere on your body) to the area can create a healthy foundation for the implants. There’s also a chance that you’ll require other preparatory procedures, such as gum disease therapy.

Dental Implant Surgery

While your old dentures merely rested on your gums, your upgraded prosthetic will be fixed onto dental implants, which are essentially artificial tooth roots. To place these small titanium posts, your dentist will need to create tiny incisions in your gums and gain access to your jawbone.
Dental implant surgery might sound scary, but there’s nothing to worry about. Because of local anesthetic and sedation techniques, you should barely feel anything during the procedure. Most patients actually feel back to normal after just a few days.

Can Your Old Denture Be Attached to Implants?

There’s a possibility that your dentist could retrofit your current denture to be secured onto implants, but it’s not very likely. Often, traditional dentures aren’t made from the highest-quality materials, so they can’t withstand the same chewing forces that implants can. You’ll probably need a completely new denture.

Adjusting to Implant Dentures

An implant denture can be either removable or fixed in place. If it’s removable, then you can take it out for cleaning, just like with your existing denture. With a fixed implant denture, you’ll be able to brush and floss like natural teeth since only a dentist can remove it.

No matter which kind of implant denture you receive, it’s a good idea to eat a soft-food diet at first. As you get used to chewing with your new pearly whites, you’ll eventually be able to chow down on practically any food you’d like. Generally, patients find that getting used to an implant denture is easier than adjusting to a conventional denture.

If you’re getting frustrated with your denture, now’s the time to talk to your dentist about getting dental implants instead!

About the Author

Dr. Alan Kellner proudly provides a wide variety of dental services at Seaside Family Dentistry, including dental implants. He focuses on meeting each patient’s specific needs, instead of the cookie-cutter approach you’ll find at many dental offices. If you’re looking to switch from dentures to dental implants in Fort Lauderdale, FL, get in touch with Dr. Kellner and his team by calling 954-908-6780.