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Fixed or Removable Teeth on Dental Implants? What you Need to Know

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If you have damaged or missing teeth, you might have heard about the possibility of dental implants as a treatment option. As a form of tooth replacement, it’s one of the most effective procedures available. But what you might not realize is that there are a couple of choices for the prostheses used in this procedure: fixed or removable.

In this post, we will look at a number of factors that will determine which option is best for your particular needs. However, if you’re considering implants, you’ll also undergo a consultation process with a cosmetic dentist Kelowna patients trust with their oral care needs.

Understanding the Terminology

Before we get into the pros and cons of each option, it’s a good idea to understand what they mean.

Dental implant: is a small titanium post that is inserted into your jawbone. It acts as an anchor to which a dental prosthesis (permanent or removable) can be attached.

Fixed prosthesis: Also known as a ‘permanent prosthesis,’ it is a digitally designed prosthesis that is made from extremely strong and durable materials like ceramic, zirconia and gold. They can be either cemented or screwed into place to form a permanent bond. They are meant to mimic natural teeth in terms of:

  • Appearance
  • Function
  • Feel


Removable prosthesis:
As the name suggests, a removable prosthesis is designed to snap off and on your dental implants. The benefit of this over traditional dentures is that this method requires no adhesives to hold them in place. Teeth and bone have a mutual relationship. When present they maintain each other. When on is lost, the other deteriorates as well. Over time as bone is reduced ( due to loss of teeth), denture fitting can become quite challenging and most frustrating part for denture bearers. Implant-retained dentures eliminate this challenge and frustration.

Number of Teeth Missing

If you are missing only a single tooth, or multiple teeth and still retaining to most of your teeth, implant-retained crowns and bridges might be a better solution for you. However, if you’re missing most, or all, of your teeth on the top or bottom, removable dentures ( whether implant-retained or otherwise) is likely the more cost-effective choice.

Bone Support

In order to be considered a candidate for permanent tooth replacement, your jaw needs to have adequate bone surface (as well as soft tissue) to support the prosthesis. For this procedure to succeed, the titanium implants need to precisely positioned.

Alternatively, there is usually more flexibility when designing removable prosthesis, which might make it a more viable option for certain patients.

Maintenance

Some patients prefer removable dentures because they are easier to maintain than permanent teeth. Once they’re out of your mouth, you can inspect them from every angle and you can clean them in stronger solutions.

Fixed denture, on the other hand, require the same level of cleaning and care that your natural teeth do:

  • Frequent brushing
  • Flossing twice a day
  • Regular dental checkups


Cost

Implant-retained dentures (that can be removed) tend to be less expensive than permanent ones, which can be a deciding factor for some patients.

What About Damaged Teeth?

Patients sometimes ask whether implants are a solution for cracked or damaged teeth. Depending on the amount of crack/fracture/tooth structure lost, the options may vary from just a filling, to a conservative but more superior esthetic choice using porcelain veneers, to full coverage crown, to removal of tooth and replacement with implant-retained crown. Your Kelowna dentist at Okanagan Smiles will provide you all options, to help you make an informed decision.

Whether you’re visiting us for cosmetic or general dentistry, we provide a comfortable experience with results that will last. Contact us to book an appointment today!

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