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Face and Jaw Surgery

Alternatives to implants

01/09/2001

Question:

I am a 60 year old male with serious gum disease, an upper plate on top of a vaulted upper jaw. A specialist has suggested removal of all teeth and 6 inplants. Are there any alternatives that include adding to the upper plate, removing loose teeth, and adding a lower plate?

Answer:

If your gum disease is indeed very bad, for example you have had a lot of bone loss around the teeth and the teeth are loose, then extraction of the teeth may be indicated. A periodontist specializes in gum disease and may be able to offer suggestions and treatment to save the teeth if that is possible. If the teeth do need to be removed than the most common alternatives are a denture alone that rests on your gum tissue, or implants can be placed, allowed to heal in the bone for several months, and then a denture attached to these implants. Usually you cannot `add` to a plate that has already been made. Either a denture or implants supporting a denture seem like viable choices for your situation. I would recommend if you have further questions to see another specialist (i.e. a prosthodontist (specializing in dentures), as well as an oral surgeon for further discussion of implants). They can evaluate your condition in a clinic and provide you with any further options that may be available to you.

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Response by:

Erick M Rath, BS, DDS, PhD Erick M Rath, BS, DDS, PhD
Assistant Professor/Attending Surgeon - Oral/Maxillofacial Surgery
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University