Dental Implants –Do I Have To Be Without Teeth While They Heal?

Do I have To Be Without Teeth While They Heal?

No!

This is one of the most common questions I get when presenting treatment.  Due to the nature of bone healing slower than skin, a waiting time is sometimes necessary.   In previous blog posts, I have described the use of immediate implants.  This allows teeth to be put on the implants from day one.

If your situation cannot be done in an “immediate” fashion there are always techniques for having a temporary tooth or teeth.

For many patients having implants for the back molars, they elect

not to have a temporary.  If the tooth is further forward or it is a long span of missing teeth, a “flipper” can be made.  This is basically like an orthodontic retainer with a tooth or teeth on it.  It is removable and is made of a plastic type of material.  I can make these look very good, but I advise that you remove it at night and do not chew hard foods with it since it can break.

 

Another option is called an Essex bridge.  It basically looks like a clear INVISALIGN retainer with the missing teeth replaced.  It does not cover your palate or tongue area and is virtually invisible.  They can wear out if your treatment is longer than a few months.  You must remove the retainer at night.

For those patients that I replace ALL of their teeth, your denture can be used over the healing implants.  I usually recommend that we reline the inner side of the denture with a soft cushion material that will make it comfortable.

Lastly, there are “temporary implants.”  These are very small diameter, non-invasive, implants that can have fixed cemented teeth made on them the same day.  They work best when there are two or more temporary implants to support a resin bridge.  It is not unusual to have as many as ten temporary implants to support an entire jaw of missing teeth.


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57 thoughts on “Dental Implants –Do I Have To Be Without Teeth While They Heal?

  1. Katherine

    I had my canine removed due to a decaying baby tooth as an adult along with my impacted adult canine. In the process of getting an implant. Right now I am letting the area heal before placing the screw. I am getting married in a few months and would like something so I do not have a gap. I have a flipper retainer, but do not like it because I have trouble talking. Is there any other temporary options to place over the implant screw?? My dentist is not being very helpful.

    Reply
  2. Felix Lopez

    On Feb 24 they placed 4 implants in my bottom jaw,after removing four teeth.
    They made a temporary denture , which I have problems to wear because of the pain.
    Several times this denture has been adjusted and even made a second one trying to
    eliminate the discomfort which I feel when I chew and put pressure on my gums.
    I do not have pain in my gums while I am not wearing my dentures.
    I do not have inflammation.
    My gums are healed , but I still have pain while eating even soft foods.
    I will appreciate your opinion about this problem.
    Thank you very much.

    Reply
    1. RamseyAminDDS Post author

      Why not skip the dentures altogether and have an immediate same day bridge made? This is typically an option for the bottom jaw especially, but is a very advanced procedure carried out by a skilled implant dentist.

      Reply
  3. Girlwithcrown

    Why must the essix retainer be removed at night? I’ve had orthodontic treatment and if I don’t wear the retainer at night, my teeth will move. I also grind my teeth so that doesn’t seem very realistic to not wear it at night.

    Reply
    1. RamseyAminDDS Post author

      Then you should have a bonded Maryland bridge to heal over the top of the bone graft. You can then put an orthodontic retainer on top of that. A bit complex but this takes care of all needs

      Reply
  4. Lynda

    I have 4 bottom teeth missing (between k9’s). My surgeon has planned 2 implants with a bridge. 3 months ago i had a bone graft done and the 2 implants put in while using an essix., We uncovered today, the bone graft and implant took and the abutments are in place. Unfortunately my essix tray cracked and my surgeon was not able to adjust it to wear with the abutments, so he bonded the teeth from the essix to fill the gap. We plan to put the final teeth in place next week.. my question is, will the teeth bonded over the implant area effect the way my gums will go into place. I feel like the bonded area is sitting too low. Was it best to leave the area uncovered after the abutments were placed?

    Reply
      1. Lynda

        Thanks for your response. Some ingenuity was definitely needed as my surgeon knows how important it is to me to have something in place of the gap.

        Reply
  5. Bill

    I’m going to have all of what’s left of both my upper and lower teeth pulled in anticipation of either going with a full set of both upper & lower implants or implant supported dentures. The prosthodontic dentist said that after the teeth are removed by the implant surgeon, the prosthodontic will have temporary dentures made and sent to the implant surgeon to be placed immediately after removal of the teeth. He quoted me a price of $13,500 for the temporary dentures, I’m having a lot of trouble justifying that price for temps or am I wrong?

