What are Fixed Dentures?
Fixed dentures are non removable dentures to replace a full row of teeth. They are are screwed onto implants that are surgically placed into the jawbone.
They’re referred to as “fixed” because they’re non-removable dentures. Non-removable by the patient, that is. A dentist can still remove them. They are also sometimes called Fixed Implant Bridges.
There are multiple reasons why patients lose their teeth, including gum disease, decay, injury, and other dental complications. Prior to the invention of dental implants, dentures relied solely on a tiny bit of suction to stay in position. For those patients who required more retention, messy special adhesives or creams could be used. However, no matter which method was used, movement and shifting resulted in disappointment and pain.
After the advent of dental implants and a few decades of refinement, we can attach Zirconium or Titanium prosthetic dentures to dental implants, resulting in a much higher level of patient comfort and satisfaction.
Dental problems can be a significant source of discomfort and self-consciousness for many people. Among the most common solutions for people missing all of their teeth are removable dentures and fixed dentures, both of which offer distinct advantages and disadvantages. Understanding these differences is crucial for making an informed decision about which option is best suited to your needs.
Fixed Dentures (also called All-On-4 or Hybrid Prostheses) has become the most popular option worldwide for patients missing all their teeth.
Fixed Upper Denture
Upper Fixed Denture on 6 Implants
Lower Fixed Denture
What are the Benefits of Fixed Dentures?
- Stability and Functionality: The ability to talk, chew, and bite with full functionality, without the worry of teeth shifting or coming out.
- Improved Aesthetics: Fixed dentures/Implant Bridges provide a more natural appearance since they are customized to match the color and shape of your remaining teeth.
- They don’t stain as easily as removable acrylic dentures.
- Less bone shrinkage: They also prevent the sunken facial appearance often associated with removable dentures.
- Enhanced Comfort: Because they don’t rely on resting on the gums, fixed dentures are more comfortable than removable ones.
- No more adhesive goo!: Since they’re screwed in place, you no longer need adhesives to help hold them in.
- No more sore spots: They eliminate the irritation of sore spots that can occur with traditional dentures. This option allows the patient to enjoy a full set of teeth more naturally, without self-consciousness or anxiety.
- They are screwed in, and don’t come out.
- They don’t break or lose teeth easily like conventional dentures do.
- Longevity: Fixed dentures are designed to be a long-term solution. With proper care, they can last a lifetime, whereas removable dentures require more frequent replacements or adjustments.
What are the Disadvantages of Fixed Dentures?
- Higher cost
- Surgery needed to place the implants that hold them in
What are the Benefits of Permanent (Removable) Dentures?
- They cost less
- They don’t require surgery
What are the Disadvantages of Permanent (Removable) Dentures?
- Stability Issues: One of the most significant drawbacks of removable dentures is their lack of stability. They can slip or come loose while eating or speaking, causing discomfort and embarrassment.
- Gum and Bone Resorption: Over time, removable dentures can accelerate the resorption of gum tissue and underlying bone, which can alter the facial structure and require adjustments or replacements.
- Decreased Chewing Efficiency: Because they are not as stable as fixed dentures, removable dentures can hinder your ability to chew food properly, potentially leading to dietary restrictions and digestive issues.
- Pain and Discomfort: Because they rest and rub on the gums, removable dentures tend to be much less comfortable than fixed dentures.
- The need to use adhesives: Because they don’t adhere well to the gums, (especially for people with dry mouth problems), they’re practically impossible to wear without adhesive.
- Sore spots are a common occurrence. This requires either suffering through it, going without them for a period of time now and then, or more frequent visits to the dentist for denture adjustments.
- Less ideal fit over time: Because the bone continues to resorb after teeth are lost, over time, dentures feel loose and don’t fit as well. This requires more dental visits and occasional relines.
- They must be removed to clean them. (For most people, this is considered a negative.)
- Food often gets trapped under them. This is uncomfortable and a nuisance to remove them after eating to dislodge the trapped food particles and rinse them off before being able to wear them comfortably again.
- They don’t last as long, because they’re not as durable, and the material wears down over time.
- They stain more easily than fixed dentures and fixed implant bridges, because of the material they’re made from.
What are the Newest Types of Dentures?
Dentures have come a long way from the bulky, uncomfortable contraptions of the past. In recent years, advancements in dental technology and materials have led to the development of newer, more comfortable, and natural-looking types of dentures. These innovative solutions aim to improve not only the functionality but also the aesthetics of dentures, making them a more attractive option for those dealing with tooth loss.
- Implant-supported dentures are considered one of the most significant advancements in modern dentistry. Unlike traditional removable dentures, these are secured in place by dental implants, which are surgically placed in the jawbone. Here’s why they’re gaining popularity:
- Stability: Implant-supported dentures provide superior stability and functionality. They don’t slip or move while eating or speaking, offering a more comfortable experience.
- Natural Feel: With implants mimicking the function of natural tooth roots, these dentures feel more like your real teeth, allowing for better chewing and speech.
- Prevent Bone Loss: Implants stimulate the jawbone, preventing the bone resorption that often occurs with traditional dentures, which can help maintain facial structure.
Some pros and cons: Flexible partial dentures are made of softer material that is easier on your gums. You can wear your dentures all day with less risk of developing sore spots. However, this softer material makes them difficult to chew well with. They are faster to make, but they are not repairable. They are more prone to bacterial buildup and more difficult to keep hygienically clean. They are less expensive and are not considered permanent.
