Wore Dentures for 4 Years Already: Can I Get Implants?


Mimi asks:

After 4 years of wearing an upper denture is it OK for me to get dental implants?

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cboudet's picture

Wore Dentures for 4 Years Already: Can I Get Implants?

Answered By: Dr. Carlos Boudet - West Palm Beach , FL

Dear Mimi:
The short answer is YES.
After wearing a denture for four years you can assume that you have lost some bone, but there should be enough bone left in some areas, such as the front of the lower jaw (anterior mandible) to place implants.
In the upper jaw you can still place implants in the back even if you do not have enough bone by doing a sinus augmentation procedure.
If you have had a panoramic xray done recently at your dentist's office, he (or she) can quickly give you the details of what is possible in your particular case.
You have several alternatives, some removable and some where the teeth stay and don't come out.
Hope this helps and good luck!

Carlos A. Boudet, DDS, DICOI

dr.michaelwjohnson's picture

upper denture and implants

Answered By: Dr. Michael Johnson - Bellevue , WA

You can always get implants in the upper jaw. There needs to be enough bone height and width to place implants. If you have enough bone in the areas needed for implant placement then bone grafting won't be needed. Usually, sinus grafting or lateral grafting is needed for optimal implant placement. More importantly, you need to discuss with your restoring dentist what type of restoration you want. If you want an overdenture that snaps onto the implants, there needs to be enough bone loss so there is room for the snaps and still have the denture thick enough not to break. If you want a fixed bridge, then you need more bone so your lip is properly supported without the denture flange. Proper prior planning is critical to upper jaw implant success!! since implant placement will differ with the different treatment types.

Michael W. Johnson DDS, MS

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