704.861.1208
1725 South New Hope Road
Gastonia, North Carolina 28054

Modern Denture Alternatives

Exciting Solutions for Missing Teeth

Zurick Bridge By Dr. Will Kelly

Not a day goes by at our dental office that we do not meet patients that have lost the opportunity of having their teeth. We meet people that cannot realistically maintain health with their natural teeth. We meet people that are looking for solutions, but are not aware of options. Unfortunately, we meet people that simply say, “pull them all . . . I’d rather have a denture.” On the other hand, we meet people that have had it with their dentures and given the opportunity to advise the person seeking dentures, would try to talk them out of it. In each of these encounters, conversations begin difficult, perhaps even uncomfortable for people coming to our practice. We simply move beyond the negative and focus on the joy in the possibilities we have to offer.

In the first half of my career, I was less willing to consider choices that replaced teeth at all cost. First and foremost, we advocate treasuring the natural dentition for its significance in the health of people’s lives. I was always reluctant to offer any solution that fell short of enjoying perfect teeth. Now we have some very exciting options for replacing teeth that are comfortable, reliable, functional, and very . . . very attractive!

The advent of dental implants has changed dentistry forever. A single implant with a crown placed over it is the standard of care for replacing a single missing tooth. Today we are able to use the same technology to offer several different restorative options for the edentulous mouth (missing all teeth). It is now reasonable to look at a patient with confidence and tell them, when appropriate, that replacing their severely diseased teeth or ill-fitting dentures with implant-supported restorations is not only an option, but also a great choice! Not only can patients that have struggled with a life of tooth emergencies or embarrassing and uncomfortable experiences with dentures have a reliable solution, but also a hope of the possibility of enjoying a beautiful smile. In addition to using implants as anchorage for the dentistry over them, implants stimulate tooth supporting oral bone, that would otherwise atrophy, to stay intact. Implant supported restorations not only look great but feel and function like natural teeth.

Today the options for supporting and retaining the replacement of an arch of teeth with implants are better than ever in our practice. These choices range from simply using a couple of implants with snaps to retain traditional dentures that would otherwise “slip” to a full arch of exquisite porcelain crowns that are permanently affixed in the mouth and virtually serve as a true replacement for severely damaged teeth. From a health standpoint, knowing how detrimental oral inflammation is to overall systemic health, for some patients it is absolutely critical to end chronic oral disease before it has negative effects on the cardiovascular system or at least before the risk of infection becomes an eminent threat to a patients well being. From a happiness standpoint, patients are able to enjoy healthy food and one of the simplest pleasures in life (that is also one of our basic needs) SMILING. When we ask patients how they see themselves dentally in the future our conversation always turns to the value of investing in quality dentistry. I would like to progressively share some of our implant restoration offerings.

Locator Retained Over-Denture

If a patient is interested in a traditional denture but wants the assurance that they will never have to place “denture paste” under it, the most basic implant solution we can offer is an implant retained over denture that use a precise attachment called a locator. The locator is affixed to the top of the implant and a fitting inside the denture snaps to it. In fact, we simply cannot recommend a lower denture, which traditionally does not stay in place well without offering two locators as an option. This has become the standard of care for lower dentures and proves effective on upper dentures as well.

Montreal Bar

Bar Over Denture

Bar Supported Over Denture

While single locator/implants aid to retain teeth the following options all support prostheses keeping them from pushing inward toward tissue during chewing, speech and function. The Montreal bar supported over denture utilizes a precision milled titanium bar that is affixed over several implants. Unlike bar over dentures in the past that were made of cast gold, titanium has the benefit of being durable but also light. The removable denture snaps over the bar. The monorail-like bar not only keeps the denture in place but also rigidly keeps it from moving laterally and impinging tissues. This improves function greatly mimicking the nature chewing motion since users do not have to posture muscles while enjoying food and speaking. Since the denture is designed on the outside similar to a traditional denture, gum and bony tissue that has diminished is returned to a more full contour.

