Dr. Hughes discusses the types of dentures he offers. He considers traditional dentures a mostly aesthetic procedure. For the most substantial restorative benefits, Dr. Hughes recommends implant-supported dentures.
A candidate for dentures is someone that, essentially, has no teeth. Dentures are an aesthetic service. The function is not quite what they have with their natural teeth, where with dental implants, I consider dentures like wearing flip flops in a track meet, where you should be wearing well-fitted track shoes. But they do work to an extent. They are very aesthetic, we work on the phonetics and like I said, the aesthetics with the appearance to make the patient happy. It's something they like. Here again, I prefer that they pursue the implant route because I know they're going to have a better service at that point.
The existing denture patient should still see their dentist on a regular basis, because they're still susceptible to, like everyone else, oral cancer, denture abrasion, things like that. So the denture has to be monitored to make sure that it fits correctly. Sometimes we have to perform a reline procedure, sometimes people break the denture and they chip it, they neglect repair but that chipping is rubbing against the gum tissue and that should be corrected.
Now, the denture patient, I'd prefer that they not stop with dentures cause they know that I can offer them a lot more than just the denture. The denture flops around a lot. The best-made denture by the best dentist in the world, which I think I'm in that group, they still move around. If you notice on my web page, there's a flora [cinemagraphic] study, the only one in the world where it shows a patient's dentures moving. Then they're anchored with dental implants. So it's just a much better treatment. They can chew better, they feel better about themselves, they actually live longer because they're digesting their food better. And it's just in my sense, in my opinion, when you consider the overall cost of health and health maintenance, it's actually extremely cost-effective.
Dentures that are affixed with dental implants, whether it be Teeth in a Day or just a bar retainer of a denture, or a ball retainer of a denture, improves someone's quality of life by so much more than what they had before. Most patients don't realize it until they get them affixed to dental implants. As a matter of fact, my patients that I do a transition from natural teeth, which are decayed or have extensive periodontal disease, we remove the teeth, place dental implants and put dentures in the same day, they had to go through the trials and tribulations. But once the dentures were affixed with dental implants, it's just like going from a Volkswagen to a Maserati. They're just over the moon with appearance and function and their overall health is improved. Dentures affixed with dental implants are a standard of care today.