Implant Supported Dentures
What Are Implant-Supported Dentures?
Implant-supported dentures are quickly gaining popularity for their excellent stability. An innovative method of tooth replacement, implant-supported dentures can be used both on top and bottom sets of teeth to restore a full smile, and help you to regain confidence.
These handy dentures more closely resemble natural teeth in both functionality and appearance, especially in contrast to the traditional dentures.
When are implant-supported dentures used?
Implant-supported dentures are a type of denture that is supported by dental implants. Implants are small titanium posts that are screwed directly into the jawbone. In contrast, regular dentures use adhesive and mouth muscle strength to stay in place.
Similar to conventional dentures, implant-supported dentures are used when a person has lost most or all of their teeth. Implant dentures offer a full arch of teeth for full smile restoration.
How do implant-supported dentures work?
There are two types of implant-supported denture: bar-retained and ball-retained.
Bar-retained dentures are held in place by a thin metal bar that attaches to the implants and runs along the palate, following the curve of the jaw. Clips and other fittings are affixed to the bar or denture. The denture then snaps into place by being placed over the bar.
Ball-retained dentures (also known as stud-attachment dentures) work by using a peg and depression mechanism. Often, the ball is at the end of the implant and the corresponding hole in the top of the denture.
The dental implant procedure
Two to five implants are placed at the front of the jaw in an initial appointment once the patient has been determined to be a good candidate.
If you are considering implant-supported dentures, it is important to get them placed sooner rather than later. When you lose teeth, the jawbone starts to deteriorate due to long periods of disuse. Implants are most successful when there is sufficient bone density left, so the longer you wait to get them the less the chance at success.
Once placed, implants also help to keep the jawbone from deteriorating further, supporting the bone and preventing the sunken facial shape that often accompanies jawbone loss.
How to care for implant-supported dentures
Like regular dentures, implant-supported dentures will need to be removed nightly for cleaning. Be sure to carefully clean around the attachments to prevent bacterial buildup that might inflame the gums.
Although traditional dentures need to be regularly adjusted to account for a loss in bone density and the accompanying change in jaw shape, the implants supporting the dentures encourage bone stability and do not ever need to be replaced. In this way, implant-supported dentures can be considered an investment.