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Implant Supported Dentures for Multiple Fixed Teeth Replacement

An implant-supported denture is a specific type of denture that is attached to and supported by dental implants. Where a regular denture rests on the gums without support, an implant-supported denture is used when a person doesn't have any teeth in the jaw. The implanted supported denture needs the person to have enough bone in the jaw to support implants. The denture itself has special attachments that snap onto attachments on the implants. The implant supported denture is secured to the jaw without additional need of denture adhesion glue.

In most cases, implant-supported dentures are for the lower jaw because that is the least stable place for regular dentures to be. However, an implant-supported denture is available for patients in either the upper or lower jaw.

Like regular dentures, it is important to remove an implant-supported denture daily to clean the denture and gum area. And just as with regular dentures, do not sleep with the implant-supported dentures at night if you are experiencing sore areas. Depending on your needs and the overall status of your oral health, your dentist can determine if you are a candidate for fixed crown and bridgework or a removable option.


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How Implant Supported Dentures Work

Implant-supported dentures fall into two categories; there are bar-retained and ball-retained. Regardless of the type of implant retention, the denture will be composed of acrylic in a gum-like color. Porcelain or acrylic teeth made to look like natural teeth are attached to the acrylic base. Both bar retained and ball retained dentures need at least two implants for support.

Bar-retained dentures: This implant support system requires a thin metal bar. The metal bar follows the curve of your jaw and the metal bar is attached to two to five implants that have been placed in your jawbone. The denture fits over the bar and is secured in place with clips or other types of attachments are fitted to the bar, the denture or both.

Ball-retained dentures or stud-attachment dentures: The implant support system in this case requires that each implant in the jawbone holds a metal attachment. This metal attachment fits into another attachment on the denture. The ball-retained dentures derive their name from the fact that in most cases, the attachments on the implants are ball-shaped. There are sockets on the denture to secure the denture to the implant.

Implant Supported Denture Process

The implants take advantage of the fact the jaw bone is usually very dense and strong at the front of your mouth. For most people this is true even if teeth have been missing for some time and they have lost bone. As an added bonus, the front jaw doesn't have as many nerves or other structures that could to interfere with the placement of implants.

The time frame to complete the implant depends on many factors including your health, how fast you heal, how strong your bone is and whether or not you need bone grafting. While both jaws can take implants in less than a year usually, the shortest time frame for the lower jaw is about 2-3 months and in the upper jaw is about 3 months.

Most people will need to have two surgeries. The first surgery places the implants under your gums in the jawbone and the second surgery places the tops of the implants and usually happens three to six months after the first. In some cases, if you dentist determines you are a good candidate, a one-stage procedure is used.


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Implant Supported Dentures Pros and Cons

Like any dental procedure, implant supported dentures have some great benefits that include:

  • Maintenance like caring for natural teeth
  • Feel like and look like natural teeth
  • Pressure on the jaw bones help promote healthy bone tissue and prevents jawbone deterioration
  • Helps restore confidence lost due to moving dentures or missing teeth
  • Elimination of the fear that your dentures will move around or fall out in public
  • Restored confidence
  • Improved quality of life
  • Ability to enjoy all foods
  • Last a lifetime with proper maintenance and care
  • Most affordable way to replace missing teeth over dental implants and bridges
  • No more denture shifting while eating or talking
  • No longer wasting additional time cleaning dentures separately from the mouth

Implant supported dentures are not a perfect solution for everyone so it is important to consider some of the issues that may include:

  • Implant supported dentures are more expensive and traditional
  • The procedure takes more time than traditional dentures
  • Adequate jawbone tissue is required for implants

Implant Supported Dentures Expectations

You can count on your implant-supported denture to be more stable than a regular denture. This added stability will allow you to speak easier and you will have the added confidence of not having to worry about the denture becoming loose or falling out of your mouth. In most cases, you can eat the foods you could not eat before. However, hard or sticky foods can still damage the denture. For your upper jaw, your implant-supported denture can be made to cover less of your palate than a regular denture.

Caring for Dentures

While dentures are not real teeth, you still need to make sure that you keep their care a top priority. Clean your implant supported dentures just like your natural teeth and take time to clean your gums and if you have any remaining teeth.

Costs of Implant Supported Dentures

Costs for each procedure vary depending on how long the procedure takes, what materials the procedure requires, how many visits the procedure requires, and the amount of work the dentist is required to do. It may surprise you to know, but dental insurance may cover some of the costs for these as well as elective procedures as they lead to improved overall dental health and long term benefits. If you do not have dental insurance coverage or you have any questions about payment options for your treatment plan, you are more than welcome to talk to our staff at any time. Your budget’s health is just as important as your mouth’s health.


High Quality Care You Can Trust

At Edgerton & Glenn Cosmetic and General Dentistry. We strive to build relationships with our patients. You are more than just teeth, you are our patient and friend and we want to help you to achieve and maintain oral health as best we can. We look forward to meeting you and talking about what is best for you and your mouth. Please contact us to set up a Implant Supported Dentures appointment at (910) 256-9230.