What are Implant Supported Dentures?
Nobody wants to lose their natural teeth. Beyond impacting your smile, missing teeth can affect your physical and emotional health, too. Dentures are one of the best ways to replace missing teeth, and implant supported dentures are considered the best.
Designed to eliminate what many people feel is the biggest drawback of traditional dentures – their inability to stay in place – implant supported dentures hold their position firmly and easily.
An implant supported denture doesn’t sit directly on your gum tissues like a traditional denture does. As the name suggests, these unique dentures utilize dental implants, or screws, that are placed within your jawbone and include a special mechanism that attaches to the dentures. After the implants are inserted, the dentures can be snapped in place.
Anchored by the dental implants in the jawbone, implant supported dentures offer patients experiencing teeth loss increased confidence, dental functionality and a natural-looking smile.
What Types of Implant Supported Dentures are Available?
There are three main types of implant supported dentures. Depending on which one you get, they may be removable or fixed in place permanently.
With this variation, the dental implants are attached to a thin metal bar, which has clips, or another type of attachment, that securely attach to the dentures. This “clip-on” denture allows very little movement or shifting, securely holding teeth when eating and speaking.
As removable dentures, they can be removed for cleaning and sleeping nightly, just like traditional dentures, and patients must learn how to remove and secure them at will.
Least expensive of the three, bar-retained dentures can be done using very few implants and attachments, and do not cost too much higher than regular dentures. The increased bite strength and stability patients receive from this denture makes its affordability one of its greatest advantages.
A metal bar is normally used to interlock the implants, creating an even distribution of biting and chewing forces between them. This kind of implant supported denture offers patients a great level of stability, giving them the ability to eat foods, like chewy candy, that traditional dentures would never allow.
More stable than the bar-retained style, it requires a few additional implants, making it more expensive.
Permanent / Fixed Implant Dentures
Several implants are first placed in the jawbone before being capped by a fixed bridge. The fixed bridge looks extremely realistic, providing the most natural appearance.
Teeth are fastened to the dental implants in a manner that makes them impossible to remove by anyone but a dentist. The most stable option, it is also the priciest.
Should I Get Implant Supported Dentures?
There are several benefits to choosing implant supported dentures, and many of them are immediately noticeable.
- Stability: Dental implants are vastly superior to dentures when it comes to staying firmly in place.
- Ability to Eat & Drink: Patients can loosen up dietary restrictions and return to enjoying their favorite foods and often leads to patients having a more well-rounded diet. Digestion typically improves as well, as a greater ability to chew and bite food thoroughly helps your stomach process food more efficiently.
- Gum and Bone Preservation: The implants mimic natural teeth and their roots, which stimulates the gums. By engaging the supportive structures of your gums, implants aid in the prevention of bone tissue loss
- Natural look and feel: The dentures are highly customized, providing a natural feel and look that boosts patients’ confidence. The prosthetics don’t have an adjustment period, making them comfortable almost immediately.
Am I a Candidate for Implant Supported Dentures?
Although a wonderful option for many patients, some may not qualify for implant supported dentures.
In general, a healthy immune system and gum tissue is necessary for dental implants. Sufficient bone density is another requirement. The jawbone starts shrinking immediately after a tooth falls out, and if there is not enough bone density to support the implants, you may not be a good candidate. In some instances, however, a bone graft can be performed before the surgery.
You can schedule a consultation with our implant specialist at Dentist of Cerritos to find out if implant supported dentures are right for you.
What is the Implant Supported Dentures Placement Process?
Dental implant surgery is different for every patient. It may consist of multiple procedures, usually two, over the course of several months, taking anywhere from five months to a year to complete the process.
After the initial consultation where X-rays are taken and your medical history is reviewed, a temporary denture is created to use until the dental implant is constructed, which can take about a month.
During the first procedure the dental implants will be anchored into your jawbone. The implants must attach and fuse to the bone, which can take three to six months, depending on if they are in your lower or upper jaw. Once the implant and the bone have fused, the second surgery will expose the heads of the implants and take about two weeks to heal.
After the gums have healed, patients will return to the dentist to try out the dentures and ensure the framework correctly fits in the mouth.
This may sound like an exhaustive process, but reliable support is the key advantage of implant supported dentures, avoiding the slippage and bone damage alternatives can cause.
How Do I Care for My Implant Supported Dentures?
A disciplined oral hygiene routine is the care your dentures need. It’s important to brush twice a day and floss once to remove plaque and food particles.
A few things to include in your oral routine:
- Rinse dentures to remove debris and food before brushing
- Use a gentle cleanser and soft-bristle toothbrush to avoid scratching dentures
- Clean around the attachments
- Clean your tongue, the roof of your mouth, cheeks and gums while brushing your teeth
- Keep dentures in water when they are not being worn so they do not dry out
Considering Implant Supported Dentures?
Getting implant supported dentures is not a choice you have to make alone. Dentist of Cerritos knows first-hand how dental implants can drastically improve the lives of our Cerritos, CA patients and are here to offer our expertise. If you are ready to smile, speak, eat and laugh with more confidence, we are ready to help.