I have had a denture for over 20 years now for top teeth. Is there any way I can switch to dental implants? I want to have a smile I can be proud to show off.
-Paul in Connecticut
Thank you for your question. The good news is that you should be able to get dental implants to give you a beautiful smile again.
However, since it has been 20 years since you have had your natural teeth, you may be dealing with some bone loss in your upper jaw. My guess is that you are having issues in keeping your denture in place without using a dental adhesive. This is all related to bone loss and a condition called facial collapse.
Dental implants are anchored into the bone, so you may require a procedure called bone grafting to build the bone back up at the implant sites. This is a separate procedure from the dental implant surgery. It will ensure the bone composition is sound and then after a period of healing, you will be able to support dental implants.
The other important factor is that you want to have a smile you can be proud of again. This can be accomplished with a denture made out of high quality materials, by a dentist with an aesthetic-focused mindset. This usually comes from a cosmetic dentist, instead of a general dentist. Some cosmetic dentists are also implant dentists and they will better understand your desire to create a beautiful smile.
Getting all dental implants at this point would be pretty expensive. So, you may be interested in having several dental implants that can be used to anchor the denture in place. This is known as an implant-supported denture. The denture will stay in place all the time and it will not cover your palette. This combination of an upper denture stabilized by dental implants can be made to look lifelike and when the denture is comprised of quality material, it will be durable and keep it’s look for years to come.
Hopefully this information is helpful to you. The best thing to do at this point is to start by finding an implant dentist that is trained in cosmetic dentistry or vice versa. They will be able to accomplish the functionality, as well as the natural-looking, beautiful smile you’re after. Don’t go to an oral surgeon at this point. Start with the right dentist.
Too bad you aren’t looking for a dentist near Barrington, IL or Dr. James T. Gavrilos would be a great fit. Just remember aesthetics needs to be the focus here as you start your search for the best cosmetic dentist in your area.