September 3, 2014 Did you know that wearing full or partial dentures actually accelerates the loss of your jaw bone? When teeth are lost, the surrounding jaw bone immediately begins to shrink. Over time, the loss of teeth, added to the loss of jaw bone, makes the skin and structure of the face sag or appear caved in. All in all, that means fast-tracked aging of the face and neck. In addition to the premature aging caused by jaw bone loss and the general discomfort of dentures, denture wearers have decreased nutritional intake and an average 10-year shorter life span. The vicious cycle As the jaw bone continues to atrophy, dentures become looser and looser. After five years, only 40 percent of patients are still wearing the original partial denture made for them. And of those who wear a partial denture, half chew better without it. In fact, many of the patients with partial dentures don’t wear them at all because they don’t stay in place. The supporting teeth are also negatively affected by dentures. After eight years, on average 40 percent of supporting teeth are lost through tooth decay or fracture. Denture wearers also list the cons of being self-conscious about their smile, the inability to eat a lot of the foods they once loved, the embarrassment of slipping dentures, and the hassle of bonding and cleaning the appliance. In addition to the premature aging caused by jaw bone loss and the general discomfort of dentures, denture wearers have decreased nutritional intake and an average 10-year shorter life span. Breaking the cycle Dental implant supported dentures can, in essence, give these patients their life back. A dental tooth implant is a natural looking titanium tooth root that replaces a lost tooth or teeth. Teeth implants are the perfect option for patients who need one or more teeth replaced, or those who already wear dentures and are seeking a better option. Since the titanium in dental implants biochemically joins to the jawbone it provides a long-lasting bonded artificial tooth that replicates the original teeth. Implant supported dentures also: Restore chewing function to the equivalent of natural teeth, allowing for a more nutritious diet and better overall health Improve speech, which can also improve confidence Are more comfortable and decrease irritation of your gums Help restore your appearance and prevent premature aging Unlike with dentures, dental implants actually maintain bone in the jaw, as if they were a natural tooth, and they maintain the health of adjacent teeth. With proper care, dental implants can last a lifetime. The single tooth implant success rate is above 98 percent, and implant supported bridges or dentures have a 95 percent success rate over 10 years. Getting your life back with implant supported dentures So why aren’t all denture wearers switching to dental implants? Denture wearers are often concerned about the cost, that the procedure will be long or painful, and after going through so much tooth loss already, the last they usually want is to go back to the dentist. But, for patients who have truly had part of their life taken away due to tooth loss, dental implants can provide a solution that’s even better than a natural tooth. With as little as two to four teeth implants, a full set of dentures can be replaced. Caffaratti General Dentistry offers full dental implants that snap in and snap out, which are similar to the idea of dentures but offer much greater stability and a more natural look, as well as full dental implants that are permanently connected to the jaw bone. After the dental implants have been placed, your existing denture may be modified to sit comfortably over the implants during the healing phase. Discomfort after the procedure is usually minor and can be alleviated with pain medication. A modified diet may be necessary in the initial healing phase. When the teeth implants have healed, posts, or abutments, are connected to the implants, and your denture is modified to snap onto the abutments. The denture will be secure but can easily be removed for cleaning. Or, you can choose the option of full dental implants that are permanently connected to the jaw bone. Though dental implantology is a minimally invasive procedure, we do offer sedation dentistry to make our patients as comfortable as possible throughout the process. For jaw bone maintenance, the health of adjacent teeth, the longevity of the restoration and, most importantly, your quality of life, implant supported dentures are the best choice. If you currently wear dentures or need to have all your teeth removed, please call us today at (775) 358-1555 to learn how Dr. Caffaratti can improve your quality of life with implant supported dentures!