    Reply
    1. RamseyAminDDS Post author

      I think you need to make sure that this is really the cost for temporary dentures. There must be something else included here because that is really way off. Perhaps this covers a portion of the final Bridges or final custom abutments etc.? You need to find out more.

      Reply
  6. Terri Burke

    I am considering the Golpa G4 procedure which he claims can be done in one day or two days max. I am 61 with very few teeth left…they are breaking off and practically disintegrating in my mouth! I would be traveling a long way by myself to get this done in one day. I am just not sure if this is a reliable procedure. It costs $30,000 + for a full upper and lower. I only have one chance to get this done correctly. Thank you
    Are there risks of traveling alone after having this procedure? What do you know about the all in one day G4 implant success?

    Reply
    1. RamseyAminDDS Post author

      I do this same procedure very routinely for the last 17 years. The only difference is I do not believe you should have the final teeth made on the same day. They **rarely** turn out well when you try to deliver the final result in such a short period of time.

      It is definitely okay to have same day temporary Bridges on the day of placement as long as your bone is dense enough or you’re having zygomatic dental implants. Fabricating really good, aesthetic fixed zirconia Bridges takes time and a lot of measurements to make sure you get the smile, function and speaking ability that you desire.

      Click on the links in my reply to see some of what I am talking about.

      Ramsey A. Amin, D.D.S.
      Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology /Implant Dentistry
      Fellow-American Academy of Implant Dentistry

      Reply
  7. Sharon Fray

    Dr Amin,
    I had a sinus lift, with 4 implants same day, upper jaw both sides. He did use my own blood during procedure I believe that is called PRP, not sure if that matters to my question. I currently wear a Partial and ask if I would be able to wear it during the healing process he said yes. Yesterday I had a 10 day check up and stiches removed when I ask about the partial he said he didn’t know if I would be able to wear it, said he had to add allot of “stuff” not sure what that means, he said lets wait for about 6 weeks and xray and see where things are. Do you have any idea why my partial would not fit? I’m concerned about going 4 to 6 months not being able to eat properly. Thank you so much for this site it is so helpful!

    Reply
    1. RamseyAminDDS Post author

      It is very risky to wear a nonadjusted partial over the top of a sinus lift. The movement can cause the incision to open up, exposed bone and become a nasty infection.

      Because of tissue swelling and stitches it does not allow for partial to seat down all the way. It may fit better in 4 to 6 weeks.

      Typically the partial is adjusted on the day of surgery and a soft cushion is put into the partial to allow you to wear it if you have to.

      Reply
      1. Sharon Fray

        Thank you Dr. Amin for your response. I’m not worried about wearing a partial right now until healing of gums but would it be ok if after healing takes place to wear one….even if I have to have a temp made I would be ok with that!! Right now I’m praying to the bone gods….lol

        Reply
        1. david woolley

          Estimated cost for a flipper. I live in Clovis, calif. and need a flipper for about 4 months while i save up enough funds for an implant or bridge

          Reply
  8. Linda

    Sir,
    My question is: How long does one leave on temporary teeth (upper/full) before the permanents are actually placed?

    Reply
    1. RamseyAminDDS Post author

      this is a great question. The real answer is somewhere between “as long as it takes” and about 1 month. It is important to assess function, cosmetics, lip support, TMJ stability, color, tooth position etc. while in the temporary test phase. I use a material we call PMMA for testing temporaries. This article shows how I make and use these temporaries and this article reviews the process of full mouth replacements with a Prettau dental implant bridge.

      Reply
  9. Heidi

    I’m having all my teeth pulled and dentures made but bc I’m homeless and very below the poverty line I’m going to a sliding scale dentist. They said I’ll b without teeth for up to 3 months. I don’t was don’t want to b without teeth that long I may b poor but I don’t want to walk around like that what is a flipper? Where can I get 1 and can I wear it just 4 looks until my dentures r ready?

    Reply
  10. James macejak

    I had 2 implants put in on my lower teeth. I have no bottom teeth and I wonder if I can get a lower denture while I wait the 3 months for them to heel.

