What Are Implant Supported Dentures

What Are Implant Supported Dentures?

Implant supported dentures are dental prosthetics that replace multiple missing teeth in a row. You’re probably familiar with conventional dentures, which rest on the gums, atop the jawbone, and are held in place with denture adhesives, and you’ve probably also heard about the problems these removable replacement teeth could cause. When dental implants are used to support dentures, these problems are eliminated. Implants hold the denture in place, preventing them from rubbing against the gums and causing painful sores and keeping them from getting in the way of clear speech and comfortable eating. A complete denture will require at least two dental implants for stability, though most dentists recommend four or six dental implants to support a full row of teeth. After dental implants are placed and have healed, attachments affixed to the denture are fixed on to the tops of the implants, which keeps the denture secure and stable while helping maintain the structure and health of the jaw.

A dental implant is a small piece of titanium that is surgically placed into the jawbone, in the spot where a natural tooth root once lived, where it will serve as an artificial root for a dental prosthetic. If the patient lacks sufficient bone to safely place dental implants, bone graft treatments may be used before implant placement; once these grafts heal and the bone is replenished, dental implants can be placed. As the dental implant sites heal, the bone that surrounds these implants fuses with the bone, creating a permanent bond. This process, called osseointegration, takes at least a few months to complete, and you’ll meet with your implant dentist periodically during healing to assess your progress.

After osseointegration completes, the dental implant will continue to stimulate healthy bone growth and help maintain the health and structure of the jaw. This characteristic is one of the reasons most dentists recommend implant supported dentures over traditional removable dentures, which put unnecessary pressure on the jawbone. In the absence of tooth roots, the bone tissue in the jaw deteriorates, reabsorbing into the body where it is stored for future use. In combination with the weight of conventional dentures, this can lead to dramatic aesthetic effects on the lower face and jaw, causing a sunken and prematurely aged appearance.

Once the bone has fully healed, your dentist will snap your new denture in place. Your new denture will look like a conventional denture, with an acrylic base and natural-looking teeth. Some implant supported dentures are permanently fixed in the mouth, and these are cleaned just like the natural teeth would be, with special care at the gum line. If you have snap-in, removable implant supported dentures, you’ll remove any detachable parts and clean the soft tissues in your mouth and the implant abutments, as well as any existing natural teeth, with a soft toothbrush, just like you’d usually brush your teeth. Store these dentures in water overnight to keep the material supple and prevent cracking. No matter how many, or how few, natural teeth you might have, it’s still imperative to visit the dentist for regular checkups, which will help your implant supported dentures provide you with years of balanced nutrition, comfort, and confidence.