I have had some problems with my teeth over the years. At this time, I am missing three back teeth and I have a dental bridge that is probably more than 30 years old now. I am considering getting my upper teeth replaced with a denture implant, or what I think is called an overdenture. I also have periodontal disease and end up going in every six months or so for root planing and a scaling treatment. The dentist had me try a partial denture but I couldn’t get passed this gagging feeling. Eating with it didn’t work either. So, that was a bust.
So, I’m wondering if a denture secured with dental implants will be good because I would like to replace all my upper teeth at this point. I am trying to get a rough idea how much something like this will cost. Also, would it be considered a medical condition? I am trying to figure out if my medical insurance will help offset the costs.
Thank you for your time.
-Laurel in Texas
Thank you for your question and sharing your experience so far. Dental implants are a permanent replacement to missing teeth. They look, feel and function just like natural teeth. Also, there is no extra hardware in your mouth so you won’t have to worry about that gagging feeling you explained. The plate can cause complications, which is common with denture appliances.
Dental implants also stimulate the bone at the implant site, which prevents a condition called facial collapse. This condition worsens over time when you don’t have any teeth left. Your body take the minerals that would be normally used to support the teeth and uses them elsewhere. Patients with facial collapse tend to look much older than they are, and their face is sunk in. Sometimes, it can get so bad that a denture won’t even stay in place anymore.
If replacing all your teeth with dental implants is not an option, fewer implants can be used to secure it in place. This is the treatment that you referred to in your question, as the denture secured with dental implants or what can be called an implant overdenture, or implant-supported denture. The more dental implants you can afford, the more stable and secure your denture will feel. You won’t have to worry about it moving around or coming out at embarrassing times. Also, it will be more comfortable too. There are options where the removable denture will snap in place to the anchored dental implants. This is usually called a snap-on denture.
Instead of selecting the treatment you want, it would be wise to shift your research and focus to finding the best dentist for you. If you find a reputable implant dentist in your area, they will be able to make the right recommendations for your specific needs and budget.
Regarding your question about using medical insurance, unfortunately, it likely won’t cover anything. So, you will need to look into what your dental insurance covers. It is a common question since many people are in a position where their dental health ends up impacting their physical health. But, as you can imagine, medical insurance companies do not cover dental problems or concerns. Otherwise, they take the stance that anything could be claimed as a medical need, even a cavity or an infection that is affecting your health. That said, your medical insurance should cover damage that was endured in an accident of some sort. For example, if you are in a car accident and you sustain injuries to your face and teeth, then your medical insurance will likely help support your needs for that specific incident.
Lastly, there are so many variations in treatment plans and fees that we cannot give you an accurate cost estimate for services. Again, the best thing to do is to find the best dentist for you, and get those personalized recommendations and options for treatment to help you plan your next steps.
Thank you for your question. Hopefully, this information is helpful as you try to figure out an action plan.
This post is sponsored by Petaluma dentist Dr. Rick Lane.