Dental implants are the preferred option for tooth replacement due to their long life span and the comfort and stability they afford patients. Before implants, dentures were the only option for people who had a significant number of missing teeth. Now, implant-supported dentures are giving denture patients a new and improved way of regaining their smile and preserving the integrity of the jawbone.
While you won’t replace every tooth with a dental implant, a few implants can be used quite effectively to anchor a denture. With the denture affixed to the implant posts, patients typically have much-improved utility and overall satisfaction with their denture fit.
LVI-trained dentist Dr. Michael Chung is highly qualified to place dental implants and fit patients for implant-supported dentures. It is his goal to improve each patient’s oral health, aesthetic, and function.
Why Replace Dentures with Dental Implants?
Dentures are a great option when the alternative is no teeth at all, but they are not without their disadvantages. The biggest downfall of dentures is that they cannot prevent or slow bone loss in your jaw. When you lose a tooth and there’s no longer a root connected to the jawbone, bone loss occurs, which can eventually change the shape of your face.
In addition to bone loss, dentures tend to fall short in terms of the user experience. Denture patients often struggle to get used to their dentures. Common complaints include:
- Gum irritation
- Slipping and shifting
- Audible clicking when speaking or chewing
- Inability to enjoy many foods
- Difficulty speaking
Fortunately, dental implants can dramatically reduce or eliminate these annoyances.
Dental Implant Process to Replace Dentures
The first step of replacing your denture with implants is to have a consultation with Dr. Chung. Our dentist will assess your medical history and general oral health. He will also take 3D images of your mouth using a high-tech dental CT scanner. These images help him determine any preliminary treatments you may need, such as bone grafting, as well as where to place the implants.
Dental implant surgery involves the placement of titanium posts. As the implant sites heal, the posts will fuse to your jawbone. This fusion—also known as osseointegration—creates a solid replacement “root,” which helps preserve the jawbone itself and will provide a stable and sturdy anchor for your denture.
Once your implant sites have healed and osseointegration is complete, Dr. Chung will move forward with fitting you for a full or partial denture. The denture will ultimately attach securely to the implants, resulting in a natural-looking smile. You will also experience improved ability to eat your favorite foods.
The denture will still be removable, and you will need to remove it to clean it as you would your regular denture. Additionally, good oral hygiene practices will apply to your implant teeth to ensure their long-term health. Dr. Chung will advise you on how to best care for your new and improved smile.
Contact Us for a Dental Implant Consultation
To speak with Dr. Chung about your options for switching to dental implants, call Softouch Dental Care at 703-319-6990. We serve patients in McLean, Oakton, Vienna, and the surrounding areas of Northern Virginia.