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ashland dentist

Drive a Different Kind of Hybrid: Dentures Supported by Dental Implants


Drive a Different Kind of Hybrid: Dentures Supported by Dental Implants

Sometimes we see patients who, due to a variety of reasons, have lost most of their teeth. Estimates are that there are 35 million edentulous persons in the United States. In the past, these individuals would often be presented with the option to extract the remaining teeth and have dentures made. The problem with this is that dentures are known for feeling insecure and can make normal eating habits uncomfortable and embarrassing. An alternative could be to place dental implants for each of the missing teeth, but this is often a cost-prohibitive solution. However, using strategically placed implants to support a hybrid denture can be the perfect, middle-of-the-road option.

An implant-supported denture is one that is supported by dental implants placed beneath the gum line. They are also referred to as “overdentures”. The minimum number of implants is four, although more implants can be beneficial. After placing implants, the body will need some time to naturally fuse with the jaw bone, a process called “osseointegration”. A titanium or gold bar is then placed to hold the prosthetic teeth in place. This system creates a much more secure prosthetic than a denture that simply rests on the gums and will not slip around. The denture is then fixed in place by Dr. Kivel. It is not removable by the patient like typical dentures.  

What are the Benefits?

The most commonly reported benefit of a hybrid implant denture is the ability to eat, smile and speak with complete comfort and confidence again. It also comes at a significantly lower cost than a large number of implants. Lastly, the implant denture is easily cleaned, close to your natural teeth. You don’t have to take it out every time you want to brush - just keep up your normal hygiene habits.

What is the Dental Implant Process?

We are proud to offer a digital process for dental implant process in conjunction with specialists around the Rogue Valley. Below is a quick overview. 


Are you a Candidate?

Most patients who have lost an entire arch of teeth are eligible for hybrid implant dentures. One consideration is that the patient must be in reasonable good oral and overall health. The only way to confirm this, of course, is to book a free consultation appointment with Dr. Kivel at our Ashland, OR office. We can’t wait to help create a stable, secure, and complete smile!

Implant Supported vs. Implant Retained

There is another option to have implant retained dentures. In this option, the gums still absorb most of the force of the bite and the implants simple help retain the prosthetic. These type of dentures are removable . We find that many patients dislike the thought of having removable teeth, because it is a constant reminder of their tooth loss and feel comforted waking up with teeth in their mouth. For this reason, we typically lean towards a fully supported, more permanent option.


Dental Care: Under the Microscope


Dental Care: Under the Microscope

The introduction of microscopes has revolutionized dental care. A microscope is the best visualization tool available in modern medicine. This advanced machine allows Dr. Kivel to work under a magnified scope of up to 20x that of normal vision.

The benefits of dental procedures completed with a microscope include:

Magnified Image: With the simple turn of a dial, microscopes offer a deeper and wider field of view than traditional dental loupes.

Conservative Treatment: Increased magnification allows better precision and access into small, narrow openings without unnecessary removal of tooth structure.

Illumination: Typically, when magnification is used, the light is spread out and an image field would appear darker. Mounted to our microscope is an integrated, through-the-lens, fiber optic light. This light source completely eliminates shadows because it incorporates a coaxial (line of sight) light path.

Ergonomics: With a microscope, it is no longer necessary for dentists to contort and bend their bodies to obtain proper visualization, enabling more comfortable operation for longer periods of time. This efficiency also means more treatment can be provided in fewer visits for the patient.

Imaging: With an added camera (even a cell phone camera!), a scope can fulfill the purpose of an intra-oral camera mid-treatment. With a scope, there’s no stopping in the middle of the procedure to get a wand, find the area, focus, and capture the image. It’s there already!

How Much Extra Does it Cost?

We charge no additional cost to perform treatment using a dental microscope. A microscope is simply the best modality for accurate visualization and diagnostics and we believe this is essential to providing the best care possible for our patients.

A Different Kind of Dental Experience

Overall, microscopes give Dr. Kivel increased precision and a higher level of confidence that all decay has been removed. Most importantly, however, the microscope enables us to better diagnose problems early, and in turn, communicate these issues to patients so that they are better informed in making decisions related to their care.  

Please let us know if you have any questions about dental microscopes or are interested in becoming a patient of our Ashland dental office and experiencing the difference yourself!