Implant Dentures: Advanced Full-Arch Restorations
What are implant-supported dentures?
Implant-supported dentures combine the best of two dental technologies: dental implants and dentures. With this treatment, a row of dentures is secured to four dental implants. The patient often can leave the same day with fully functional teeth!
Revolutionary Treatment for the Edentulous
While dentures have traditionally been the go-to treatment for edentulous patients, they still pose significant challenges. They often slip, creating socially awkward encounters, come with excessive eating restrictions, and must be recreated every few years to accommodate the shrinking jaw. Dental implants have resolved all of these problems, however filling an entire row of teeth with them may be unrealistic for some patients. That is why implant dentures were created: to bring together the best of both methods, giving our patients a new smile in just one day.
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Why Choose Implant Dentures
- Great for those missing a whole row of teeth
- Often do not require bone grafting
- Preserve the jawbone
- Can be used immediately in most cases
- More affordable than all-implant restorations
The Cost of Implant-Supported Dentures
The cost of implant-supported dentures is best seen as an investment in one’s health and lifestyle. The benefits that implant dentures provide over traditional dentures bring invaluable improvements to the patient’s life. Being able to eat anything you want and smile and talk without fear of embarrassment are just the start. In addition to the enhanced quality of life, implant dentures also last longer than traditional dentures, which require frequent replacement.
Implant Dentures Procedure
The procedure takes several hours, during which you will be anesthetized to your chosen level of comfort. You will feel no pain during the surgery. Some patients do report soreness in the days following implant-supported denture surgery, however, it is usually adequately managed with over-the-counter pain medications.
Types of Implant Supported Dentures:
Ball Attachment Denture
Two implants are placed in the lower jaw, onto which a denture snaps into place. This option is more stable than traditional, removable dentures; however there will still be some movement. Sore spots can develop if food is caught underneath. Periodic appointments ensure proper adjustment.
Bar Attachment Denture
Referred to above as “overdentures”, this process involves the placing of four to six implants in the lower jaw. A custom support bar connects the implants, and a denture with internal retention clips is attached to the support bar. This option is very popular as the denture is more stable than with ball attachments, yet it is still removable for cleaning.
Also known as a screw retained denture, this option offers maximum stability. Placed on five or more implants and secured by screws or clasps, the denture is permanent, only removed by us at maintenance visits. The denture does not contact gum tissue, allowing you to clean under it without removal.
Of course, there is always the option to have each missing tooth replaced by an individual dental implant. The benefits of this are increased stability, preservation of the jawbone and a natural look. However, the process is the most costly and time-consuming.
Upper Jaw Restorations
The treatment options for the upper arch are basically the same as those mentioned above, however additional implants are sometimes needed to compensate for softer bone.
Implant Retained Upper Denture
Depending upon the number of implants to be placed, it may be possible to eliminate the need for covering the roof of your mouth with a complete denture. This option allows you to fully taste your food and gives you a better sense of its temperature. Your denture will feel more natural. You will still have a removable denture, which makes cleaning the support bar and denture much easier.
Individual Upper Implants
If you want a restoration that is similar to your natural teeth and therefore not removable, you probably will need eight to ten individual implants placed. This is followed after healing by the placement of the abutments and new replacement crowns.