- March 3, 2010
COLLEGEVILLE AND PHILADELPHIA, PA – Losing teeth shouldn’t mean losing self-confidence and the ability to eat certain foods.
And yet, that is what happens to many Americans when they lose their teeth due to trauma, periodontal disease or decay and replace them with traditional dentures.
Although dentures can provide an natural-looking alternative for missing teeth, wearers often complain about their difficulty in eating, speaking and even smiling while wearing them, said Philadelphia dental implants specialist, Dr. David DiGiallorenzo. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
For years, DiGiallorenzo, a Philadelphia periodontist, has used dental implants to provide patients with a better alternative to traditional dentures that allows a person to smile, speak, eat and even kiss with confidence. Known as implant supported overdentures, these dentures use precise dental attachments to hold the denture in place and prevent it from slipping.
The process of getting implant supported overdentures often can be completed in one visit and begins with placing the dental implants. In the upper jaw, between two and six implants may need to be placed to achieve an optimum, secure fit. When it comes to the lower jaw, two implants may suffice, provided the patient’s bone height and shape of their jaw are favorable to support an overdenture.
These implants adhere to the jawbone over time through a process known as osseointegration. The implants create an anchor and are used to lock the overdentures into place, according to information posted on the American Academy of Periodontology Web site (http://www.perio.org/consumer/overdentures.htm).
“Dental implants absolutely can change the life of a denture wearer for the better, particularly when we’re talking about lower dentures,” said the Philadelphia periodontics expert. “Because the lower jaw is moveable, it is difficult to retain a traditional lower denture. They rarely fit well, no matter how well-made they are.”
Traditional denture wearers often can’t chew food without their dentures moving around. Implant supported overdentures make the everyday things possible that many people take for granted, DiGiallorenzo said. He recently treated an 80-year-old woman and when he spoke with her the next day and asked what she had eaten, she replied “I had a cheesesteak- something I hadn’t eaten in years!”
Traditional dentures can do more than rob people of their self-confidence, they can alter the physiology of a person’s mouth, DiGiallorenzo said. He described the effect of traditional dentures that sit on the gum and bone as being similar to placing a weight on your arm and leaving it there for years.
“The shape of your arm where that weight sat would change as a result of pressurization,” he said. “Similarly, the constant pressure resorption of the jaw and tissue placed by dentures actually deteriorates the jaw bone over the years.”
As these changes occur over time, dentures begin to fit less snugly and securely than when first made, DiGiallorenzo said. This doesn’t occur with implant supported overdentures, because the implants provide stability to hold the dentures securely in place and preserve the surrounding jaw bone and tissue from resorption.
Implant supported overdentures also prevent the need of using denture pastes and adhesives.
“Those can get nasty as far as odor, smell and bacteria, DiGiallorenzo said.
In addition to restoring the normal abilities discussed earlier with implant supported overdentures on the lower teeth, using them on the upper teeth carries great benefits as well.
“Using these dentures to replace the upper teeth uncovers a person’s taste buds and can make eating more enjoyable again,” he said.
Traditional dentures feature a portion of plastic that covers the roof of the mouth, which is where the taste buds are located. People who have replaced their traditional dentures routinely report that in addition to being able to eat a wider variety of food and chew it adequately for proper digestion, they can taste their food better.
If you would like to learn more about implant supported overdentures or wish to schedule a free consultation with one of the Philadelphia periodontists Dr. David DiGiallorenzo’s office, please call 610-228-4366 in Collegeville; 570-505-6908 in Williamsport; or visit his Web site: http://www.perioimplants.us/.
About Dr. David Digiallorenzo
Dr. David Digiallorenzo, or “Dr. D,” graduated from Temple University School of Dentistry in 1993 and completed a specialty in periodontics and dental implantology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1995.
He is a past associate clinical professor at the University of Pennsylvania in the Department of Periodontics. He teaches nationally and internationally and is a regular contributor to dental literature.
Dr. D’s private practice in suburban Philadelphia concentrates on periodontics, dental implantology, advanced reconstructive case management and TMJ treatment. It is a unique dental spa with two full-time massage therapists that specialize in reflexology, reiki, massage, aromatherapy and homeopathy. This combination creates a relaxed, optimal healing response.
Dr. D has two office locations: 184 W. Main St., Ste. 200, in Collegeville, PA; and 121 E. Fourth St. in Williamsport, PA.
© 2010 Sinai Marketing and Dr. David Digiallorenzo.