What Are Implant-Supported Dentures?
To understand implant-supported dentures, one must have an idea of what an implant is.
Dental implants made their first appearance in the early 1950s. Since then, they have undergone numerous technical and design advancements to become the success it is today. A dental implant is made of three parts –
- The implant post is made of titanium or less commonly, zirconia. Posts are screwed into place in the jaw bone surgically, under anesthesia. Your cosmetic dentist at Valley Ridge Dental will expose the jaw bone at the site of implant placement. After creating space with a dental drill, the dental implant is embedded into the jaw bone.
- The abutment, also known as a connector is the part that attaches the post to the prosthesis. It is placed on the gum line.
- The final part is the prosthesis. This is what fills the space in the oral cavity. It can be a dental crown, a bridge, or a denture.
Implant-supported dentures are dentures that are supported by implants in the jaw bone. These have become the most popular replacement for patients with edentulous mouths. An edentulous mouth is one in which there are no teeth present.
Who Requires Implant-Supported Dentures?
Gum disease and eventual tooth loss is an issue that affects almost 178 million Americans. About 40 million Americans have lost all of their teeth.
The usual causes of tooth loss are –
- Gum disease
Gum disease is the most major cause of tooth loss. 15-20% of adults aged between 33 and 44 years old have some form of gum disease. Additionally, 30% of adults aged 65 and above have no natural teeth.
Smoking increases the risk of gum disease, as do certain medications and menopause. Progressive gum disease leads to diminished bone health and eventual tooth loss.
How Are Implant-Supported Dentures Placed?
Implants are placed surgically inside the jaw with the patient under anesthesia. Your dentist might opt for general anesthesia or a mix of local anesthesia and sedation. Rest assured, the patient will feel nothing during the surgery. Some soreness and inflammation after the procedure are normal. These are managed with prescribed painkillers and cold compressions.
The patient is sent home for about 6-12 weeks. During this time, osseointegration takes place. This involves the fusion between the jaw bone and implant post. This is what offers the prosthesis the stability that makes it a success.
After the osseointegration is complete, the abutment is attached to the implant post. Your dentist will take impressions of your oral cavity and send them to the lab for manufacturing the denture.
The patient is recalled to the office when the dentures are back. The dentist checks the fit of the dentures and proceeds to fix them into place.
Usually, 4 implants are placed on a jaw – 8 in total – to support the dentures. This procedure is called “All-on-4”.
What Are The Benefits Of Implant-Supported Dentures?
Implant-supported dentures come with numerous benefits over traditional dentures. Some of them are –
Stability is the biggest advantage of implant-supported dentures. The support offered by implants to the denture keeps them securely in place. With traditional dentures, patients have to live with the embarrassment of them slipping and sliding inside the mouth.
Implant-supported dentures are extremely stable, making the patient a hundred percent comfortable. They don’t experience any pinching, irritation, slipping, or sliding, etc. Furthermore, implant-supported dentures are permanent and can be removed only by your dentist.
Traditional dentures are secured into place with the help of suction and denture adhesives – these can be incredibly messy and frustrating to use. There is the additional work of having to scrub the adhesive off every night. Adhesives are an additional expense with traditional dentures.
Implant-supported prosthetics have no use or need for any sort of adhesive to keep them secure. As mentioned earlier, they are permanent.
No Bone Loss
When someone experiences tooth loss, the underlying bone starts to shrink because of no stimulation. Implant-supported dentures offer the most important benefit of stimulation to the jaw bone. This helps halt the bone from atrophying, thereby maintaining the jaw shape and strength.
Due to changes in the bone, traditional dentures require constant replacement and adjustment to function properly. Implant-supported dentures require no such modifications, saving you time and money over the years.
Improved Quality Of Life
Patients with no teeth go through numerous difficulties before they start the replacement process. The lack of teeth hampers the quality of their lives immensely – basic functions such as chewing and speech can become tedious.
At Valley Ridge Dental, our team levies a lot of weight on stopping a patient’s suffering and start rehabilitation. Implant-supported dentures, owing to their stability, cause zero issues with speech and chewing.
Patients can enjoy all their favorite foods without the worry of displacing their dentures. The secure nature of implant-supported dentures also prevents issues with speaking. Patients can speak and enunciate clearly without any discomfort.
Along with the former, patients also feel an increased sense of self-esteem because implant-supported dentures look and feel like real teeth. In short, the quality of life is improved ten-fold.
Are Implants The Same As Dentures?
Implants, in no way, are the same as dentures. While the latter is removable, the former is fixed, permanent, and secured into place surgically.
Aside from permanence, implants hold significant advantages over traditional dentures. Most of them have been discussed earlier.
While implants are much costlier than dentures, they last much longer – almost a lifetime – saving you money over the years. Additionally, implants don’t require repetitive visits to the dentist since they don’t require replacement every couple of years.
At Valley Ridge Dental, Dr. Katie Daniels offers cosmetic dentistry options to her patients. Along with implants and implant-supported dentures, you can find various other cosmetic options. These include veneers, teeth whitening, porcelain crowns, and even Invisalign!
If you or a family member has been experiencing tooth loss, bring them over to our dental establishment. Dr. Daniels will listen to all your concerns and issues and help you decide which replacement option is the one for you.
To schedule a visit, please give us a call at (651) 439-0322. You could also fill up the patient form here.