The Magic of Implant-Retained Dentures
What Are Implant-Retained Dentures?
Unlike traditional dentures, which rely on suction and soft tissue support to stay in place and are removable, implant-retained dentures combine the advantages of dentures with those of dental implants. You get to enjoy the stability, esthetics, and longevity of implants along with the affordability of dentures, as well as a much shorter recovery period than a full mouth reconstruction with conventional individual implants would require.
How Implants Compare to Traditional Dentures
Dentures have been a solution for missing teeth for centuries, but they have a few notable flaws. When we use our own teeth to chew, it stimulates the jaw bone and keeps it strong. Dentures aren’t very effective at providing this stimulation, resulting in oral health problems like bone loss in the jaws. This, in turn, can lead to the dentures not fitting very well, so they can slip and fall out easily and leave the gums feeling sore.
Implants, on the other hand, are artificial teeth that are placed into the jawbone and function the same way as the roots of teeth. Implants greatly reduce the risk of bone loss and they won’t slip and slide while you’re trying to chew your food or have an engaging conversation. A natural tooth root provides continual stimulation to the bone surrounding it through force whenever you bite down or chew with that tooth. If the tooth is absent, this stimulation is lost, and the bone recedes. By replacing your tooth root with a dental implant post, stimulation is restored to your jawbone, halting further bone loss.
Taking care of implants is the same as taking care of natural teeth. True, the price tag can be higher with implants than dentures, but that’s pretty much the only advantage removable dentures have as replacement teeth. Implants can replace individual teeth or they can be used as anchors to support full or partial dentures.
How Do Implant-Retained Dentures Work?
Where conventional dental implants are one per tooth, implant-retained dentures are held in place by only four implants per arch to give them permanent stability. That’s about 24 fewer implants! Because these dentures are supported by the bone, they don’t put pressure on the gums. This makes chewing much easier and helps reduce bone loss in the jaw. They are more common for the lower jaw, but can also be made for the upper jaw.
Implant-supported dentures are for people who have strong jawbones. The implant process includes surgically placing a rod into your jaw, which will provide the appropriate support for the dentures.
Your bone will go through a process called “osseointegration.” This means that your bone will grow around the rod to make it even stronger and more stable. Meanwhile, new teeth are made for you; these teeth will match the rest of your teeth in order to create a natural look.
Your replacement teeth will be placed when your implant is ready to support them, which only a professional can determine. These replacement teeth can either be dentures or permanent placements, depending on your unique needs.
Who Does Dr. Weber Recommend Them For?
Dr. Weber may recommend implant-retained dentures for patients with no natural teeth remaining if they still have enough healthy jaw bone to support the implants, particularly when full mouth reconstruction with individual implants is outside the patient’s price range. If you want to learn more about implant-retained dentures, call 785-273-2922 or send us an email. You can also learn more about our Topeka practice by checking our business page, and make sure to get directions before you head our way.