Implant Supported Dentures
An estimated 45 million Americans currently wear full or partial dentures also known as prosthetic devices. While regular dentures can become loose or ill fitting, require messy creams and some discomfort. Implant dentures can create a modern alternative to traditional dentures.
What are implant dentures?
A regular denture sits on your gums, sometimes requiring a paste or adhesive cream, and tends to fit less securely. An implant-supported denture attaches to implant posts, which a skilled doctor will surgically insert into the jaw. With an implant-supported denture, special attachments snap onto the implants to hold the denture in place.
How do implant dentures work?
With implant-supported dentures, patients can choose from bar-retained or ball-retained devices. In both cases, a dental technician will place porcelain or acrylic teeth to a gum-colored base. Bar-retained dentures need at least three implants, and ball-retained dentures need at least two posts.
Am I candidate for implant supported dentures?
- Bar-retained dentures
- With bar-retained dentures, your doctor uses a thin metal bar that follows the curve of the jaw and attaches it to the two to five posts in your jawbone. The dental appliance fits over the bar, and you will secure it with small clasps.
- Ball-retained dentures
- For ball-retained dentures, each implant post contains a metal topper that fits into the corresponding space on the denture. In general, the attachments on the implants are ball-shaped, and they snap into sockets on the denture.
For successful implant placement, you need good dental health and sufficient bone structure. If you have lost bone tissue, your dentist may recommend additional therapy, such as a bone graft, in preparation for the implants.
What are the benefits of implant dentures?
With implant supported dentures, patients enjoy renewed freedom and vitality.
The benefits include:
How long does the process take?
Various factors will impact the time frame for completing the necessary procedures. If bone levels are insufficient, additional procedures may be necessary and may extend the time frame from initial procedure to completion. Most patients require two procedures, one to position the implants in the jawbone, and then a second procedure four to six months later to uncover the tops of the implants. Including surgery and the placement of the denture, plan on between four and six months.
How do I care for my implant dentures?
Follow these tips to keep your implanted supported denture in the best condition:
What can I expect with implant dentures?
- Meticulously clean around the implants and attachments
- Remove the denture at least twice a day for cleaning
- Replace the clips or other attachments on the bar-retained denture as needed if they loosen.
- Visit the dentist every three months for a cleaning and checkup during the first year
An implant-supported denture offers patients more stability than a traditional dental appliance. Patient can speak confidently without worrying about the denture becoming loose or falling out, and many people can once again eat the foods they love. However, stay away from hard or sticky foods because they can damage the denture.