Denture technology continues to evolve, with more options, better pricing, and improved overall function becoming more accessible to a range of patients. The loss of natural teeth can come with a variety of complications that impact everything from your physical and emotional health to your smile itself. Some experience difficulty speaking clearly or chewing their once favorite foods. There can be embarrassment surrounding your smile and attempts to hide showing your teeth. In turn, there can also be physical shifting among your remaining teeth that can cause discomfort in the mouth and jaw, muscular issues, or headaches.
Dentures are an important part of restoring your smile’s appearance, but there are a number of denture options to explore to find the one that’s right for you. Traditional dentures may no longer work for your mouth – let us help you find a solution that meets all of your needs.
At South Charlotte Dentistry, we offer what we believe to be the best technology on the market today: Glidewell’s hybrid dentures, or screw-retained dentures. This type of hybrid denture offers greater stability and better quality of life to our patients. Hybrid dentures are implant-supported and use four or more implants in the jaw for the stability of the denture. We’ll dive into what hybrid dentures are all about, some of the pros and cons of hybrid dentures, and discuss who may be a good candidate for hybrid dentures.
What is a hybrid denture?
First things first: what is a hybrid denture? A hybrid denture is a type of implanted denture designed to improve the support and strength of your dentures. Like removable dentures, hybrids also sit on top of the teeth and gums. However, hybrid dentures are secured with screws to the dental implant and cannot be removed without the help of an implant dentist. This increases the stability and function of the denture, especially in comparison to removable dentures.
In general, dentures improve the appearance of your smile by replacing your missing teeth, but they also are a necessary tool for aiding with eating and speech. Dentures can provide additional stability of a fixed restoration thanks to the use of implants.
Overview of the Glidewell hybrid dentures that we provide patients with at South Charlotte Dentistry:
● Great alternative for patients using removable dentures
● Higher stability and better function for speech and eating
● CAD/CAM-milled titanium framework for a precise fit
● Fixed full-arch restorative option
● Offer natural, lifelike esthetics to blend with your smile
Screw retained dentures are a prosthesis placed in the mouth containing replacement teeth. Your dentist will mount the dentures using a base made of pink resin formed over a metal structure (the titanium framework) to create an exact fit over your existing gums.
The hybrid dentures are secured in place using dental implants. Dental implants are a surgical component that works with the bone of the jaw or skull to support a dental prosthesis such as a crown, bridge, denture, or facial prosthesis, and act as orthodontic support. So basically, your dental implants are artificial roots placed into the supporting bone of your jaw structure.
The hybrid denture utilizes implants to help preserve the surrounding bone from shrinking over time, which it would do without a tooth root structure to support it. It also optimizes the patient’s ability to eat and speak.
Pros of Hybrid Dentures:
● Support: Hybrid dentures offer much better support and stability since they are screwed in directly to your dental implants. They don’t risk the chance of becoming loose or dislodged during your normal activities (i.e. talking or eating) as temporary dentures can.
● Look and feel: Hybrid dentures are practically seamless – they look and feel like your natural teeth.
● Comfort: Unlike temporary dentures, hybrid dentures do not cover the roof of the mouth. You’ll feel all the difference as the wearer of hybrid dentures, and more fully enjoy eating and drinking again.
● No creams or adhesives required: Messy, bad-tasting creams or adhesives are not needed to keep your hybrid dentures in place – they are securely installed and require no upkeep on this end.
● No break-in period: Snap-in denture-wearers may have experienced irritation in the past from dentures slipping, poor fit, or overall inability to comfortably eat, drink, and talk. With hybrid dentures, the strength of your bite is definitely increased, meaning you will have greater access to a wider variety of foods.
Cons of Hybrid Dentures:
● Potential for discomfort: A common disadvantage of hybrid dentures is the potential for very small amounts of food or bacteria getting beneath the dentures and causing discomfort. Luckily, routine daily brushing and flossing will do the job of keeping you comfortable and hygienic.
● Harder to clean: Unlike removable, snap-fit dentures, hybrid dentures are connected to your implants. This may seem harder to clean for some patients. The wearer, again should brush, floss, and attend regular dental visits and cleanings every six months to a year.
