What are Implant Retained Dentures?
Implant-retained dentures are the modern alternative that many people turn to when they are done dealing with the unpredictable slipping and sliding of conventional dentures. Perhaps they weren’t available when it was first time to replace their teeth or, perhaps at the time the cost seemed too high. Sooner or later, though, what many people find is that the time and money spent having customized implant retained dentures created and placed is in fact worth every penny. Not only are implant retained dentures durable and attractive, they are also comfortable to wear, easy to care for and, perhaps most importantly, stay exactly where they belong at all times.
Implant Retained versus Conventional Dentures
In contrast to conventional dentures that fit over the gums of either the upper, lower, or both arches, implant retained dentures are held firmly in place by a special system of small pieces that remain unseen while the dentures are in place. First, a number of small titanium or zirconium posts are embedded into very structure of the jawbone, where they eventually become one with the jaw. This process of the implant fixture melding with bone – also called osseointegration – is what gives dental implants their enviable strength and durability. Generally, at least two to four implants are needed to effectively support a lower arch and four to six are needed to support an upper arch of implant retained dentures.
After the implant fixture has merged with the bone, which usually takes two to six months, an abutment is attached. This is the small connecting piece that transfers the deep-rooted strength of the implant fixture to the dentures that they retain. Once the abutment is attached to the implant fixture, the implant retained denture(s) can be attached. While the implants themselves are permanent, the dentures that they retain are typically designed to snap in and out of place. This not only keeps the dentures firmly in place while eating, talking, and sleeping, it can also be helpful both in cleaning the dentures thoroughly and in allowing for any necessary repairs to be done outside of the mouth.
Benefits of Implant Retained Dentures
Implant retained dentures are the preferred method of tooth replacement for both dentists and their patients. They are functional, strong, long-lasting, and even comfortable to wear. Because of the ways in which the implant fixtures stand in as substitutes for the roots of missing teeth deep in the hard tissues of the jawbone, implant retained dentures can also help good maintain bone mass in the jaw. In addition to staving off bone loss, this can contribute to one’s facial appearance, as well, as the increased bone health that implant retained dentures provide can also help support and maintain the structure of one’s face around the mouth.
If you have found yourself struggling with conventional dentures or are otherwise interested in how implant retained dentures could work for your tooth replacement needs, please don’t hesitate to call your dentist’s office today for a no-pressure consultation.