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Living Life to the Fullest with Implant-Secured Dentures

Dentures are a dental appliance made to replace a person’s teeth. Before making the decision to get dentures, many denture wearers have likely endured years of tooth decay, tooth and bone loss, chronic pain, gum disease and declining oral health for many years. They may have believed that dentures would be a simple and problem-free solution that would allow them to live a pain-free life, with the comfort and performance of natural teeth.

 

The fact is, getting dentures is a life changing event. Dentures can be uncomfortable to wear and can cause embarrassing moments when they become dislodged or slip out of place, affecting the way we feel about ourselves, our eating habits, and even the way we talk.

 

A regular, full set of dentures rests on the gums, and their fit can shift as the jaw shrinks and bone loss occurs over time. However, one solution is to secure the dentures more securely with dental implants, which provide a secure foundation for the dentures to be firmly attached to the gums. Implant-secured dentures prevent slippage experienced by many denture wearers, improve eating experience, and increase a sense of security which enhances comfort and confidence. In fact, a study of denture wearers by the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery found that patient satisfaction and chewing ability increased significantly with implanted-secured dentures.

 

The implant overdenture procedure can be done at any point in the life of the dentures – for patients who have just been fitted for complete dentures (after healing from teeth extractions is complete), to patients who have worn dentures for a longer period of time. For full dentures, the procedure consists of placement of at least two dental implants in the jaw bone for each arch, then a rework of the patient’s existing dentures to install contact points that align with the implants. Once the dentures have been reworked and fitted to align with the dental implants, the patient is able to attach the dentures with snaps that give them a more secure and permanent feel. An implant expert can provide all the details for a patient’s unique situation.

 

Denture wearers face many challenges, but if their dentures are secured with dental implants, they can optimize their denture experience, eat more of the foods they love, and smile with confidence.

 

                              Check out these additional resources: 

Get to Know the Basics of Dentures

Learn More About Dental Implants 

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Expanded Medi-Cal Benefits Improve Lives of Many California Dental Patients
By John Luther, DDS, Chief Dental Officer Dental care benefits under Medi-Cal – and the over 13 million Californians who depend on them – took a big hit in 2009. State budget constraints caused by the onslaught of the Great Recession resulted in deep cuts to state services, including basic dental care under the Medi-Cal program. Eight years later, as the economy slowly recovered, California lawmakers passed a bill that fully reinstated those reduced benefits, providing improved dental care services not previously included as covered benefits under Medi-Cal. The changes took effect January 1, 2018. The Medi-Cal Dental enhancements are substantial. Patients are now covered for procedures like scaling & root planing (SRPs or “deep cleaning”), treatment vital to the management and prevention of gum disease in high risk patients. Root canals on back teeth, instead of extractions, are now a possibility for many. Partial dentures are an option for denture patients. And many other services – exams, x-rays and fillings – are now included. This is good news. For example: It means that, if clinically appropriate, a denture patient doesn’t need a full mouth extraction to receive dentures – previously the only option under Medi-Cal – because partial dentures, which require fewer, if any, extractions, are now covered. Partial dentures not only provide significantly better performance and comfort than full dentures, but they also save existing teeth, help maintain bone and a provide a better quality of life. A patient requiring a root canal on a back molar is now covered for that procedure, saving the tooth and preserving bone and the overall health of the patient. Under previous Medi-Cal coverage, the patient’s only option was extraction. Scaling & root planing, now covered, is critical in controlling gum disease. Untreated gum disease makes it harder to control diabetes and is linked to other diseases such as heart disease, respiratory diseases, and even cancer. It’s been gratifying to see significantly more patients now enjoying this enhanced quality of dental care coverage. At the 191 Western Dental offices in California, we’ve seen an increase of 20% in Medi-Cal Dental patient visits since the beginning of the year. Being the largest provider of Medi-Cal Dental services in the state, we’re geared up to meet this pent-up demand. Our doctors and staff have been preparing for months in anticipation of the influx, and we expect to see a continued flow of new and returning patients as more patients with Medi-Cal Dental learn of their enhanced benefits.
How to Get the Most from Your Dental Plan
  Going to the dentist is probably the last thing on your mind this holiday season. But while you’re making your to-do list, you might add “make dentist appointment” because December is an ideal time for a visit. Kids are out of school for their holiday break, appointment slots are available, and for many of us, dental plan benefits expire at the end of the year.  That makes getting in to see the dentist a higher priority this month.   If you’re in the middle of dental treatment, it can be important to make that next visit. For example, as patients receiving a dental implant know, there are several steps to receiving your implant. If your last appointment was for bone restoration a few months ago, you may be ready for placement of the implant. Or the doctor may have your permanent crown ready to replace that temporary crown you received a few weeks ago.   Scheduling a cleaning with the hygienist is wise every six months, and more often if you had periodontal care on your last visit. Coming in for an appointment now to continue treatment you’ve started means you can use up deductibles and maximize your plan’s benefits this year.   You may also want to start needed treatment with any remaining benefits you may have this year, and then pick up where you left off with fresh new benefits in January. Many people split care over two year’s benefits this way for best coverage.   Don’t neglect your oral health altogether this holiday season. Squeeze in an hour of your day to see your dentist just one more time before year end.  You’ll know you’re getting the most out of your dental plan, and you’ll feel good about starting off the New Year with a fresh new smile!