● Improper fits can cause further damage to the mouth: An improperly fitting hybrid denture can lead to breaks or even bone loss around the dental implants they’re secured to. While the process for installation may seem lengthy, comfort and success with hybrid dentures is in the precision and details. It’s very important to ensure a proper fit with a trusted, skilled implant dentist, who will make sure that your implants are placed and healed correctly, and that the dentures fit precisely and comfortably.
Who makes a good candidate for hybrid dentures?
Screw retained dentures, or hybrid dentures are an excellent treatment option for patients requiring replacement of all teeth in the upper and/or lower arch of the mouth. Because of the stability they provide in comparison to snap-in dentures, hybrid dentures can be a great option as they are not as permanent or expensive as affixed dentures.
Glidewell’s screw-retained hybrid denture is an excellent replacement for patients who currently use removable dentures. Hybrid dentures provide maximum prosthetic stability and function by securely attaching to four or more dental implants, using a titanium framework.
How long do screw-retained dentures last?
If the patient maintains the regular upkeep of daily brushing and flossing, the implant screw can last a lifetime. This does, of course, go hand-in-hand with the patient also receiving regular preventative care dental check-ups every 6 months. On the other hand, the crown typically only lasts about 10 to 15 years before it may need a replacement due to normal wear and tear of use over time.
How much do hybrid dentures cost?
On average, hybrid dentures can cost as little as $1,500 and up, depending on your treatment plan and dental insurance coverage. Additional costs may come if needed with the implant tooth process. Hybrid dentures are more affordable than one might think, especially posed as a permanent denture solution for patients.
At South Charlotte Dentistry, we always want you to feel comfortable and confident in your treatment plan, and we will go over all the details and costs associated with the plan with you. Together, we can determine the right solution for your smile and your budget – and that solution may very well be hybrid dentures!
How many appointments are required to get hybrid dentures?
Hybrid dentures require multiple appointments with your dentist to design your dentures and then place the dental implants. You will also have follow-up appointments to ensure a proper and comfortable fit.
The first step in the denture hybrid installation is to take an impression of the area. Your dentist will use the impression to create a set of temporary dentures for you to use in the interim while your hybrid dentures are being created. When the temporary dentures are completed, your dentist will then take diagnostic images of your mouth to plan out the placement of the dental implants.
Next, the area is prepared and your dental implants are placed. Your dentist will determine if the implants are stable enough to handle the force of biting. If they are, then abutments (the metal part that serves as the base of a crown) will be secured into the implants and the temporary dentures will be secured to the abutments.
During your follow-up visits, your dentist will monitor the healing process over 6 months, letting you know when the area is ready for the next phase of treatment – the actual installation of your hybrid dentures. This period of the healing process is called osseointegration, and what’s taking place is the creation of a strong bond between the implants and jawbone. Your dentist will provide you with a temporary denture during this time to allow for a more comfortable experience.
When the implants have fully healed, your dentist will then take new impressions of your mouth, and these impressions will be used to create the final hybrid dentures. We begin the fabrication process by scanning your impression into Glidewell’s CAD/CAM system. In the CAD system, Glidewell uses the scanned data to design your personalized one-piece titanium bar framework. They then mill the titanium bar, which will later be incorporated into the screw-retained denture. Their clinicians will approve the try-in and then process and deliver the final screw-retained hybrid denture.
The CAD/CAM technology and the try-in verification process provide our practice with hybrid restorations that give patients a highly accurate and precise fit.
When we receive the hybrid denture, we’ll bring you back in for the first installation. This step may require multiple follow-up appointments in order to check for proper fit and bite alignment for the final denture installation. In these appointments, your dentist will have incremental try-in fittings of the denture to ensure the best final result and ideal fit for you.
Once all of the adjustments have been made, the final hybrid denture is installed. This wraps up the hybrid denture installation process! In the end, you will have a restoration specially and specifically designed to replace your natural teeth. Hybrid dentures greatly improve the appearance of your smile, while also providing excellent function, as they are securely fixed to your dental implants. You will see and feel the difference with hybrid dentures right away!
Are hybrid dentures right for you?
The mouths and dental needs of every patient are unique! Overall, a hybrid denture can allow for a better quality of life, confidence, stability, and strength, and require the same care and upkeep you would give to your natural teeth. For those currently using snap-in dentures, it may be worth a discussion with your dentist to see if hybrid dentures are a good fit for you. Your team at South Charlotte Dentistry is very qualified in implants and dentures, and we can certainly help you determine what type of denture is right for you and your smile.