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FAQ:  Dentures or Implants?

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Dentures or Implants? Ask The Dentist Richard Winter Question:
High Narrow Arch: I'm 57 and have wore back upper and lower partials for years.

My front upper teeth jet and I have been told I have a high narrow arch. One dentist suggested I see an orthodontist to see if perhaphs they could widen my arch.

My question is would that be possible since I have no back teeth to support brackets? My concern is to keep what I have as long as possible and possibly get back implants.

I was once told with a high narrow arch it is impossible to wear dentures and this is a concern for me down the road. ... Visitor from OH

It is possible to wear dentures with a high deep palate.

Your ability to wear dentures due to a deep palatal vault is only dependant on having a good dentist that knows how to make a good, properly fitting set of dentures.

As far as moving your teeth with orthodontics, it is possible without back teeth if your orthodontist uses T.A.D. or temporary anchorage devices or mini-implants for orthodontics.

Your dentist and orthodontist can discuss what is to be gained by doing this. Perhaps a scenario would be to take your front teeth and move them into a more favorable position prior to implants.

This is only an option if your teeth are great, the bone is great and moving them back will create a favorable esthetic. If this is not going to make you look good, then it isn't necessarily worth the cost.

Then the dentist can discuss implants in the front to improve esthetics, implants in the back to preserve bone and improve chewing and you won't have any acrylic in the roof of your mouth.

I would get a thorough evaluation with a dentist that is well versed in implant reconstructions and discuss a way to place implants, as you can afford them to support partials or place enough implants to support bridges.

Realize, you may need some bone grafting or sinus augmentation to be able to pursue these treatment options. The age of 57 means you have 30-40 more years of chewing left, partial dentures will lead to more bone loss, sores, loosening of the teeth they are clasped to, and perhaps dentures.

People with dentures can bite with 25 lbs per sq. inch. Natural teeth bite with 220 lbs/sq inch. Implants are the only solution that will allow you to chew with biting pressures like you had with your own teeth. Best of luck.

Wisconsin Reconstructive Implant Dentistry
Wisconsin Prosthodontics
Richard Winter, DDS MAGD
Winter Dental Associates
Hampton Dental Associates
5323 W. Hampton Avenue
Milwaukee Wisconsin WI 53218
(414) 464-9021

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