Dental Implant Prosthesis Options

Are you struggling to smile confidently due to a single missing tooth or multiple teeth? Are you looking for a dentist in Oklahoma City, OK, to help you restore your dental health and regain the beautiful smile you once enjoyed? If so, then you understand how damaging a missing tooth can be. The gap between the teeth does not only cause discomfort while eating but can also damage the jaw joints. Even worse, it can result in the formation of folds and wrinkles as well as skin sagging. But have no fear, dental implant prostheses have revolutionized dentistry in the last couple of years and can be the solution to your dental problems.

Once you make up your mind to reap the benefits of dental prosthesis, finding the most effective option for your specific needs becomes the next option. Depending on your condition, your dentist or prosthodontist may recommend several dental prostheses. But how do you know what’s the best fit for you? Here’s is everything you need to know about various dental implant prosthesis options.

What Types of Prostheses are Used With Dental Implants?

Single Prosthesis –used to replace a single missing tooth. Each tooth is attached to its implant, which is embedded directly to the jawbone.

Complete Dental Prosthesis – used to replace all teeth in the lower or upper arch. In this type, the number of implants needed varies based on whether it’s a fixed bridge, partial denture, or removable denture.

Removable Prosthesis – also called an over-denture. It is held in place by a snap or ball-in-socket attachment and can only be removed by a dentist.

Choosing the Right Type of Dental Prosthesis

The thickness of the jawbone, the number of missing teeth, and the condition of the remaining teeth are some of the major factors that determine the right prosthesis. In most cases, a comprehensive exam is carried out before making any recommendations. After examination, your dentist will then discuss various types that best fits you based on the condition of your mouth and your suitability for a specific option.

girl smiling on her wedding day

For instance, an over-denture may be recommended if you have lost a significant amount of bone needed for face/lip support. Similarly, a permanent tooth replacement (fixed bridge prosthesis) may be ideal for patients who have lost all their teeth but have not suffered a widespread bone loss in the jaw.

Sometimes, bone graft procedures are necessary. This is especially the case if the jaw is unable to support implants. If it’s an extensive procedure, donor tissue from a patient’s own jaw, tibia or hip is used, and surgery will be an inpatient procedure with a long recovery period.

Although a dentist can advise on the most effective option for your dental needs and condition, cost, appearance, and length of treatment are some of the other factors to take into consideration. Some implants can cost thousands of dollars and treatment may take up to six months while others may cost much less and treatment takes a shorter period.

How are Dental Prostheses Made?

Once a proper treatment has been decided, it’s time to make a dental prosthesis. Assessment of your teeth and oral cavity is often the first step. After that, your prosthodontist then takes an impression of your remaining teeth by letting you bite into a mold; this is what’s used to make the prosthesis. Dental prostheses can be made from a wide range of materials, including zirconia, acrylic, composite resin, and porcelain.

Let’s take a look at the main characteristics of various fixed implant restoration options, the materials they are made of, the advantages and disadvantages.

Full Arch Fixed Implant Restoration Choices:

AvaDent® Fully Milled Prosthesis:
A custom computer milled framework of titanium is used to provide optimal strength and hygiene access for an acrylic tooth prosthesis. The acrylic teeth are milled from a single piece of acrylic for a strong, durable and esthetic restoration. This type of prosthesis is generally recommended for the lower jaw.
With this procedure, the relative aesthetic is moderate. The resulting crown is almost similar to that of a natural tooth. In fact, one cannot tell the difference without a close examination. The good thing about it is that it’s low risk and one of the cheapest options available. The relatively low cost, however, does not mean that the dental prosthesis doesn’t serve its intended purpose.

Porcelain Fused to Metal Implant Restoration:
A custom designed metal alloy framework is cast from a wax pattern. Porcelain is custom baked to the framework to provide excellent esthetics and hygiene access. There is good resistance to wear. This is a superior restoration for a full upper arch or partial segment and has a long track record of success.
When compared to AvaDent® Fully Milled Prosthesis, the cost of getting porcelain fused to dental implants is relatively higher. Although it’s not the most expensive option available, it gives you real value for your money – high aesthetics, low tooth wear rate, and negligibly low risk.

