Implant Supported Dentures
What is an Implant-Supported Denture?
An implant-supported denture is supported by and attached to implants. A regular denture rests on the gums. You may want to consider an implant supported denture if you are unhappy with the performance of your existing denture. An implant-supported denture has special attachments that snap onto attachments on the implants. These attachments allow you to easily bite and chew your food and prevent your dentures from falling out while eating, talking or laughing. Implant-supported dentures can be made for both the upper and lower jaw. An implant-supported denture for your upper covers less of your palate (roof of your mouth) than a regular denture, greatly increasing your ability to taste and enjoy foods. Implant-supported dentures require at least two implants for support. These dentures are removed daily to clean the denture and gums and nightly for sleeping. If you would prefer a more permanent option then fixed crown and bridgework can be made on implants that can't be removed.
There are two kinds of implant-supported dentures. These are bar- or ball-retained dentures. In both cases, the dentures will be very similar to your present acrylic dentures. Porcelain or acrylic teeth that look like natural teeth are attached to this base.
A metal bar that moulds to your gum tissue is attached to implants that have been placed in your jawbone. Clips or other types of attachments are fitted to the bar, the denture or both. The denture fits over the bar and is securely clipped into place by these attachments.
Each implant in the jawbone holds a metal ball attachment. This ball-shaped attachment fits into another attachment or socket on the denture.
How are Implants Placed?
The implants usually are placed in areas of adequate bone. When you lose teeth, you also lose bone in that area. If you do not have enough bone to place implants then you may need to consider bone grafting. Before any work is done, you will need to have an initial consult with Dr. Raimundo. Dr. Raimundo has taken advanced training in the placement and restoration of implants. At this consult Dr. Raimundo will review your medical and dental histories, take X-rays and create impressions of your teeth and gums so that models can be made. In some cases, a computed tomography (CT) scan of your mouth may be necessary to show where your sinuses and nerves are and to see how much bone is available and to determine the best locations for the implants. After this consult Dr. Raimundo will determine whether your implants can be placed in our office or whether you will need to be referred to an Oral Surgeon.
If you already wearing a complete denture to replace your missing teeth, you will need to make a new one. You will use this temporary denture until the implant-supported denture is placed. It will take about four visits, over several weeks, to complete this denture. By making this temporary denture, we can determine the best position for the teeth on the implant-supported denture. The temporary denture can also be used as the final denture to reduce overall costs. Attachments will later be added so it can fits to the implants.
Caring for Your Implant-Supported Denture
You will need to remove the denture at night for cleaning. You also should carefully clean around the attachments.
The clip or other attachments on the bar-retained denture usually will need to be replaced every 6 to 12 months. They are made of a plastic material (nylon) and will wear after continued use.