I am asked this question quite often and thought that this can be a great post for our blog.
It depends. Yes, for some patients their existing denture can be converted into an implant denture. But there are also a number of situations where we have to make a new prosthesis.
I look at several factors in order to make recommendations for the patient. These are all important and include (1) design of the final prosthesis, (2) anatomy of the supporting jaws and gums, (3) position of the implants in relationship to the denture contours,(4) condition of the denture and (5) patient’s desires.
- Final design- conversion of the prosthesis works well for the removable implant retained dentures. If the final design is a fixed bridge, the conversion can be done but the prosthesis can be significanty weakened and utilized only as a temporary replacement.
- Anatomy of the jaw and gums may dictate that changes will be necessary and new denture will be requred.
- Postion of the implants may not be favorable for conversion and new denture will be required.
- If the denture is in a compromised and weakened state conversion may not be feasible.
- If you want to have changes in appearances, denture shape and etc., new prosthesis may be required to satisfy your goals.
I typically evaluate these criteria during planning stage and present options to the patient. Situation can also change after the surgery. In that case we have to look at clinical presentation and make new recommendations.
Thank you for reading,
Dr. Alex Shor