Can I Get Implants Instead of Dentures with Poor Gums?

Due to the poor condition of my gums, I thought my only option was dentues, so I went to one of those 'cheap' dentures places about a year ago - and I hate the dentures! I can't wear them for more than an hour without them hurting and staying in place. I went back several times to this place to tell them how badly they hurt and I couldn't eat or speak. They basically treated me like I was NUTS! Basically my question is, can I go to implants and what kind of dentist should I seek?

Doctor Answers 10

Dental Implants Instead of Dentures

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If all of your teeth have been removed, then your "poor gums" have been cured.  You can only have gum disease if you have natural teeth.  Once the teeth are gone, the bacterial infection know as periodontitis can no longer occur.  Being said, dental implants are a wonder option for you.  There are many types of restorations that you can have on dental implants with all different costs associated.  Seek the advice of a Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon for your dental implant treatment.  They are the most qualified individuals to treat you. Avoid the dental implant" supercenters" you see on TV and ads to avoid being sold a "used  car" or "timeshare"  They have no vested interest in the patient, just on their bottom line to pay off their investors.

Phoenix Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon

Implants can stabilize existing dentures. Ask Mark Levy DDS in Columbus

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It MAY be possible to use the existing dentures and use implants to keep them in place. Another option is to have crowns and bridges placed that are supported by implants. The limiting factors are the bone in your jaw and budget.

I would suggest an experienced general dentist or prosthodontist, who MAY work in conjunction with a surgeon to have a multi-disciplinary (or "tag team") approach to care.

Dr Mark Levy is in Columbus and would be a great resource.

Seek a consult

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I'm interested to know exactly what you mean by 'poor gums.' Have you had gum disease (gingivitis/periodontitis) in the past? Gum disease is really only possible when teeth are present. If this is the case, then when teeth are removed, gum disease in that location of the mouth also will also not be present. What you do need to find out now is the underlying bone volume to determine if dental implants are possible, without bone grafting first. I would suggest seeking out a highly qualified and experienced dentist/surgeon to see if this is an option for you. Often times, some time of imaging/radiograph/xray would be required, such as a panoramic xray or a cone bean CT scan would be needed.


Dr. Kevin Lee

Kevin Lee, DMD
Toronto Dentist

Poor Gums are not a containdication for implants

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Many people have poor gums or chronic periodontitis (gum disease) and despite their best effort it seems to be a losing battle.  THese situations are often ideal implant situations.  I have completed many cases where people hade severe periodontal (gum) disease.  Removing all of the teeth seems to make the mouth healthy again.  By removing the teeth you have removed all of the pathogens that seem to congregate around gum-disease prone individuals teeth.  Implants are inserted - even at the time of the removal of the teeth and bad gums are cured!  Implants are very much indicated in people with chronic gum disease.  Prognosis of success is generally excellent


Lawrence Singer, DMD
Washington Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Implants are an excellent option.....

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Having implants placed to support a fixed bridge or to help retain a denture is an excellent option.  The most important factor to consider is how much bone you currently have, and whether the amount of bone is sufficient for implant placement.

The best way to determine how much bone you have present is to have a CT scan of your upper and/or lower jaw.  A CT scan will provide 3-dimensional views of your jawbone so that your dentist can accurately determine whether or not implants are an option for you.  If you have enough bone present, then the next step would be to consider the type of implant prosthesis that is most appropriate.

If you are missing all of your upper and/or lower teeth, having a fixed bridge placed on implants actually may not be the best option, even if you have tons of bone!!!  For example, if you lost your upper teeth a long time ago, your upper jaw bone may have resorbed significantly, and placing a fixed bridge on implants without being able to support the soft tissues of your face could give your upper lip a caved-in appearance. 

The best advice that I have for you is to consult with a prosthodontist before doing anything. He/She will help facilitate this process for you and can provide you with a comprehensive "game plan" so that your result is not only esthetic, but functional and long-lasting. 

Good luck!

Michael Gulizio, DMD, MS
Manhattan Dentist

Implants for dentures

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Implants would be an ideal treatment option instead of a conventional denture. You have choice of 2 or 4 implants for a removable overdenture, or more implants for possibley a fixed prosthesis. Having a minimum of two implants has become the standard of care for people with completely missing teeth.

I recommend consulting with a surgeon regarding dental implants placement and a general dentist or prosthodontist for the prosthesis.

H. Ryan Kazemi, DMD
Bethesda Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

You need to see someone who can present all your options

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It is impossible to know what your options are without evaluating the condition of your mouth.  You need to have your mouth evaluated and then it will be possible to determine if implants are an option, what type of implants can be placed and if you are a candidate for a fixed appliance or a removable one secured by implants.

Where do you live?  I may be able to provide you a referral that can give you a good start.

M. Andrew Atwood, DDS
Bellevue Dentist

You have many choices.

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First off you could have a new set of Facelift Dentures made that would fit and look great.  You could also have implants placed and have a snap in or permanently screwed in denture.

Dental Implants Instead of Dentures

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The All-on-4 procedure is the least invasive procedure, which is done under sedation. After extraction and implant placement, the bridge will be sitting on implants only and NOT on the soft tissue. The gum will be completely closed up after surgery therefore there is no socket exposed and no dry socket.. Patients are placed on anti- inflammatory medication prior to surgery, therefore there is no pain or swelling. 9 out of 10 patients do not even take any pain medication after this procedure.

Implants can replace dentures

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If you have bad gums then implants can be a good option. In the mean time try getting a soft reline for your new dentures and see if they feel better. Most dental offices can do a soft in office reline for you. I always tell my patients that you get what you pay for. Don't go to cheap denture stores then complain that they are uncomfortable to wear. Such a waste of your money.

Michael J. Thomas, DDS
Los Angeles Dentist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.