For existing denture wearers seeking improved stability and function while eating and speaking, converting to a locator retained overdenture with dental implants is an excellent treatment option.
Converting to this type of prosthesis is a convenient and cost-effective way to obtain the stability provided by dental implants combined with the convenience of a removable denture. It will require multiple appointments for your doctor to place the dental implants and complete the conversion of your existing denture.
Converting your denture involves the addition of button-like fittings called locators, which then snap onto specialized locator abutments secured to dental implants placed into the supporting bone structure.
Utilizing implants not only provides a solid foundation for the denture teeth allowing for optimal eating and speaking, but also helps to preserve the underlying bone which can shrink over time without a tooth root structure to support it.
The first step in this process involves taking an impression of the edentulous area, as well as a series of diagnostic images to plan out the placement of your dental implants.
Next, the area is prepared and your dental implants are placed. Special healing caps are placed over your implants while you heal. At subsequent visits your doctor will monitor the healing process, letting you know when the area is ready for the next phase of treatment. You can continue to wear your existing denture during this time.
Once your implants have fully healed, your doctor will place the locator abutments and attachments onto them. Space is made inside your existing denture and filled with resin, and then the denture is set onto the locators to pick up the attachment pieces.
Your doctor then uses a special curing light to harden the resin, securing the locator attachments to your denture. Once this is done, your doctor removes the denture and makes final adjustments.
With the process completed, your denture has been enhanced with the stability and function provided by the addition of locator attachments and dental implants.
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