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Implant Retained Dentures
Dental Implants
Post-Surgical Shrinkage
Dentures & Partial Dentures
Immediate Dentures

Q.  What is an Immediate Denture?

A.  An Immediate Denture is a denture that is placed in your mouth "immediately" upon completion of the extractions and surgery.   This is also referred to as a "Surgical Denture" as it is made to be placed immediately after your surgical procedure.   These dentures are to be considered for "temporary" use.  Immediate Dentures are regular dentures that are simply made to be placed "immediately" after the extractions and surgery procedure -- there is nothing different about the Immediate Dentures makes them temporary; they are regular dentures but are for temporary "use" due to the changes in the ridges during the healing and stabilization process after surgery.  These dentures are intended to be used for transitional purposes to bridge the time gap between the surgical procedure and the time that your ridges have fully healed and stabilized from your surgery. 


Q.  Why are Immediate Dentures for "temporary' or "transitional" use?

A.  This is due to the occurance of surgical site shrinkage manifested during the healing period.  We refer to this as "Post-Surgical Shrinkage" [PSS].   PSS is always a factor and manifests directly proportional to the scope of the surgical procedure performed and the amout of pathology present at the time of surgery.  For more detailed inforation on PSS, click on the "Post-Surgical Shrinkage" button at the top of this page.  A more detailed explanation of PSS and its effects will be covered there.


Q. What can I expect during the post-operative period?
A. The post-surgical recovery varies as widely as the individual procedures themselves.   Each patient will be given a Post-Surgical Instructions pamphlet that will explain in detail what to expect and how to care for yourself during the healing and stabilizaiton period.

You will be given ample pain medication to control your post-surgical discomfort.  The amount of medications needed vary widely from patient to patient and your need for pain medications will be discussed during the pre-surgical evaluation appointment.



Immediate Dentures:

Implant Retained Dentures:

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Dental Implants:

Q. Why should I undergo implant surgery, instead of simply wearing a denture or a bridge?
A. A natural tooth does more than enable a person to cut and grind food and look good. Teeth also are the reason the bones of the jaws exist. When natural teeth are lost, those bones lose their reason for being, and they begin to shrink. In dentistry, this is known as resorption. For many patients, resorption is minimal, and sufficient bone remains to provide a good foundation for a full or partial denture. For other patients, however, bone loss becomes severe. When this occurs, a number of unpleasant side effects may occur: Loose-fitting dentures make it difficult to bite or chew properly. As a result, the range of food a person can comfortably eat becomes limited. In some cases, this limitation is sufficient to impact nutrition. Loose-fitting dentures often rub the underlying gums, causing persistent soreness. Speech may be impaired. Appearance is negatively impacted. A gag reflex could be induced. Self-image is affected.
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Q. Does my age affect my ability to be treated with dental implants?
A. Age is rarely a consideration in dental implant treatment. Dr. Vassos has implanted patients as young as 12 years, and as old as 90. In very young patients, implants are most often utilized to replace teeth lost due to trauma. In older patients, they are used to address teeth lost to disease. In the past, bone resorption sometimes made it difficult to treat patients if tooth loss had occured long before implant treatment was sought. Today, new technologies have made it possible to rebuild the bone so that patients that have been without teeth for decades may still be treatable.
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Q. How will dental implants improve my life?
A. Dental implants provide a more stable and natural feeling than loose dentures. You will be able to eat virtually any food with ease, comfort, and confidence. you will notice an improvement in your appearance, and possibly, in your speech. Many patients find these improvements enhance their self-image and self-confidence.
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Q. Will treatment hurt?
A. Since the jaw bones have few nerve endings, the placement of dental implants causes only minor surgical discomfort - perhaps equivalent to having a tooth pulled.
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Q. What can I expect during the post-operative period?
A. Depending on the extensiveness of the procedure, many patients are able to work within a day of surgery. Post-operative discomfort is controlled with prescription pain medication. You will be placed on a soft diet and antibiotics for a few days and told to use an antiseptic mouth rinse several times daily. In most cases, you will be able to wear your existing or new temporary bridge or appliance immediately after surgery. Sutures are removed approximately 10 days

after the implants are placed. During the remainder of the healing period, you are seen regularly by the implant dentist to confirm the health of the your gums and implant sites. The healing period should be uneventful. And no, you will not set off airport metal detectors!!
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Q. Once the treatment is complete, are the new artificial teeth permanently in place?
A. That depends on the treatment option you and your dentist have chosen. Implants may be used with a variety of prosthetics, both fixed (non-removable), and removable. Your dentist will discuss the various options during the evaluation phase of your treatment. In many cases, lower dentures can be stabilized with no waiting period.
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Q. Is the treatment only for people who have lost all their natural teeth, or can it be used to replace only one or two teeth?
A. Implants may be used to replace any number of natural teeth. Among young adults in particular, an implant is often used to replace a single tooth lost to an athletic, bicycling, or other accident, or to provide artificial teeth where natural teeth never developed. In older patients, implants are often used to replace an entire mouthful of teeth.
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Q. How long after the loss of teeth can I be treated with dental implants?
A. Until fairly recently, it was sometimes difficult to treat patients who had lost their teeth many years before because so much bone had been resorbed by the time they sought treatment. Today, however, many materials have become available to to build up or graft the natural ridge, creating sufficient bone for implant treatment. As a result, timing is no longer as critical as it once was. Implants can be placed into sockets where teeth have been extracted or lost in an accident, and we put implants into jaw bones that lost their natural teeth roots decades earlier. If a tooth, or teeth, have been missing for years, quite often a considerable amount of bone has been lost from disease. If the teeth happen to be in the front where aesthetics are extremely important, the ridge is built up with a graft first to restore it to its original shape and size. The implants are placed only after the ridge has healed. This procedure is done to give the most natural look possible.
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Q. How long do implants last?
A. Long-term studies of implants have shown that implants can last as long as 20 - 25 years or even longer depending upon individual circumstances and variables. Your own personal success will be influenced by factors related to your general health (including smoking, grinding, and oral hygiene). With an evaluation prior to treatment, the probability of success is high.

Post Surgical Shrinkage:

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Dentures & Partial Dentures:


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