 

Titanium Hybrid Bridge

Hybrid Overdenture

Unlike over dentures that are removed from the mouth, with implants we also have several options that stay in the mouth at all times. We simple ask patients, “would you like to brush your teeth in your mouth or in your hands?” The Titanium Hybrid Bridge relies on a rigid precision milled titanium framework that has nano-resin teeth set in denture acrylic over it. The term “hybrid” refers to the acrylic that like a denture fills in the space of missing gum and bones to the proper position teeth should be placed in. Unlike a denture, the hybrid is only removed periodically at professional dental cleanings. This option virtually becomes the patient’s teeth by being affixed permanently to the implant below it.

Prettau Hybrid Bridge and Bridge

Our Prettau offerings rely on a state-of the-art milled Zirconia framework and Zirconia teeth. Zirconia is a carbon based white metal that is extremely strong and is now commonly used for tooth colored crowns. Because of its opacious white qualities it can make a very esthetic restoration.

Prettau Hybrid Bridge

Prettau Hydrid Overdenture

The Prettau Hybrid Bridge is a milled restoration that has solid tooth colored zirconia teeth over a zirconia framework. Tissue colored porcelain is then applied over the gum tissue areas. Like the Traditional Hybrid, this restoration is permanently fixed in place over dental implants.

 

 

 

 

 

Prettau Bridge

Prettau Zirconia Bridge

In situations where gum and bone structure is still in its

full contour, the Prettau Bridge can be placed. Like the Prettau hybrid it is a fixed arch of zirconia teeth, however there is little or no pink porcelain applied to mimic gums and it sits closer to natural tissue. Because zirconia is the material of choice for crowns on severe tooth grinders, it serves very not wear like resin denture teeth.

 

 

ZurickZurick Bridge

The Zurich Bridge is perhaps one of the finest engineered dental prostheses available. Frankly, it is possible to make them even more esthetic than even natural teeth (or veneers). In essence, when perfectly designed, our team is working on a blank canvas. The Zurick Bridge has a zirconia framework like the Prettau Hybrid with individual preparations that protrude toward the biting surface that mimic individual crown preparations. On top of each of these preparations, individual EMax crowns are placed. Emax is the ultimate in dental esthetics and is our porcelain of choice in cosmetic dentistry. Over the framework tissue-colored EMax porcelain is artistically designed to mimic healthy gums. When dentistry is done perfectly, even the gums have to be beautiful. Healthy is beautiful. Like other hybrid implant restorations, the Zurick Bridge is permanently attached to the dental implants that support it.

Why William Kelly Dentistry?

Dr. Will Kelly

Our practice realizes that there are many choices available for dental care. We also realize that while every patient considers perfect dentistry, not all seek it and even fewer find it. We are proud to offer these advanced restorations for missing teeth and find that our practice is unique in offering them. There are other dental practices that offer similar options for implant dentistry for patients with complete missing teeth. We find that in some instances the case is poorly designed or under engineered. In other instances, this type of dentistry does not utilize the best resources to get the best result. Our office is a firmly believes in a team approach to complex dentistry. We have partnered with the best surgeons to aid in the design and placement of our dental implants. There is a misconception that there will be a run around when working between a specialist and restorative dental office. We work seamlessly with our surgeons through intentional planning and excellent communication. Our choice of dental laboratory matters. Our small lab is a pioneer in the field of complex implant restoration and a critical choice in our outcome. Not only do they provide the restorations described above, they invented the technology in most of them. Our lab’s ceramicist is regarded as one of the best in the world.

What is involved in this type of dentistry?

First and foremost, we want to reach a firm diagnosis for each individual considering this type of dentistry. When deemed appropriate, we design a treatment plan to address our patient’s needs and desires. We design the outcome in a mockup and together with our lab and periodontal surgeons determine the implants needed to support the chosen restoration. As the implants are healing we typically rely on an intermediate traditional denture as the implants integrate into bone. This period serves to verify that the chosen tooth design is pleasing. In some circumstances, if our patient desires, we can affix the temporary restoration over the implants the day they are placed. There are several steps along the way and when the end is reached we pause and smile at the results!

We have not experienced a circumstance in which this type of dentistry has not been an absolute positive change for the life, health, and happiness of the patients that chose to pursue implant dentistry with us. Yes, there is a significant investment involved in the choice to replace unaesthetic, failing teeth so perfectly. We find that each of our clients cannot put a price on the value they sense in their new smile!

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American Dental Association           American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry            Pankey Institute Alumni