Gum recession and loose dentures are commonly experienced by patients who wear partial or complete dentures for long term as these dentures expose the tissues to prolonged compression causing loss of gum tissue volume in addition to bone loss. Thus the bone cannot support teeth as it loses its resistance to withstand against forces and it finally undergoes resorption over time and thus the patients present with their loose fitting dentures. Thus implants are considered to be a best option as they can prevent bone resorption by stabilizing the bones and tissues thereby further bone loss can be avoided. This article assures you that dental implants can be an ideal option to replace missing teeth in long term denture wearers. However, certain cases require additional procedures to treat the receded gums prior to the placement of implants.
Initially, the patient must be assessed thoroughly with radiographs and CT scan prior to considering an implant procedure and the person must meet all necessary requirements that result in implant success. However, additional treatment is required prior to implant placement in case of receding gums which commonly occurs due to the downward movement of gum tissue towards the root. The recession of gums progresses further resulting in bone exposure which hinders the esthetic appearance of an implant. Moreover, implants can cause further gum recession where the titanium screw of a dental implant can become visible and can cause compromise the health of a gum tissue resulting in severe bone loss and finally implant failure. Hence receding gums must be corrected and treated by a surgical procedure called gingival grafts (gum graft). In this procedure, a soft tissue template is obtained from the roof of the mouth and it is transplanted into the site of recession. Furthermore, this treatment is performed in case of gums that are thin by grafting them in order to prevent the visibility of an implant. Following proper precautionary measures can prevent the recurrence of gum recession. Maintaining healthy oral hygiene, regular treatment follow ups and cessation of smoking can contribute to implant success.
Dental Implants are implanted directly into the jawbone and their functional properties are similar to natural teeth. They are custom made, fixed and permanent alternatives to denture. The major advantage is they stimulate the bone on mastication and avoid bone loss when compared to dentures. Implant success rate is higher in seniors on maintaining normal health and integrity of the gums and bone. Moreover, dental implants prevent the recession of gums and loss of bone in the jaw.
The commonly recommended implants in case of patients with receded gums and long term denture wearers are mini implants as they stabilize the denture. These are the implants with narrow diameter which can be inserted into the denture and jaw bone followed by relining of denture which is supported with implants. The heads of the mini dental implants secure the dentures by providing strong foundation. However, these implants do not stabilize the denture completely and carry a higher risk of failure. The bar over denture provides an option of stabilizing the denture completely. In contrary, conventional dental implants are often recommended as they carry a higher success rate for long term.