A fixed denture is a type of denture supported by titanium posts – known as dental implants – which are surgically inserted into the jawbone. They are a great alternative to conventional dental treatments for replacing several lost teeth and are a vast improvement to conventional dentures due to finer aesthetics characteristics of a high-quality denture as well as the sturdiness and stability of dental implants.
Benefits Offered by Fixed Dentures
- Natural Looking, Lasting Solution: With modern technology such as computer aided surgery, dental implants have come to be recognized as a permanent, natural looking, safe solution to replace missing teeth.
- Improved Stability: They are much more stable than conventional dentures that depend on suction between the gum tissue and the base of the denture. Fixed dentures rest on titanium implants that have the capability to completely integrate with the jawbone providing a solid support to the dentures.
- Excellent Functionality: They ensure excellent functionality to the wearer, very close to that offered by healthy, natural teeth. While regular dentures offer 15% of the chewing capability of natural teeth, implant supported dentures offer 80%.
- Prevention of Bone Loss: By preventing absorption of the jawbone, dental implants retain the natural structure of the jaw. When a tooth is lost, there occurs a natural reduction in the jawbone density. This is caused by the lack of stimulation for the bone that once held the tooth root. With progressive bone loss the structure of the face changes, this makes the person look much older with sunken cheeks, a protruding lower lip and a greater number of wrinkles. If a dental implant is inserted soon after a tooth extraction bone loss can be prevented. The implants act as natural tooth roots and stimulate the bone preventing absorption. Depending on individual requirements, dentists might recommend 2, 4 or 6 implants to support the denture. Even those who have been using conventional dentures for a long period can receive dental implant treatment. If the jawbone density is found to be insufficient, they will be provided bone augmentation surgery before the implants are placed.
- Natural, Improved Appearance: Fixed dentures are fabricated using advanced techniques which contribute to a natural looking improved appearance with a realistic colored and contoured gum.
- More Comfortable: Fixed dentures are more comfortable than conventional dentures because they are securely held in place. They do not move or cause sore spots in the mouth. Since the palate is not covered, the natural feel of the mouth remains when fixed dentures are worn.
- Improved Confidence: Those who wear this type of denture can talk, eat and laugh confidently when they are with others. There is no danger of the dentures coming loose or falling out.
Cost Can be a Bit on the Higher Side
Fixed dentures are more expensive than conventional dentures because the treatment involves more sophisticated technology for fabrication and higher quality materials. The cost depends partly on the number of implants a patient needs for effective treatment. Other factors that have a bearing on the cost are the complexity of treatment, the time taken as well as the qualification and experience of the clinician providing the treatment.
Dental insurance does not usually cover the entire cost of this type of treatment, but the cost of the denture itself is usually covered and sometimes the cost of the fixtures – which holds the denture to the implants – is also covered. However, this has to be verified with the insurance company before going ahead with the treatment.
The benefits fixed dentures offer are many, compared to the disadvantages such as the higher cost. Implant supported dentures improve the quality of life of the wearer, providing both functional and aesthetic benefits.
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