    Reply
  11. Lily

    I recently had dental implants (on both sides beside my front teeth ) and I have a partial denture while waiting for the implants to heal before having the crowns made. The denture is very painful when I try to eat anything and digs into the implant area. The dentist who made the partial denture is telling me that I cannot eat with the denture and that it won’t fit properly because of the implants. I find this very hard to believe and would like confirmation as to whether a denture should be painful

    Reply
    1. RamseyAminDDS Post author

      You are taking great risk with a partial that doesn’t fit over healing implants. Make a new temp partial with plenty of clearance , reline if possible or don’t wear it. High risk of failure!!!!!

      Reply
  12. Maxie D. Shanks

    I am an 85 year old woman, who has lived with Sjogren’s Syndrome for almost Thirty (30) years, with an extremely dry and sensitive mouth.. After having all my teeth capped some 25 years ago, the roots are now decaying and breaking off. I have chosen to go with a lower non-removable implant Denture, . I’m getting along fine . EXCEPT the temporary plastic denture is (due to the roughness and sharp edges) very, very uncomfortable, and keeps my tongue irritated. Why can’t this little plastic denture be made of material that can be rounded, polished, sanded off smooth. I’m thinking if sometime later I have the same procedure done for my upper teeth. I will go without teeth during the healing peroid, rather than go through the pain and agony that I’m going through now. Is there an alternative???

    Reply
    1. RamseyAminDDS Post author

      It will increase the cost quite a bit and increased risk a bit but having a full mouth of immediate dental implants with immediate Bridges can be done usually within 24 hours. He will need to have many implants placed and not just a few. Typically I will do the upper and lower jaw simultaneously. This will be be with upper and lower fixed Bridges that are temporary but are then subsequently replaced with solid zirconia about 4 months later

      This is going to depend on many factors to see if it is viable in your particular situation or it may just have to be done in stages over time using dentures as temporaries. Denture should be able to be made very smooth but with your Sjogren’s syndrome your mouth is exquisitely sensitive

      Reply
  13. theresa morgan

    What is cost of resin implant attached with bolts in jaw for full denture?? Extractions done at jefferson of 5 teeth covered under medical!! Mybinsurance pays 100% forvtop & bottom but will b done after extractions & pins done at same tome as extractions! Can u plz estimate price too add pins same day in jaw, fitted same day 4 full denture!!imy dentist sounded REAL discouraging!!plz help?? Thanks much!!

    Reply
    1. The'resa Saadiqah Morgan

      THANK U SOO MUCH for ALL info re: what insurances are not disclosing with a reality that they r took expensive for the AVERAGE BELOW MIDDLE CLASS human being to attempt to afford let alone COMPLICATIONS that weren’r EVEN DISCUSSED by SURGEON.U r soo right in stating these are price of a new car..tho disappointed Shukran(thank u) for ur excellent honest experience & tho I’ve heard a lot of people’s different challenges with DENTURES alone..i’ve already been fitted for temporary denture & PRAY TO GOD AS ALWAYS that I heal well with NO INFECTION & THE PAIN DOESN’T last for 2-3 WEEKS like the top did??? by the way, approximately how long should a person feel excruciating pain without Dr acting like ur a POSSIBLE drug addict cause Ur REALLY IN PAIN 2 1/2 WEEKS LATER HE GAVE ME 10 PERCOCET..REALLY?? May God continue 2 Bless you to helping & SUPPORTING US WHO NEED HONESTY FOR A CHANGE.The’resa.Saadiqah Morgan

      Reply
    1. RamseyAminDDS Post author

      Hi Willie,

      I don’t really have enough information to answer your question. But the reality is that you do not have to be without your teeth during the process. Oftentimes 2 implants with a bridge ends up looking better than for individual implants if they are your for front and center upper teeth. Good luck

      Reply
  14. Anna RB

    Dr. Amin – for someone who is on blood thinners (had a stent placed in heart three years ago), are dental implants completely out of the realm of possibility? I’ve read many differing opinions, including that the blood thinner should NOT be stopped before dental implant surgery because the risk to the patient from stopping the thinner is greater than not stopping it, and that bleeding during implant installation can be controlled locally. Any thoughts? Also, what are the chances of one’s body rejecting the implant (it is a foreign substance, after all)?

