If you have several missing teeth, your dentist may recommend implant-supported dentures. Unlike conventional dentures that rest on top of your gums, implant-supported dentures are anchored to your jawbone so they won’t slip. Many of patients appreciate being able to eat, talk, and smile with confidence. Continue reading to learn more about implant-supported dentures and whether you’re a candidate for the procedure.
What are the benefits of implant-supported dentures?
Implant-Supported Dentures are ideal for patients seeking more affordable ways to replace missing teeth. We can also repair and secure loose dentures that have made it harder to speak, eat or smile with confidence.
Implant-Supported Dentures can provide you with a more youthful appearance, supporting the structure of the face and stopping the process of bone loss. Further, they are more stable and feel like natural teeth. Plus, there is no gum tissue irritation due to dentures slipping. With Implant-Supported Dentures, all slippage is eliminated.
Perhaps best of all, you will no longer need to use messy creams or adhesives to secure your denture in place. And you’ll be able to clean your Implant-Supported Dentures just like natural teeth with regular brushing and flossing.
Natural-Looking dentures that don’t slip
An implant-supported denture is a type of overdenture that replaces several teeth at once. If you’ve lost most of your teeth, we may recommend implant-supported dentures. Your overdenture will need at least two dental implants for support. However, our dentist typically recommends all-on-6 implants for the best result.
Attachments are placed underneath the denture that connects the implants. When placed in the mouth, the denture fits onto the dental implants, keeping it stable and secure. You’ll be able to enjoy more foods with implant-supported dentures than you would with conventional dentures.
To be a candidate for implant-supported dentures, you must have sufficient bone density for the procedure. However, your dentist may recommend a bone graft to help support your dental implants. You must also have healthy gum tissue and a healthy immune system before we recommend oral surgery.
Types of implant-supported dentures
There are two main types of implant-supported dentures: implant overdentures & hybrid implant dentures. The main difference between the two types is that implant overdentures are removable & hybrid implant dentures are permanent, though other differences will factor into a patient’s decision on which to get.
Implant overdentures often require fewer implants, making them a better choice for patients with more bone loss. Also, because they are removable, they are easier to clean, especially for patients who are already used to removing their dentures to clean them.
Hybrid implant dentures, because they are permanent fixtures in the patient’s mouth, often require more implants to secure them, making them both more solid & more costly. This also makes cleaning them more like cleaning natural teeth, which can be difficult for some patients who can’t get their toothbrush or floss to their back teeth.
How implant supported dentures work
With either type, the denture will be crafted with an acrylic base designed to match the appearance of your gums along with acrylic or porcelain teeth to mimic the form and function of your regular teeth. Ball-retained dentures involve studs attached to each implant in your jawbone that will match up with and fit into sockets on your denture. Bar-retained dentures are used along with a metal bar that follows the curve of your jaw with a series of implants attached. In this case, the denture fits snugly on the bar along with its implants.
Con’s of implant-supported dentures
Most of the con’s that come along with implant-supported dentures are in the up-front placement and cost of the devices. Because implant placement is a surgical procedure, the cost is often more significant than traditional dentures. The healing process can take anywhere from two-to-six months to complete, during which time you might not have full use of your new dental prosthesis.
How to care for and clean implant-supported dentures
Just like your regular teeth, implant-supported dentures must be cleaned daily. All detachable components should be removed. Proceed with cleaning around the components, artificial teeth and gum areas. It is not recommended to sleep with dentures in your mouth. Removing your dentures at night helps to prevent damage, infections and other complications.
It is important to clean your implant-supported dentures in the morning after breakfast and at night following the last time you eat. Cleaning in the evening is especially important because you produce less saliva when you sleep and bacteria is not naturally rinsed away.
It is critical to keep the abutments clean. The abutments are the areas where the denture attaches to the jaw bone. It is helpful to complete the cleaning in good lighting with a large mirror.
The recommended cleaning process includes the following steps:
- Clean both the inner and outer sides of all abutment pillars and the surrounding gums with short horizontal movements.
- Clean the far side of the backmost teeth on both sides with short horizontal movements.
- Clean all spaces with spaces on either side of the abutment pillars and the gaps between the root tips of the denture or bridge with a proxabrush. This brush should fit through the rinsing space with some resistance. Push the brush through the space multiple times at different angles.
- While placing the toothbrush against the gum, make a dragging-rotating motion up to the chewing surfaces of the teeth. Focus on small sections throughout the mouth. On the inner side of the front teeth, hold the brush vertically and draw up vertically towards the biting edges of the teeth. Hold the brush horizontally, if possible.
- In the areas where the bridge, denture or bar touch the gum tissue, floss back and forth several times. A threader can be used to place the floss in rinsing spaces.
- Complete the cleaning by rinsing your mouth thoroughly with water.
It is important to follow these instructions closely and find a routine that is manageable and works for you. Maintaining good oral hygiene is critical in caring for your implant-supported dentures and ensuring they last.
professional Maintenance And Care
Be sure to make regular visits to the dentist. These visits will help ensure your dentures and implants are well maintained and help avoid painful or costly issues. During the regular office visit, the dentist will conduct a thorough examination to check the health of your gums and mouth tissues. The exam will also ensure your dentures fit comfortably. X-rays may occasionally be taken which help your dentist confirm that implants, abutments, and attachments are all positioned correctly. Clips and other attachments can show signs of wear over time and are usually replaced annually or bi-annually.
What You Can Expect From Your Implant-Supported Dentures
With proper care and regular maintenance, your implant-supported dentures can last for years without any issues. Implant-supported dentures are significantly more stable than traditional dentures and don’t slip or loosen while chewing. It is important to be conscious of your diet. Extremely hard and sticky foods can cause damage to the dentures. Visit your dentist regularly and contact the office immediately if there are any issues or if you experience gum irritation. Sore spots caused by dentures and bite problems are usually easy to correct. Your implant-supported dentures should always be comfortable, attractive and functional.