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FAQ:  Dentures or Implants?

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Dentures or Implants? Ask The Dentist Corinne Scalzitti Question:
Lower partial vs. Implant: At present I am being treated on my problems.

I will have only 2 teeth remaining in my lower left side, #19 and #22. My goal is to have implants at approx space #29-30 on lower right and then have a lower partial made to be supported by 2 teeth on lower left and one implant.

Should I not first make sure that an implant is possible due to my bone loss and consistent periodontal disease? ... Visitor from MO

This plan sounds all right, but I wonder if the implant will be compromised by a clasp from the partial. There are many types of partials.

A chrome cobalt has a metal bar and metal clasps. A Valplast is all acryllic, which is softer than denture material but looks like denture material. It has clasps made of the same material and may not put as much stress on the implant. I have just started using Sunflex partials. They are made of nylon and also should put less stress on the implant.

Your dentist should evaluate your bone for the implant or send you to somebody who will place the implant to evalute the quality and quantity of bone. The implant should be in place before the partial is made unless he intends to retrofit the partial to the implant tooth. Many dentists are using cone beam x-rays to thoroughly evaluate the bone before implant placement.

Although I don't know your entire situation without seeing you and your x-rays, I would also suggest looking into a locator in #29-30 area. A locator is like an implant, but instead of a tooth on the implant, it has an attachment that is meant to fit into a denture base. This would also require adequate bone, but it would not be stressed by taking the partial in and out because it is meant to hold a denture or partial.

Corinne Scalzitti, DMD, MAGD

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