    Thank you!
    Anna

    Reply
    1. RamseyAminDDS Post author

      Hi Anna,

      It really boils down to what you’re risk factor is for staying on the blood thinner during surgery versus being removed off of the blood thinner. Some blood thinners require several days of being off of it while some only just 1 or 2. There are more contemporary blood thinner such as Plavix, Xarelto, Pradaxa that are sometimes difficult to manage. If your surgery is extensive, coming off the blood thinner is probably suggested. I have treated many 100s of patients that have had, stents, strokes, pulmonary embolism, heart attacks and the one commonality is I always speak to the patient’s physician can write a letter to them stating what are the risks versus benefits. Together, the patient, their physician and myself will make that decision. I recently treated a 90-year-old man for bilateral sinus bone grafts and he was on blood thinners. It comes down to the comfort level of the dental implant surgeon also. I see no reason why you cannot have dental implant.

      A high quality dental implant that is made of a titanium alloy will not be rejected by your body. Even though it is a foreign substance, your body does not see as foreign because your immune system really doesn’t recognize it.

      Ramsey A. Amin, D.D.S.
      Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology /Implant Dentistry
      Fellow-American Academy of Implant Dentistry

      Reply
  15. Eileen E McInnes

    My Implantoligest started work on my mouth on 25. March this year. My top teeth were removed, and over time, the implants ,placed. I had an infection, cleared up with antibiotics . I have had no teeth, for months now, I am very anxious , and losing my confidence . I don’t. want to go out. I did have a plate, but have been told, not to use it, as it will hamper the implants. What can I do. Kind regards Eileen E McInnes. Phone No 07957383661

    Reply
    1. Eileen E McInnes

      Can you please advise me on how to proceed. Once again,the person doing my work will, be away, again, for two weeks. He was not available for two weeks, two weeks ago. This means I have seen him ,twice, in 8 weeks. I’m not happy,but I don’t know what I can do. Help. Kind regards,

      Reply
      1. RamseyAminDDS Post author

        I strongly advise not doing implants or bone grafts with a “traveling surgeon” that is not in the office everyday. Although they are likely qualified, the regular dentist can’t do much if the implant specialist isn’t there.

        I get calls all the time to help treat complications that can usually be prevented.

        I know this doesn’t help you, but if your case is complex, you might want to consider changing dentists.

        Reply
    2. RamseyAminDDS Post author

      Hi Eileen. I just replied to your other post. I just saw this one.

      Your treatment is definitely too complex for someone who is not in the office full time.

      You need a single implant specialist that can do your entire surgery and make the teeth from start to finish. That would be the best.

      Reply
  16. Ricky

    hello mr ramsey im 22 yrs old just had my 5 bottom right teeth removed i know im going to have trouble eating i work all the time i really need to know the fair price range to replace atleast 4 i feel like im going to lose alot of self esteem if i do not get this fixed as fast as possible im willing to be broke everyweek just to get this done im losing hope cause this would have not happen if i had insurance faster then it took any advice is better then feeling like im on my own with this situation

    Reply
    1. Ramsey Amin DDS

      Wow. The fact that you are 22 opens up a different aspect. You will live another 60 years! You are going to need to really have this really well done to get the most life out of the implants. Find an expert and get this done. No one has implants in their mouth that are 60 years old. You may have to redo it all when you are older…so do it the best way possible.
      You don’t need 5 individual implants. Three will likely work with a bridge. Cost can be $10-20,000 maybe even more depending on your bone and whether you need bone grafts.
      Good luck.

      Dr. Amin.

      Reply
      1. Ricky

        thank you for a good price range total teeth in my mouth i will need the 3 you told me bottom right possibly 2 top right 1 top left and 2 bottom left if you have any ideal of a reliable implant center that would help also their are the ones i just told you because they told me the cavity roots are exposed so their not recoverable also is their any possibility i can establish a payment plan for these or do i have to save up over 20 thousand just for them to do these implants

        Reply
        1. Ricky

          also i have a few questions when you say do it best way possible should i not look for any cheap specialist? such as should i pay top dollar so they last as long as possible? also when u say they may have to be redone can it be a good possibility i atleast get 20 years out of the implants? im willing to try anything having no insurance in the past ruined my life i just want great implants my first time that can last me 10 years or better

          Reply
  17. craig

    I have upper ball retained implants. When not wearing denture the implants are uncomfortable on tongue. Are there caps I can place over implants at night?

