Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures
by Dr. Mal Braverman, New York City, NY
Dentures / Implant and Mini Implant Supported
Dentures, partial and full, are a removable option for replacement of lost or missing teeth. The prosthetic can be taken in and out of the mouth by the patient. Partial dentures replace some of the teeth in your mouth and use special attachments to help hold them in place. These attachments rest or grip onto the existing natural teeth or onto specially sculpted crowns called "surveyed crowns". These attachments can be cast metal clasps or clasp-less "precision" attachments. Porcelain or plastic teeth are attached to the partial denture in place of the missing teeth.
Full dentures replace all of the upper or lower teeth on one or both arches. Teeth are fabricated from porcelain, plastic or a combination of the two. Choosing the right size, shape, contour, and shade of teeth are the keys to giving the patient a natural and healthy appearance. Since teeth and the underlying supporting bone work together to create the fullness and contour in a person's face, patients who have lost all of their teeth often will have a sunken, older appearance. Properly fabricated dentures can restore this fullness and contour, which helps the patient maintain a younger and more desirable appearance. Full dentures are held in place by a combination of a patient's facial musculature and suction created by the patient's underlying bone structure. Dynamic changes in the form of shrinking can occur in the bone and tissue under the denture with tooth loss and age. The result could be a loose and ill-fitting denture with decreased function.
Full dentures rest on the edentulous ridges and the palate.The major problem with them is retention. This can be improved dramatically with implants and mini-implants. An implant can be placed into the ridge and a ball type fitting made to extend from the implant, A female attachment in the denture can the gain retention for the denture by snapping onto the ball fitting. Mini - implants are similar but don't require as extensive surgery or healing time. The fixture is like a small screw which is placed into the bone and the ball which extends out can recieve the attached denture with no healing time because it is instantly integrated into the bone. This is possible when the stress is less than required of a traditional implant fixture.