What Are Implant-Supported Dentures?
Implant-supported dentures are overdentures that are attached to and supported by dental implants. The implants are titanium posts surgically inserted into the jawbone. Regular dentures rest on your gums and are not supported by posts.
We use implant-supported dentures when a patient has no teeth in their jaw, but their jaw has enough bone to support implants. The implant-supported dentures will then snap onto attachments on the implants.
We usually design Implant-supported dentures for the lower jaw because regular dentures are often unstable there. Regular dentures work quite well in the upper jaw and remain in place without the support of implants. Nevertheless, we provide implant-supported dentures in both the upper and the lower jaw.
Surgery always entails certain risks, and the implants can also fail. However, if you choose bar-retained dentures, which consist of a thin metal bar connected to 2-5 implants via secure attachments, then that entails other risks.
A bar-retained denture needs enough space for attachments on the denture framework. This results in less space available on the denture framework for the teeth to fit, which in turn can cause the teeth to loosen from the base. Fortunately, it is easy to fix this problem.
It is also important to evenly balance the bar on each implant when we attach it to the implants. If we don’t fit it properly, the screws can loosen due to excessive strain is placed on the bar. Clenching or grinding your teeth can also cause parts of the denture to break or for your implants to loosen.
What is it like having Implant-Supported Dentures?
Implant-supported dentures are more stable than regular dentures. This makes it easier to speak and eliminates the concern that the dentures will loosen or fall out of your mouth. You can also eat foods you could not eat with regular dentures, except for hard or sticky foods as these can cause damage to the dentures.
If we place an implant-supported denture in your upper jaw, it can cover less of your palate (the roof of your mouth) than an ordinary denture. This is because the implants hold it in place, rather than the suction between your palate and the full denture.
How do I Care for my Implant-Supported Dentures?
We recommend you remove your implant-supported denture every day to clean it, along with the surrounding attachments and gum area. As with normal dentures, you shouldn’t sleep with them at night. Some patients request a permanent crown and bridgework in their mouths. We will discuss your individual needs with you during your consultation to determine whether fixed or removable is the right option for you.
Once the denture is in place, Shaun B. Rai DMD will examine it to ensure that it’s secure. Even if it’s stable, it can still shift a bit when you eat. Even though this movement is slight, it can cause the denture to rub against your gums, leading to sore spots. We will also look at your gums after the denture is inserted to check the alignment of your bite. The clips and other attachments on the bar-retained denture are made of nylon and wear after continual use, so we often need to replace them once every six to twelve months.
If you’re considering implant-supported dentures, please call our office today at (757) 777-9883 to schedule a free consultation.