Implant dentures are changing patient’s lives. Old dentures were a thing to fear. Old style dentures are large loose pieces of acrylic that sit on top of the gums that are difficult to chew and taste with, that need gobs of gooey adhesive, and fall out at embarrassing times. Old style dentures have a thick layer of plastic on the roof of the mouth making them cumbersome. Most patients have such a hard time with their lower denture that they end up rarely wearing them. Regular dentures can be debilitating and can lower self confidence immensely. However, there is very good news out there for those of you who already have dentures or who need to have your teeth removed.
Implants have changed all of this, and implant dentures are the best thing to happen to dentistry in decades. Dr. Lampee has been doing implant dentures for over 15 years now and his expertise can guide your through this treatment and help you understand it better.
Reasons for Implant Dentures
Implant dentures are necessary when all of the teeth are missing or when all of the teeth need to be removed due to infection, cavities, and fractures. We are finding out more and more about the connection between mouth health and whole-body health. The infections in your mouth from gum disease, abscesses, and cavities can weaken your immune system and increase your risk for heart attack, stroke, and can make autoimmune disorders worse.
Many of my patients have not been to the dentist in five, ten, or even twenty years or more. This can be due to prior bad experiences, anxiety, and finances. They start noticing bad breath, bleeding gums, and broken teeth. It is at this condition of the mouth that patients realize they need to come in and get the straight answers from Dr. Lampee.
When patients present in this condition it is often necessary to remove all of the teeth and clean out all of the infections. We call this starting with a new blank canvas that we can paint a new beautiful picture on. We are going to recreate your mouth, and it will be awesome! You are going to smile again.
Implant dentures can be done in about a day. Yes, that about 24 hours. We generally do the procedure with sedation for patient comfort. After meeting with Dr. Lampee for your implant denture consult, we take molds of your mouth so the dental laboratory can start making your new teeth. Dr. Lampee also does a 3d cat scan x-ray to rehearse the surgery before doing it in real life with his computer software. From the 3d cat scan x-ray we can see how dense your bone is, how big any infections are, and where to place implants.
Implant Denture Surgery
Speaking of implants, implant dentures are all about implants. The implant denture surgery is extremely complex. That’s why it is important to have an expert like Dr. Lampee perform the procedure. It takes years of practice and placing thousands of implants to reach that level of clinical excellence.
The day of implant denture surgery is exciting. Once you are comfortably sedated Dr. Lampee gets to work. Dr. Lampee gently removes any remaining teeth and cleans out the infections with antibacterial flushes and peroxide. The goal is to get rid of all infection that may be causing your immune system harm. Once the teeth are out, Dr. Lampee has to get the bone ready for the implants and implant dentures. We actually have to trim the bone up to create a level platform for the implants and to ensure we have enough space for your new teeth to fit in.
Next comes placing the implants for the implant dentures to rest on. Dr. Lampee generally places 4 to 8 implants per jaw. We can do both jaws in one day so you only have to go through the procedure once. Patients love the fact that we have perfected our implant denture technique so much that we can do it all in about a day. The implants are place into the jaw at several different angles in order to engage the good dense bone in your jaws. Once the implants are in we place special parts on them called abutments to make them all parallel so we can screw in the final teeth.
Implant Denture Impressions
We then take impressions of the implants and start any necessary suturing. This is where the dental laboratory comes in. Overnight they are going to make your new screw in implant denture. Now this is your first implant denture restoration and it will be made our of acrylic. It is a beautiful restoration that screws on permanently to the implants. The implant denture does not come in or out, does not rock, and is very secure. It is locked and loaded and screwed into place.
Once you have your permanent implant denture in the 24 hours it is now time to start healing. Now just because you have your new permanent implant denture doesn’t mean you can start eating whatever you want. For the first three months you have to be on a very soft diet with your implant dentures. On a microscopic level there are many changes happening to the bone around your new implants, and it so important to not overload the implants for the first three months while this is happening. Super soft diet means super soft foods. We cannot stress this enough. We will also give you a night guard to wear to help protect your new implant denture.
The first week after implant denture surgery is the hardest. You may be swollen, bruised, and have
some pain. To make this healing as quick as possible we prescribe you antibiotics, a short course of steroids, pain pills, and a special anti-bruising lotion to rub on your face. Once the first week is done you are going to be feeling better and better and loving your new implant denture smile.
Portland Implant Denture Dentist
After four months of healing Dr. Lampee is going to unscrew your acrylic implant denture and take impressions for the final ceramic zirconia implant denture. The final zirconia implant denture is immensely strong and beautiful. This is your final implant denture. You can eat what you want with this because it is so strong and the implants are fully healed. It is screwed in permanently and the goal is to never take it out. We do recommend not eating really sticky or hard foods because they could cause damage.
A lot of my patients wonder how to clean this implant denture. Dr. Lampee recommends a Waterpik and a Sonicare. The Waterpik is like a pressure washer for the mouth and really helps to clean the implant denture. You also need to come in once per year for a cleaning with our hygienist and for a checkup exam with Dr. Lampee.
Implant dentures and Portland dental implants can be for the rest of your life if taken care of well and if you stay healthy. You need to not smoke, control your diabetes and blood pressure, and control any autoimmune disorders. Like with any artificial part put into your body such as a new hip or knee, there is a chance you might need a revision at some point in the future which could mean a new implant or a new prosthetic could be necessary.
It is amazing to see how our patients change after the Dr. Lampee’s implant denture procedure. They can smile again and be confident again. So many of our patients have more energy, their health and diabetes improve, and they feel like themselves again. Implant dentures have revolutionized dentistry and are changing lives.