Millions of people in the United States are living without teeth. The numbers may seem hard to believe at first.
According to the American College of Prosthodontists, 23 million American are missing all their teeth and another 12 million are missing one complete arch of teeth.
You may be one of them. You may know one of these millions of people. Or, someday, you may become one of them. If you are or become edentulous, we hope you have a plan for your teeth replacement.
We also hope that plan includes a visit to North Shore Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery to benefit from our Refresh Smile procedure. Our dentist office is located in Buffalo Grove, IL.
Many people with missing teeth have dentures. Many of those people also are disappointed with the drawbacks that come from wearing dentures day in and day out.
Dentures are, at best, an imperfect replacement for your missing natural teeth.
Traditional dentures are designed to rest over your gums. Assuming they are fit properly, they should look like real teeth when you speak or smile. This is fine most of the time.
But it’s also common for dentures to slip out of position. This may happen when you are speaking to an audience of people. This may happen during a night out with your friends. This can happen in the middle of a business discussion.
Dentures come with another drawback as well. You can’t bite or chew nearly as well as you could with real teeth.
Multiple studies have been conducted to compare the bite force of people with all their teeth to people who use dentures. Dr. Thomas C. Connelly explained this in a piece for The Huffington Post a few years ago.
Someone with all her teeth has a bite force between 200 and 250 pounds. That’s more than enough to take a big bite from a buttery corn on the cob or to chew a bite of a ribeye.
By comparison, people with traditional dentures can generate about 50 pounds of force (on the high end). This makes biting into that corn on the cob much, much more challenging. It also makes chewing that ribeye more tedious than satisfying.
Maxing Out Your Dentures
Powerlifters will sometimes do workouts in which they “max out,” which means they try to lift as much weight as they can for a single repetition.
They know they won’t be expected to lift this much every time, but knowing their maximum weight helps them feel more confident when they are lifting lesser amounts of weight.
Dental implants, including the Refresh Smile, can help improve the “max” for your dentures. You probably aren’t going to eat corn on the cob every day, but when you do, we are going to assume that you would rather feel confident that you can bite into it.
Dental implants don’t rest over your gums. Instead, they are placed in your jawbone. As you heal, the bone bonds to the implants. This holds them firmly and place.
That also provides a stable, secure foundation for your dentures. When your dentures are attached to a series of dental implants, you will be able to experience a bite force close to what you had when you had all your teeth.
You really will be able to bite into corn on the cob without concern. You will be able to chew a chunk of ribeye without struggling.
In other words, you will be able to enjoy eating what you want when you want.
How Many Implants?
You may be wondering how many implants it will take to support a full set of dentures. That depends on the kind of implants and the techniques used to place them.
Some of you may have heard of All-on-4®, and our Refresh Smile is something similar. It really is possible to support a full set of dentures will just four strategically placed implants.
To date, our Dr. Frank has performed the Refresh Smile procedure more than 1,000 times for patients in and around Buffalo Grove, IL. Since completing his formal dental training, Dr. Frank has made continuing education a priority because he believes his patients deserve the best service available.
He is the director of the Elite Dental Group, which is an affiliate of the Seattle Study Club. This club is considered one of the most advanced interactive dental education groups in the United States.
If you have lost your teeth, know someone who has, or lose them in the future, know that Refresh Smile at North Shore Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery can help restore the function of your teeth and appearance of your smile.