    Thank you.

    Reply
  18. Mando

    I had the implant process started. I got the screw put in and the gum was stitched closed. I had to move away and was unable to complete the process and get the tooth put in. I put it on the back burner, not having really though about it due to major finance changes. Now, the screw seems to be loose and exposed. Is it possible for it to have unscrewed over time? What are the steps I need to take to maybe have the screw removed, if at all possible?

    Reply
    1. Ramsey Amin DDS

      Hi Mando,

      It sounds like you have a failed dental implant. It did not integrate to your bone is my best guess. You need to remove the entire implant as soon as possible. This will prevent further bone destruction from the failing implant. It is very possible for you to have a second replacement implant. The removal of the implant should be extremely simple

      I would suggest removal and bone grafting most likely simultaneously to maintain the bone that you do have. Using platelet rich fibrin and platelet rich plasma will help the bone graft heal better especially that this area has become very compromised from a failure.

      Do I Need PRP/PRF/PDGF/BMP For Dental Implants and Bone grafts?

      Very Respectfully,

      Ramsey A. Amin, D.D.S.
      Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology /Implant Dentistry
      Fellow-American Academy of Implant Dentistry

      Reply
  19. Jean

    I had my front tooth removed on 1/8 and they were not able to do the implant. They gave me a flipper but it hurts when it is in and it is difficult to talk, eat or drink water when it is in. What are my other options and can you recommend a dentist in my area. I live near Malvern, PA

    Reply
  20. Gary

    I am in the process of having a dental implant. May I state that the Flipper is a waste of money…I have nev er used it…..#1 you can’t eat with it in your mouth and depending what portion of your mouth it is in, you can hardly drink, and I create a lot of saliva in my mouth which the flipper will accumulate. Mine cost $450.00….wish I knew better, I would have passed.

    Reply
    1. Ramsey Amin DDS

      Hello Gary,

      You are not alone. Many people state that a temporary flipper is not great. In fact when I have to explain complex, lengthy implant procedures to patients, I will often tell them that the temporary is the worst thing of the whole process.

      Some people have a difficult time adapting to it especially if it has to go back far into the mouth for stability. Some people have trouble speaking also. I try to avoid flipper temporaries at all costs and use immediate teeth or other bonded temporaries. There are times that a flipper is unavoidable.

      The design can be modified. Each dentist is unique and how they make them. For most people that have the lower back molars replaced I tell them not to bother with a temporary. Save your money if it is a lower molar being replaced.

      Immediate dental implants are good solution when it is possible.

      Burbank Dental Implant Specialist: Review of Immediate Dental Implant Considerations

      Very Respectfully,

      Ramsey Amin DDS
      Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology/Implant Dentistry
      Fellow of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry
      Burbank, California

      Reply
  21. jorge m

    I Have Tooth Decay On My Two Front Teeth. It’s Embarrassing, Due To The Fact That I’m Only 22 Years Old. I Can’t Smile, Or Even Approach A Pretty Lady Without Shame Brining Me Down.
    Now I Have This Sensitive Pain On My Top Right Of My Decaying Tooth
    & I’m Scared Of Losing It For Good.
    My Question Is, Will Another Grow In It’s Place?

    Reply
    1. Ramsey Amin DDS

      Hello Jorge M,

      I am sorry to hear about your situation. I would suggest you have all of your teeth looked at very quickly. Usually people have many more cavities when they have 1 on a front tooth. This means you have a high rate of decay typically. As of 2014, teeth cannot be grown back in the mouth using stem cell technology. A dental implant is going to be your best option.

      Dental Implants –Do I Have To Be Without Teeth While They Heal?