CM Prosthesis:
A solid titanium infrastructure uniquely designed to receive individual esthetically customized zirconia or lithium disilicate ceramic crowns. This restoration is the most technologically and aesthetically advanced form of fixed prosthodontics full arch rehabilitation and is the epitome of biomedical engineering using CAD/CAM technology to provide patients with precision implant-supported functional replication of the natural dentition.
Zirconia is as durable as a natural diamond. That means you can count on its tensile strength. Lithium disilicate crowns, on the other hand, are solid and can withstand the grinding of food without wearing out. These two materials make CM prosthesis one of the best replacements for missing teeth - it is the close you can get to replicating natural dentition. Just like the other options mentioned above, its risk factor is very low. Because of its reliability, however, it costs relatively higher than the other two choices.

Definition of Risk for Implant-Supported Prostheses

High Risk: If a bare minimum number of implants are placed, and the bone fails to integrate with one or more implants, additional surgical procedures will be necessary at an additional cost to the patient to provide adequate support for the restoration. There is a high risk of future complications due to lack of biomechanical support.

Moderate Risk: If the bone fails to integrate with one or more implants, then additional surgical procedures may be indicated at an additional cost to the patient to provide adequate support for the restoration. There is a moderate risk of future complications. In some circumstances, implant loss may require prosthesis revision (shortening).

Low Risk: If the bone fails to integrate with one or more implants, there is little chance of the need for an additional surgical procedure. There is a low risk of future complications.

Continuing Care

Once the dental implants are in place, they can serve you for years, or even a lifetime. Nevertheless, they can develop Peri-implantitis, which is similar to gum (periodontal) disease for natural teeth. Usually, this condition is associated with inflammation of the gum and bone around the implant.

two sisters with beautiful smiles

For that reason, maintenance is a very important aspect of dental implant treatment. Oral hygiene cleanings on a 3 to 6-month schedule, periodic screw checks or screw replacement and adjustments are recommended. New veneering materials or a whole new prosthesis may be necessary over time due to normal wear and tear and continuous function. Please ask for details about continued maintenance.

Definitions of Risk to Dental Prosthesis

High Risk: There is a high probability that complications may occur which require extensive intraoral or laboratory repairs of veneering materials, supporting structure or components.

Moderate Risk: There is a moderate probability that complications could occur which may require intraoral or laboratory repairs of veneering materials, supporting structure or components.

Low Risk: There is a low probability that complications could occur which may require intraoral or laboratory repairs of veneering, supporting structure or components.

Bruxing and Clenching: The risk of complications to the dental prosthesis are not only related to the materials used, but also to the type of forces generated on those materials. Patients with parafunctional habits including, but not limited to bruxing and clenching, are highly susceptible to complications. While there is no way to eliminate these habits, fabrication, and use of an occlusal guard will offer protection during the hours it is worn. Acrylic fractures are repairable; however, porcelain fractures are not. Any repairs, revisions or alterations will require additional charges. Porcelain fractures may require additional procedures to resolve functional and /or aesthetic concerns. Food may collect under any implant restoration. Frequent irrigation with diligent home care and regular oral hygiene cleaning by a dental hygienist specializing in dental implant treatment will prevent soft and hard tissue complications. Temporary filling material used to cover the screw access holes may become loose. This presents no danger to the restoration. Some patients prefer to have the access holes filled with composite, a more permanent material but more difficult to remove should the need arise.

No matter what type you choose, as a reputable dentist Oklahoma City, OK, we will work with you every step of the way - from the initial consultation to the final visit. We will not only advise you on the right treatment plan for your individual situation but also explain every detail including the cost and treatment period.

Ready to Take Care of Your Smile?

Now that you know everything about dental prosthesis options, there’s no reason not to be the star that you really are. Warwick Dental can help you start your journey to a more beautiful, younger looking you. Good news is that we are currently accepting new patients and would love to help you get back to rocking your smile with confidence. Contact Us to schedule a dental implant consultation.