What are Implant Supported Dentures?
Patients with missing or weak teeth in one or more areas of their mouth may consider dentures as a way to restore oral appearance and functionality. Dentures can be used to partially or fully cover the effected areas and take on several forms. In order to better understand if dentures are an appropriate treatment for a patient, we will briefly examine the various forms of dentures, the characteristics of each type of denture available, as well as who is a candidate for dentures. Specifically, we will focus on implant supported dentures.
One type of denture that is commonly used to replace a full set of teeth is called full dentures. When replacing the teeth in the upper jaw, full dentures are used to cover the gums and roof of the mouth. Made of a base of flesh-colored acrylic material, the dentures sit firmly in place on the gums. Lower mouth full dentures follow a similar process but are specifically shaped to avoid covering or contacting the tongue. Fitting of full dentures involves the dentist removing any remaining teeth which allows the jawbone to naturally reshape itself over time. Once the jawbone has reshaped itself, the dentist will measure the mouth and order full dentures from a supplier. Since the process of the jawbone reshaping itself can take several months, the dentist may measure the mouth prior to extracting the remaining teeth so that an immediate replacement can be used in the interim to keep the patient comfortable.
Partial dentures are used to fill any gaps when only a few teeth are missing. These dentures can be attached to the patient’s natural teeth (or crowns) in several ways but are most commonly done through the use of metal clasps or adhesives which are less noticeable.
A third type of denture is known as implant supported dentures. Over one or more visits to the dentist, implant supported dentures are surgically attached or implanted in the jawbone to remain in place. The implants can be either bar-retained or ball-retained. Bar-retained dentures use a thin metal bar to attach two to five implants directly into the jawbone. The dentures are then clipped or clasped to the metal bar. Ball-retained dentures, sometimes referred to as stud-attachment dentures, generally have sockets that fit onto ball-shaped connectors. The primary benefit of implant supported dentures is that they are more stable than other forms of dentures and less likely to slip out of place.
Patients that are candidates for implant supported dentures must have health gums, practice good oral care, and have enough jawbone to support the implant. Should the jawbone be insufficient to support the implant, your dentist may be able to rebuild the area to a certain degree. As with any form of denture, implant supported dentures require regular cleaning and care in order to maintain and prolong their lives. Dentures should be removed and cleaned daily in order to keep clean and your mouth fresh.
For patients that are self-conscious about their appearance or are having difficulty chewing, dentures may be an option. Patients should discuss with their dentist to determine if they are a candidate for dentures and select the appropriate treatment plan that best fits their situation.
For More information on implant supported dentures : Implant Supported Dentures vs Conventional Dentures