What Are Implant-Supported Dentures?
Implant-supported dentures, also known as overdentures, are anchored to the jawbone using dental implants. A dental implant is a small titanium post surgically inserted into the jawbone to serve as the foundation for the denture. Once the implant has fused with the jawbone, an abutment is placed on top of the implant. The abutment attaches the denture to the implant, providing a secure and stable fit.
There are two types of implant-supported dentures:
In a bar-retained implant-supported denture, a thin metal bar attaches to the implant abutments, and the denture snaps onto the bar. In a ball-retained implant-supported denture, each abutment has a ball-shaped connector, and the denture has a corresponding socket that snaps onto the ball.
Implant-supported dentures replace an entire arch of missing teeth, either in the upper or lower jaw. They’re typically recommended for people who have lost all or most of their natural teeth and have adequate jawbone density to support the implant. Unlike traditional dentures, which are secured to the gums using adhesives, implant-supported dentures don’t rely on the gums for support.
Benefits of Implant-Supported Dentures
Replacing your missing teeth with implant-supported dentures provides multiple benefits, including:
- Improved stability and security: Because implant-supported dentures anchor to the jawbone, they don’t rely on the gums for support, making them more stable and secure than traditional dentures. This means that people who wear implant-supported dentures can speak and smile with confidence knowing that their dentures won’t slip and slide.
- Preservation of the jawbone: Implant-supported dentures help preserve jawbone integrity. When natural teeth are lost, the jawbone begins to shrink, which can cause the face to appear sunken and aged.
- An improved overall quality of life: Implant-supported dentures can help improve the quality of life for people who have lost their natural teeth. They can restore the ability to eat a wide range of foods, speak clearly, and smile confidently, which can greatly improve self-esteem and well-being.
- Long-lasting: Implant-supported dentures can last for many years, sometimes even a lifetime with proper care and maintenance.
- Natural-looking: Implant-supported dentures look like natural teeth.
- Easy maintenance: They’re easy to maintain and clean, just like natural teeth.
The Cons of Implant-Supported Dentures
While there are numerous benefits that can come with receiving implant-supported dentures, there are some potential drawbacks patients should be aware of:
- Cost: They can be expensive, with costs ranging from several thousand to tens of thousands of dollars.
- Surgical procedure: Implant-supported dentures require a surgical procedure to place the dental implants, which can be invasive and require recovery time.
- Not suitable for everyone: Not all individuals are candidates for implant-supported dentures. People with insufficient jawbone density may require bone grafting before implant placement, and people with certain systemic health conditions may not be good candidates.
- Temporary discomfort: There may be some temporary discomfort or pain associated with the implant surgery and the healing process.
- Risk of implant failure: Although rare, there’s a risk of implant failure, which can occur if the implant doesn’t fuse properly with the jawbone.
Implant-Supported Denture Candidates
To qualify for implant-supported dentures, individuals need to have adequate jawbone density to support the dental implant post. If the jawbone isn’t dense enough, a bone graft procedure may be required before the implant can be placed. Additionally, ideal candidates for implant-supported dentures should be in good overall health and shouldn’t have any systemic conditions that would make them a poor candidate for implant surgery.
To find out more about your candidacy, contact our dentist. They’ll evaluate your oral health, discuss your smile goals, and provide the best options for your situation.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do implant-supported dentures last?
Implant-supported dentures can last for many years, sometimes even a lifetime, with proper care and maintenance. You can increase the longevity of your restoration as long as you maintain a rigorous at-home oral hygiene routine and visit your dentist twice a year for checkups.
Are implant-supported dentures painful?
It’s common to experience minor discomfort or pain after implant surgery and during the healing process. However, any discomfort can be managed with cold compresses or over-the-counter pain medications. Most people find that the benefits of implant-supported dentures far outweigh any temporary discomfort.
Can implant-supported dentures be removed?
Unlike traditional dentures, implant-supported dentures are permanently anchored to the jawbone and cannot be removed by the patient. They can only be removed by a dentist. Please don’t attempt to remove the restoration yourself, as this can cause serious damage.
Receive Reliable, Natural-Looking Tooth Replacements
Implant-supported dentures can help you restore your beautiful smile and oral health. To learn more about implant-supported dentures, contact your dentist. If you’re in the Staten Island area, contact our experienced dentists today. We’ll help you determine the best tooth replacement for your needs and goals.
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