The Women's Journal

Never Too Late To Restore A Youthful Smile

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By Anna Giacalone, D.M.D.


I find it exciting to be practicing dentistry today with the availability of dental implants.  I particularly enjoy helping those patients who lost not only multiple teeth, but significant quantity of supporting bone.  Whether this type of defect is a result of face trauma or gum disease, the entire face is affected.  The mouth has a sunken appearance with pucker creases along the lip line.  A hybrid denture, also called a fixed detachable denture, restores the youthful contour of the lip and pleasing smile.

The hybrid denture is a denture which is securely fixed to implant retainers.  Dental implants are surgically placed artificial roots, usually made of titanium. The hybrid denture is screwed into these strategically placed implant “roots”.  The patient has the convenience of having teeth that are not removable except by the dentist when maintenance is required.  They look and feel like natural teeth. What makes the hybrid denture different than crown and bridge which is implant retained is that the lost gum tissue is replaced as well as the teeth. (Fixed implant retained crowns and bridges look like they are growing out of the natural gum. It is a teeth only replacement.) anna_screw_ond13

With a hybrid denture in the upper jaw there is no need to cover the roof of the mouth as is the case with traditional removable partial and full dentures. Since the taste buds on the roof of the mouth are not covered, there is no loss of taste sensation. Also, those patients with a strong gag reflex benefit greatly by having the hybrid denture replace their traditional removable.

A hybrid denture is one of many implant retained tooth replacement options. The decision to treatment plan this type of devises is not a simple one.  There are many factors to consider, including the patient’s health, time and financial commitment, biologic factors such as the quantity and quality of available bone.  The patient’s ability to adapt to something new in his or her mouth is another important factor.  Just as critical is the patient’s ability to clean the implant retained prosthesis.  It is imperative that any devise in the mouth be kept plaque free so surrounding soft tissues and bone can remain healthy. Not all individuals have the fine motor skills in their hands necessary to achieve this goal.  For example, patients with significant arthritis in the hands or neuromuscular diseases would not be good candidates for the challenges a hybrid denture presents.

Since the hybrid denture only removable by the dentist there are greater challenges in keeping the prosthesis clean.  When the hybrid is well designed for the right patient it is well worth the extra effort.  Design is key.  The desire to allow enough space under the fixed hybrid denture to allow cleaning devises to easily pass through must be balanced against the need to keep an air seal.

anna_teeth_ond13The seal at the tissue side of the hybrid denture is necessary for proper articulation.  When we pronounce words, we modify the escape of air from the lungs with the tongue, lips and teeth. If the hybrid denture is placed with too large a gap between denture and the gum, air will escape. Without  a proper air seal, a speech defect  may be heard.

The hybrid denture is an excellent tooth replacement option when fabricated for right patient.  It is just one of the many implant retained tooth replacements which change lives.  A dental procedure which allows you to chew comfortably, smile confidently, and know that a cough or sneeze or belly laugh will not cause embarrassment, is a valuable service indeed.

National Dental Reviews  

“The treatment here is thorough as you will find anywhere.  Dr. G. and her staff regularly take courses and are always current with the latest treatments.  Dr. G. is an artist with cosmetic dentistry, so your results are beautiful as well as functional.  An outstanding dentist.”  – Sharon S.

“The patient comes first.  Everything is done to make the patient comfortable and at ease.  Everything is explained.”    – Nancy W.

“Anna is very creative and artistic with her dental tools.  When fixing a tooth gone bad she makes me feel like she is sculpting a new one to fit precisely with my others, whether it’s a simple filling or a more involved crown.  In addition, she assembled a wonderful staff of talented and friendly hygienists as well.”  – Clement M. 

To see more National Dental reviews go to



Anna C. Giacalone, DMD, MAGD

Master of the Academy of General Dentistry


• BS. Biology Chestnut Hill College

• DMD. University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine

• Certificate and Internship: Comprehensive Orthodontic Institute

• Certificate: prestigious Dawson Academy of Advanced Study



• Pennsylvania Dental Association Award for Excellence during the four years of dental school

• Top Cosmetic Dentist Main Line 2007, 2011, 20012, 2013 (chosen by peers)

• Top Dentist in Delaware Valley, 2008; Delaware Valley Consumer Checkbook (chosen by patients)

• America’s Top Dentists 2010 – 2013 Consumer Research Counsel

To learn more visit her web site: