Q: I have worn an upper denture for most of my adult life. I have most of my lower teeth, thank goodness. My husband has gone through extensive work on two or three occasions and, only because of a tooth that failed under a bridge.
His dental work consisted of, dental implants placed where a bridge once was and he is very happy and looks great. He says he’s never felt more comfortable or confident both in his smile and his ability to eat and chew his food.
He told me I should get rid of my upper denture and get implants. He said my palate would be free to better sense my food and I’d taste subtle flavours I am now missing.
I’ve been reluctant to have dental implants but three years ago I had a tooth go bad that couldn’t be saved. When I learned that a dental implant could be placed at the same time the tooth was removed, I was doubtful. My husband sat in on my consult and all our questions were answered so I went ahead. I was nervous as it was explained that only the post was going in, not the tooth and that healing was needed before a crown could be put on.
The reason for the digression is that I’ve been told that though the bone in my upper front jaw is not good enough, the bone in the molar area, the back and on both sides is very good. I was told I could have implants and teeth the same day.
How is that possible when I had to wait three months for the implant in my lower jaw to heal? Will I have teeth for sure?
A: You ask a very important question. The short answer is yes - if your bone is good and adequate numbers of implants can be placed on both sides of the jaw. The connecting teeth bound to your implants allow your chewing forces to be shared by all the implants that are supporting your new teeth, thereby reducing chewing forces on any single implant.
This understanding and technology has been known by the pioneers of implant dentistry for many years but is not common knowledge. Having said that, I have experienced two situations where, though the bone volume was adequate, hardness or denseness of bone was not, so same day fixed teeth (bridge-work) was not possible. In both cases, six months transpired before the fixed teeth could be inserted.
Today, technology is allowing dentists who place implants to compress bone in such a way as to make the bone denser and capable of receiving strong implant support sooner.
This has made the answer to your final question a 99% yes.