Implant Supported Prostheses
Prostheses, or artificial limbs and joints, have allowed those with disabilities to enjoy a more mobile, independent lifestyle. Getting fitted for the right prosthesis can be arduous; however, implant-supported prostheses offer numerous advantages compared to alternative fittings. From enabling better grip strength to restoring the natural range of motion as closely as possible, implant-supported prostheses' benefits are invaluable.
The Basics of Implant-Supported Prostheses
An implant-supported prosthesis is a dental restoration that relies on dental implants to support the replacement teeth. These prostheses can be used for various purposes, such as single tooth replacement with an implant, multiple teeth replacement with implants, or replacing an entire arch of teeth. The prosthetic teeth are custom-made to match the size, shape, and color of the patient's natural teeth, ensuring a seamless and natural-looking result.
Exploring Different Implant-Supported Prostheses Options
Several implant-supported prostheses are available to cater to patients' diverse needs. Partial fixed bridges and complete fixed bridges are commonly used for replacing multiple teeth, while overdentures provide an alternative to traditional dentures with added stability and comfort. Advanced techniques such as the All-On-4 Treatment Concept or the Trefoil system offer effective and efficient solutions for those requiring a full mouth reconstruction. Mini dental implants can also be considered for cases where a smaller implant size is advantageous. Your dental professional can help determine which implant-supported prosthesis best suits your needs.
Benefits of Implant-Supported Prostheses
Implant-supported prostheses offer numerous advantages over traditional dental restorations such as dentures and bridges. Here are some of the key benefits that make them an attractive option for many patients:
Implant-supported prostheses offer improved chewing efficiency and stability when compared to conventional dentures. This allows patients to enjoy various foods and maintain a balanced diet.
Preservation of Jawbone
The presence of dental implants helps to stimulate and preserve the jawbone, preventing the bone loss that can occur with missing teeth. This helps maintain facial structure and prevent the "sunken" appearance resulting from long-term tooth loss.
Implant-supported prostheses are designed to last for many years, making them a cost-effective solution in the long run. With proper care and maintenance, patients can enjoy the benefits of their implant-supported prostheses for decades.
The Process of Obtaining Implant-Supported Prostheses
Obtaining an implant-supported prosthesis typically involves several steps at Geelan Dental Care, which may be spread out over a few months. Here's a general outline of the process:
Consultation and Assessment
The first step is a comprehensive evaluation by a dental professional to determine if the patient is a suitable applicant for dental implants. This may involve CT scans, X-rays, and a thorough examination of the patient's medical and dental history.
During the implant placement surgery, the dental professional will make a small incision in the gum tissue and drill a hole into the jawbone to insert the titanium implant. The patient will then be given a period, typically several months, for the implant to osseointegrate with the surrounding bone.
Abutment and Prosthesis Fabrication
Once the implant has fully integrated, an abutment is attached to the implant, which serves as a connector between the implant and the prosthetic teeth. The dental laboratory will then create a custom prosthesis based on impressions of the patient's teeth and gums.
The final step involves fitting the custom-made prosthesis onto the abutments. The dental professional will carefully adjust the prosthesis to ensure a comfortable, secure fit and optimal aesthetics and functionality.
Follow-up and Maintenance
After the implant-supported prosthesis has been fitted, the patient will be scheduled for follow-up appointments to monitor the health of the implants, prosthesis, and surrounding tissues. Regular dental checkups and professional cleanings are essential for maintaining the longevity of the implant-supported prosthesis.