Fixed Hybrid Dentures: What Is This?

Question:

Howard asks:

I have seen two dentists regarding full arch dental implants for my lower jaw. One recommended conventional implants with 8 posts; another recommended a fixed implant hybrid denture with 5 standard posts. What is the hybrid denture option? Is it better than the conventional options?

Answer:
Answered by: Dr. Allan Fuhr

Boca Raton, FL

Hi Howard,

Before I get to an explanation of the hybrid denture, it is important to note that your question regarding conventional implants vs. a hybrid denture, is really a prosthetic question. In other words, in both instances, your dentist or surgeon will still be using standard "root form" dental implants, though the number of implants may be different. It is just the prosthetic or restorative option that is changing, depending on the plan.

The "conventional" approach you describe is what is known as a fixed crown and bridge case, and the prosthetic option is either cemented to screwed into place. This approach will probably provide the highest level of quality and function because it is like having your own teeth. However, the conventional approach is more expensive than the hybrid denture plan, which I'll now describe.

The hybrid denture, which used to be called, and is still sometimes referred to as a "high water" case, is also a fixed case. However, with the fixed hybrid denture the prosthetic option is removable.

More specifically, hybrids are anchored to dental implants (usually 4 to 6 implants are used) that are placed in your jaw. It is called a hybrid because it's a combination of fixed implants with a removable denture.

The downside of the fixed hybrid denture, or high water case, is that it has to be "unscrewed" during hygiene maintenance. This could cause a bit of hassle and some patients want a prosthetic option that is permanent.

So in summary, it is not really possible to say which treatment option is "better", especially since I don't know your particular case. Both treatment options will work fine with the right implant team. It's a really a decision between a permanent prosthetic option or a removable one. There are also cost considerations to take into account, since the "conventional" - fixed/permanent approach would definitely be more costly, at least from a restorative standpoint.

Please discuss both options with your dentist.



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