Dentures have been around for over 2700 years and for most of that time were considered the only alternative for people who were missing all of their teeth. In the early days, dentures were constructed from human and animal teeth. In fact, contrary to popular belief, George Washington’s teeth were made of hippopotamus ivory along with human, donkey and horse teeth and not of wood as American folklore suggests.
Today, approximately 20% of the population wears dentures that are now made of acrylic resin, metal and plastic. Dentures, which replace all of the teeth in the upper jaw, lower jaw or both, are either immediate or conventional, depending on when they are placed in the mouth. Immediate dentures or cosmetic dentures are placed as soon as the remaining teeth have been removed, so the patient does not have to be without teeth while the gums heal. Conventional dentures are fabricated once the gum tissue has healed, about six to eight weeks after the teeth have been extracted.
For as long as dentures have been available, denture wearers have complained about their aesthetics, comfort and function. One of the reasons for this is that it’s very difficult to make a denture that fits properly. When teeth are missing, the jawbone melts away, causing it to shrink. Over time, dentures tend to float around in the mouth, causing denture wearers to be self-conscious while eating, talking and socializing. They can also be painful as food can irritate the gums when it gets wedged between the gum and the denture
Thanks to the advent of dental implants, and more recently, the All-on-4 technique, denture wearers and people missing teeth now have a permanent, non-removable solution to replace missing teeth. Doctors are now able to attach a screw-retained prosthesis (set of teeth) into four strategically placed dental implants allowing the patient to have teeth that look, feel and function like natural teeth. In most cases this procedure does not require bone graft surgery and can be performed in one day. No more dentures sitting in a glass next to the bedside table. These new teeth stay in your mouth, right where they belong. Click on the link to see the many benefits of implants for dentures replacement.
The All-on-4 procedure was developed in Portugal in the 1990s and was introduced in the United States in 2007. Dr. Kerry Voit was one of the first doctors to offer this alternative treatment to his patients in Chicago. He is now the Clinical Director at Eon Clinics, and is considered to be one of the leading All-on-4 experts in the country by his peers. He is certainly one of the most experienced at using this protocol, having successfully treated over 1,000 cases to date.
After 2700 years, modern dentistry has finally developed an alternative to dentures that look, feel and function like a natural set of teeth. Patients are amazed at how easy and pain-free the procedure is and enjoy eating, laughing and socializing without being self-conscious or concerned that their dentures may embarrass them. If you wear or are considering dentures, schedule a complimentary consultation and find out if you are a candidate for dental implants and the All-on-4 procedure.