July 10, 2018

The Subperiosteal Implant – Eliminate Loose Lower Dentures

By Dr. Dane Boren, Implant & Family Dentistry, Sleep Dentistry

Most lower denture, or partial denture, wearers know the struggle that comes with them. Lower dentures can be the most difficult to “deal” with due to looseness, food accumulation, speech issues and the list goes on. Most sufferers can tell you about running to the restroom at the restaurant to clean their denture as soon as they finish their meal. Not to mention the limited choices that the menu offers due to the difficulty of eating many foods that they would normally enjoy.

Implant dentistry has helped lower denture wearers tremendously. However, there are many people that traditional implant dentistry cannot adequately help or at least they get some assistance from dental implants but the treatment is less than ideal. There is one implant that is the exception to the limited relief or function that traditional root shaped implants provide. This implant can feel like a near complete restoration of the lower teeth. Nearly all foods are possible to eat with this implant and it stabilizes the lower denture fantastically.

The implant is called a subperiosteal implant. In the dental field there has been some great controversy over the use of this implant. Why, you ask? The subperiosteal implant is the most complicated of all the implant modalities to perform properly that is available to patients suffering with lower dentures. To be successful the Dentist needs a great deal of hands on training and understanding of all the parameters of full mouth reconstruction and surgery. The techniques cannot be learned in some quick weekend courses like traditional root shaped implant techniques can. IV sedation is available to provide comfort during this procedure.

Traditional root shaped implants are placed with a drill that most dentists are very familiar with, and skilled at, using on a day to day basis and the technique is relatively simple in comparison. In addition many dentists and dental students have heard that the subperiosteal is to be avoided because of failures and this misguided “advice” has been adopted as truth over the years. However the reality is that the subperiosteal implant, in the right hands, enjoys a success rate as good as any implant treatment available today and, in addition, offers one of the fastest results as well as one of the most satisfying results available.

Advances in 3D imaging and 3D printing has eliminated one of the 2 necessary surgeries for subperiosteal treatment. This makes this treatment more affordable, and tremendously more comfortable for the patient. So why is it the lost art in the field of implant dentistry? Mainly the availability and motivation to learn all that is needed to perform this procedure successfully. Most of the “founders” and professionals that successfully perform subperiosteal surgeries are now retired or deceased. The training is time consuming and expensive, in both time and money. It is very difficult to obtain this training. This combined with the few dentists that have to desire to go through such training, if they can even find the training, result in this wonderful option being lost to time. A tragedy to be sure. If you, or someone you know, suffers with a lower partial or full denture…you owe it to yourself to find out more about this wonderful service.

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