- The advent of 3D printing technology has revolutionized various industries, including dentistry. 3D-printed dentures offer precise customization and a host of benefits:
- Customization: Each set of 3D-printed dentures is tailored to fit the patient’s unique oral anatomy, ensuring a perfect fit and natural appearance.
- Speed: 3D printing significantly reduces the time required to create dentures, allowing patients to receive their prosthetic teeth faster.
- Improved Materials: 3D printing allows for the use of advanced materials that are both durable and aesthetically pleasing.
Why Choose Fixed Dentures Over Removable Ones?
In a word? Security.
Fixed dentures will allow you to eat and speak more comfortably than removable dentures. You don’t have to worry about them unexpectedly loosening, even over several years. They are also better heat conductors than removable dentures, reportedly giving patients a better sense of food temperatures.
The fixed dentures feel and function more like your natural teeth. As a result, their care routine is also simpler than removable ones. You brush them just like natural teeth, and water-pik and floss under them, like with conventional bridgework. Many people find they feel more confident with fixed dentures, since they feel and function like their “real” teeth. They discover that their persistent dental concerns, whether stemming from tooth issues or teeth that consistently make them self-conscious, vanish from their thoughts entirely.
How To Keep Them Clean?
Because it attaches securely to dental implants in your jawbone, you can’t remove it at home, but your dentist can remove it for maintenance or repair if necessary. Since you can’t take your dentures out to clean them, you’ll brush them with a soft toothbrush just like natural teeth, and clean underneath them using floss threaders, water-piks and other special cleaning tools. And stay up to date with periodic cleanings and checkups.
How To Know if Fixed Dentures are Right for You?
The only way to find out if dentures are the right choice for you is to first find out if you are a candidate, and then weigh the pros and cons by discussing your case with an experienced Implant Prosthodontist dentist like Dr. McFadden or Dr. Tan.
What Is the Treatment Process Like?
1) Initial Assessment: During the initial consultation, we will evaluate your oral health, take X-rays, and discuss the feasibility of the procedure. Factors like bone density, overall health, and oral hygiene are taken into consideration. We’ll discuss different treatment options and decide which option best suits your individual needs and desires.
2) Records of your mouth: We take photos, jaw measurements, etc. to plan fabrication of your temporary prosthesis. We’ll review all your questions ahead of time, supply you with the necessary prescriptions, post-op instructions and schedule your surgery.
3) Implant Placement: In this step, we will do any necessary extractions and place the implants that same day when possible (possible in most cases) and deliver your temporary teeth. This procedure is usually performed using local anesthesia and I.V. sedation. The implants are then left to heal and fuse with the bone over a period of a few months. Meanwhile, you’ll have your temporary teeth.
4) Abutment placement: Sometimes the abutments (connector pieces between the implant and the bridge/denture) are placed at the time of surgery, and sometimes, if the implants are not tight enough that day to support biting forces, they’re placed at the following appointment, a few months later. (This variable will determine whether your temporary will be fixed or removable.)
5) Give them time to heal: Once full osseointegration is complete and the implants are solidly integrated to the jawbone, the final impressions are made, and we begin fabricating your final prosthesis. This is when we get your input on smile design (tooth shape, shade, characterizations you may want, etc.), and tailor-make your new smile. Once we make that final impression, the case goes to the lab, and we refine your temporary teeth for you to wear until the final prosthesis is finished.
6) Delivery of final teeth. Our cutting-edge technology and our decades of experience allow most patients to get their implants and temporary teeth all in one appointment. For most patients, in just a few hours, existing teeth are removed, implants placed and fixed temporary teeth are placed all in the same visit. Imagine the transformation and joy for those patients who have suffered with missing, painful, or ugly teeth for many years who look in a mirror for the first time and see their perfect smile!
All dental implants require a period of healing to be ready for the permanent zirconium or titanium teeth to be fabricated. The temporaries not only keep you from going without teeth during this healing period, they also provide us with a road map for designing and making your permanent teeth. By comparing what we like and don’t like about the temporaries, we can fine-tune the permanent teeth to the patient’s highest expectations.
What is the cost?
The cost varies greatly depending upon the region, doctor’s training, implant type, number of implants and type of material used for the final restoration. Overall treatment cost range $20,000 to 35,000 per arch.
We go into this is much more details in our article The Cost of Dental Implants to give you a better understanding on what affects the price.
How Do I Find Out If I’m A Candidate?
If you have experienced tooth loss or significant decay, come see us for a complimentary consultation. We’ll discuss all your available options with you, and help you decide which choice is the one that best supports your overall oral health.
If you are missing all your teeth in one arch or need to have them all removed, if have enough bone for 4-8 implants, if you do not want to wear removable teeth and if you can afford this treatment, this is an excellent way to restore your mouth to a fully functional, esthetically beautiful state.
This treatment can often be done in phases, with longer time span between he steps, to allow extending the total treatment time over a longer period of time, and therefore, the payments. Unlike most dental implant offices, we do not make you pay in advance for steps that have not been completed. We believe in the pay-as-you-go approach. It’s only fair.
If you’d like to explore this as a option for your own mouth, Contact us today to schedule a consultation and find out how fixed dentures can help restore your confidence in your smile and return full chewing ability.
To learn more about Fixed Dentures/Fixed Implant Bridges and how they can help you please fill out the form below
The cost varies greatly depending upon the region, doctor’s training, implant type, number of implants and type of material used for the final restoration. Overall treatment cost range $20,000 to 35,000.
To learn more about Fixed Dentures – Everything You Need To Know and how we can help you please fill out the form below.