As I mentioned in the post about my wife’s cosmetic dentistry with porcelain veneers, treating family can be stressful. After all, if anything goes wrong, we literally have to live with them afterwards! However, it’s equally true that the results are even a little more gratifying. 😀 The implant overdentures that we did for my cousin Rich were also rewarding in the end. Rich drove all the way from New Jersey to see me, so that put even more pressure on. Because of the travel, his total case took 16 months. This would normally take 4-6 months start-to-finish.
Dental Implants and Dentures for Rich’s Smile
Rich’s case began, as so often happens, with a broken tooth and dental emergency. He and his wife were in Myrtle Beach, and one of his front teeth had broken. They weren’t planning a return to NJ for a bit, so he asked if he could come see me for options. Of course we said yes, and we saw them late that same day. It turns out, Rich’s teeth had really been deteriorating for a while, and the only real choice for the top teeth was taking them out, and replacing them with a full denture.
So a few weeks later (normally it would be less, but again…travel), we gave Rich a new smile with an immediate denture. We also evaluated the lower teeth. They were in better shape, but they needed lots of expensive work to save for the long-term. The chances of them lasting a long time still weren’t great though. After plenty of discussion about all the pros and cons, we agreed that the bottom teeth would also go.
Lower Dentures Suck, so Implant Overdentures!
I tell everyone who’s considering dentures, that lower jaw dentures really suck. There just isn’t as much bone to hold them up, after all. That’s why we always recommend dental implants, and there are several options. This is the one that Rich chose for his lower teeth, because he was doing pretty well with the regular top denture.
What are Implant Overdentures?
These are typically done with 2-4 implants on the lower jaw. Attachments are placed on top of the implants after healing, and matching attachments are bonded into the denture, so the dentures “snaps on” to the implants. This makes the denture snug and stable, so it stays in place. That way, you can eat and smile with a lot more confidence. This is the option that Rich chose for his lower teeth.
After the 4 lower implants were placed, we allowed 4 months for healing. We then uncovered the implants, placed the attachments onto the implants and into the lower denture, and BAM! That lower implant overdenture was so snug, he could chew anything.
The Final Result!
No matter the process, a smile like this is the greatest reward that we get. Doesn’t matter if it’s a friend, a person we’ve never seen before, or a member of my family. OK, I did say that taking care of family is a little extra stressful and a little extra rewarding. Seeing this kind of smile makes it all worthwhile.
Is this the kind of smile and confidence you want?