When the decision has been made by the patient to proceed with an implant supported denture, he or she has options to choose from. The decisions are based on the individuals existing conditions such as the amount and quality of their bone and soft tissue to support the implants as well as their consideration as to whether they wish their prosthesis ( denture) to be removable or totally fixed. These implant supported dentures can be used to replace an existing dentition or be used on a fully edentulous case.
When there is a limited amount and quality of bone, thereby limiting the number and location of the implants, a removable ( fixed detachable) denture works well and will require fewer implants to be placed . The number of implants can range between two to five. The implants are typically connected by a bar made of milled titanium which the denture will attach to.
The second type of implant supported denture is the fixed hybrid.
This prosthesis has become popular in advertising as “Teeth in a Day”. This type of denture will be supported by four to eight implants. The decisions made for the number of implants is again based on the quality and amount of bone as well as anatomical structures such as the sinus cavities in the Maxillary arch or the Mandibular nerve channel in the lower arch. Once secured the denture is not removable by the patient, and it functions well to mimic the natural dentition.
Diagnostic decisions are based with the assistance of a Computerized Tomography Scan ( CT scan). This x-ray will accurately show the height, width, and volume of the available bone, and the pertinent anatomical structures. At Lake Mary Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry we have a Valtech Green CT scan machine which has the lowest radiation level of all x-ray CT machines available, and It provides a detailed resolution of the images taken in only six seconds.
With the assistance of a CT scan, we can place implants with the aid of digitally created stents. These surgical stents are fabricated by utilization of the CT scan files. The surgical stent provides an extremely accurate means of placing implants and reduces the surgical time required for placement.
Maintenance Protocol for Implant Supported Dentures
The maintenance of these two types of implant supported dentures differs. Since the fixed detachable can be removed, the patient has access to cleaning the bar and the top of the implants with a conventional toothbrush and interproximal brushes. The fixed hybrid conversely requires the use of a waterpik to thoroughly clean under the denture. Based upon the remaining dentition of the patient, they will be seen on a regular maintenance schedule with the hygienist every three to six months.