If you have lost most or all of your teeth as a result of gum disease or tooth decay, removable dentures is not your only replacement option. Hybrid dentures, also referred to as fixed-removable dentures, use dental implants to stabilize dentures, which provide the advantages of removable dentures with a fixed replacement. Hybrid dentures are especially beneficial for those who is not happy with their dentures, but is not a good candidate for multiple individual implants.
Who is a Good Candidate for a Hybrid Denture?
Your dentist will evaluate your gums and jawbone to determine how many dental implants are required to support your prosthesis. Typically, a hybrid denture requires several implants for the best stability, so a good candidate is someone who is missing all or most of their teeth and has enough jawbone to accept a type of implants known as a four-on-one-implant. A four-on-one-implant uses four screws installed closely together to hold the prosthetic teeth, as opposed to one screw per prosthetic tooth.
Benefits of a Hybrid Denture
One of the best benefits of a hybrid denture is unlike traditional dentures, hybrid dentures do not cover the palate of your mouth, which means you will be able to better taste the foods you eat. Other benefits of a hybrid denture include
- Hybrid dentures help to preserve the quality and density of your jawbone. When missing teeth are not replaced, over time the bone will begin to shrink, which changes your facial structure, giving you a more aged appearance.
- You will have a stronger bite, so you can eat the foods you couldn't eat with dentures, including apples and steak.
- Hybrid dentures prevent the gum irritation that typically occurs from slipping dentures.
- Hybrid dentures are secured in place, so they feel and function like your natural teeth.
- With hybrid dentures, you clean them just as you would your natural teeth, with brushing and flossing. You no longer have to remove your dentures to soak and clean them.
The procedure for individual dental implants often takes several months, whereas the procedure for hybrid dentures can usually be completed in a few weeks. In most situations, both a top and bottom arch can be installed during the same appointment. Hybrid dentures and dental implants are permanently installed, so you will need to clean and maintain them just like your natural teeth; however, your dentist will schedule routine appointments to remove the denture and clean underneath them.