      Respectfully,

      Ramsey A. Amin, D.D.S.
      Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology /Implant Dentistry
      Fellow-American Academy of Implant Dentistry
      Burbank, California

      Reply
  22. Lisa Reynolds

    Just reading over this has brought me to tears. I just want a smile. I don’t even care if it looks great…just wish I could smile without it being painfully obvious that my partial dentures are just that..ill fitting dentures. I have spent all I have( and signed up for a care credit card) to pay nearly $10,000 to ” fix” my mouth. Without going into details, all I can say is that I wish I had gone to perhaps 3/4 diff. Dentists( qualified to do all these procedures). Because things were put in that I was not aware of
    (apparently due to “changes” that arose during this yr.long proceedure)
    To date, I cannot even wear my bottom denture without adjusting it 25x’s per day(i DO wear it though, b/c my 2 bottom front teeth were “un-save able” … So I HAVE to @ least wear the bottom denture so that I don’t have 2 “missing” teeth- right in the front. But it literally hurts… And I have gone in for “adjustments” to which the top denture( partial… just for back teeth)never fits flush to roof of mouth. At least 15x’s he’s said that’s how it’s supposed to be. But it doesn’t snap on! Most uncomfortable. As for the bottom- it’s like a teeter-totter…and even with that, it’s never securely in! (this after countless “adjustments”).I AM the one who’s feeling bad about the requests for more adjustments. I understand they are dentures.. They’re never going to be PERFECT… I just thought I could wear them with SOME ease. I am 39year old female about ready to give up…I’ve fought so many things this year… Breast surgery& treatment… A suprize thyroidectomy due to loads of tumors in there…all ended well.. But learned I have Hashimatos Auto-Immune disorder … Now I lay bed- rest for 3 months from that which I have been ignoring all year due to bigger problems(i.e”fixing” teeth- breast surgery, thyroid surgery & all that goes with an auto-immune disorder… My body has taken a beating. Now, I will end the year – bed bound… With screws holding my foot together. Of course, to top it off, the last 2 days, I sit w/ a tooth(I think top right incisor/ tooth to the left if it) pulsating, fits of intense rage.. I just want to be done. Like I said, I’m a 39 year old girl who feels she is 90. Above all, I wish I could smile, confidentially. I wish I could’ve just had a dentist like you. Mine won’t even numb me to do a filling. I am admittedly one ANXIOUS DENTAL PATIENT. Just get me numb& I’ll be cooperative& won’t get in the way. I realllly wish I could have had 2
    implants with the front 2 bottom
    teeth. He said it probably didn’t have enough bone. But it wasn’t ” definitive”. Sorry, I know I’ve complained- done nothing BUT complain 🙁
    I’m just devastated…! Just want my front two teeth. But now, my immediate situation is a tooth, under a cap, screaming out in pain. I don’t want to go see my reg. dentist that I’ve seen all year long. I’m already in enough pain w/ foot, screws& being on crutches( for the next 3 months). I thought I did my research. I consulted with him 1st before committing to him… But I do want to be numb for most all procedures. The filling I had, he refused… And I am scared from that experience. Now a root canal. I already have made it know from day 1 that I don’t numb easily( apparently my father had the exact same problem… Always had to go double just to be somewhat numb). Ugh….what to do. I just cried reading this because it seems so patient friendly. I wish I could be a patient of yours, Dr. Ramsey A. Amin! Thx. For listening.

    Reply
    1. Ramsey Amin DDS

      Hi Lisa,

      Wow. I feel for your situation. It doesn’t sound good. It sounds like your expectations were not met.

      After you get healthy, I would suggest you see a new dentist and re-evaluate your treatment plan. Fixed dental implant temps would be a better option to take the pain and pressure off your gums.

      Let me know how I can help.

      Ramsey A. Amin, D.D.S.
      Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology /Implant Dentistry
      Fellow-American Academy of Implant Dentistry

      Reply
  23. Kate B

    Dr. Amin, I wish you lived closer to me. I had my implants done with one of those centers you hear on the radio…what a disaster that was!!!!!!!!!

    I AM IN TH PROCESS OF REDOING ALL THE WORK. Even the though the implants took, they were in a really bad position. For anyone reading this, do yourself a favor and find the right guy to do this. Dont go cheap!

    Reply
    1. Ramsey Amin DDS

      Hi Kate,

      Ugh..what a horrible story. Let me know if you need any help. I have personally seen pretty bad work form those centers they advertise all over.

      Ramsey A. Amin, D.D.S.
      Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology /Implant Dentistry
      Fellow-American Academy of Implant Dentistry

      Reply