Implant-supported dentures are one of the best options for replacing teeth. While we typically recommend the all-on-4 dental implants where available, implant supported dentures provide many benefits associated with implants while reducing the cost closer to that of dentures.

Dentures are usually the most affordable way to replace missing teeth, especially when most, if not all of the patients teeth are missing. However, there are a lot of disadvantages of traditional dentures.

Implant Supported Dentures

Implant-supported dentures, also known as overdentures, are an advanced dental solution that merges the stability of dental implants with the comprehensive replacement capability of dentures. This combination provides a reliable and functional option for individuals missing several or all of their teeth, typically in one or both jaws.

What are Implant-Supported Dentures?

Implant-supported dentures are a type of removable denture that is supported by and attached to implants. Unlike traditional dentures that rest on the gums, these dentures are anchored by dental implants secured in the jawbone. Typically, a few implants (usually 2-4) are placed in the jaw, and the denture is equipped with corresponding attachments. Once installed, the denture snaps onto these implants via the attachments, providing a much firmer fit than conventional dentures.

How Do They Work?

  1. Implant Placement: The process begins with the surgical placement of titanium implants in the jawbone. These implants serve as roots for the dentures, providing strong and stable support.
  2. Healing Period: After the implants are placed, a period of healing (often a few months) is required for the process of osseointegration, where the implants integrate with the bone tissue.
  3. Denture Fabrication: While the healing occurs, a custom denture is fabricated to fit the new shape of the mouth and match the natural color of the patient’s gums and teeth.
  4. Attachment: Once healing is complete and the implants are securely fused to the bone, the denture is attached to the implants with a snap-on mechanism, allowing easy removal for cleaning and maintenance.

Why Choose Implant-Supported Dentures?

Patients at Pickett Family Dental might opt for implant-supported dentures for several compelling reasons:

  • Improved Stability and Comfort: Unlike traditional dentures that can slip or cause discomfort, implant-supported dentures stay firmly in place, allowing patients to speak, eat, and smile with confidence.
  • Preservation of Bone: Implant-supported dentures help stimulate and maintain jawbone density, which prevents the bone loss that often occurs with tooth loss and traditional dentures.
  • Enhanced Oral Health: These dentures make it easier to maintain good oral hygiene, as they can be removed for thorough cleaning and allow better access to the gum line than traditional fixed options.
  • Natural Look and Feel: Because they are stable and secured, these dentures feel and function more like natural teeth, providing a more natural biting and chewing capability.
  • Long-Term Solution: Implant-supported dentures are durable and can be a long-term solution to tooth loss, potentially lasting a lifetime with proper care.

Disadvantages of Traditional Dentures

  • Dentures shift often
  • Known for causing mouth sores
  • Usually require dental adhesives
  • Eating tough and sticky foods can be a problem
  • Trouble speaking clearly
  • Dentures can always fall out
  • Maintenance and daily cleaning

With all these disadvantages, there’s a reason people are more willing to use more effective methods such as implant-supported dentures to replace their missing teeth. Implants however, come with many advantages.

Advantages of Dental Implants

  • No adjustment period necessary
  • Cleaning is the same as with real teeth
  • Implants can last a lifetime
  • Act like normal teeth
  • Chewing tough foods cause no extra problems
  • Requires less tissue loss
  • Look and feel natural
  • Helps prevent bone loss and supports healthy gum tissue

Fortunately, we can offer a cost-effective method that benefits from dental implants.

Implant-Supported Dentures

Implant-supported dentures are a type of denture that is supported by dental implants rather than resting on the gums. These dentures are designed to provide a more secure and stable fit than traditional dentures, which can become loose or unstable over time.

The implant-supported dentures are typically anchored in place by two or more dental implants that are placed into the jawbone. These implant act as a support structure, providing a more stable and secure fit than traditional dentures. The implant-supported dentures can be either removable or fixed, depending on the patient’s preference and the type of implant used.

Removable implant-supported dentures are similar to traditional dentures, and can be taken out and cleaned as needed. However, they are held securely in place by the dental implants, preventing them from sliding or shifting while in use.

Fixed implant-supported dentures, also known as implant-supported bridges, are not removable and are permanently attached to the dental implants. These type of dentures are more stable and secure than traditional dentures and are designed to mimic natural teeth, allowing patients to eat, speak, and smile with confidence.

Implant-supported dentures can also help to preserve the jawbone, which can shrink and change shape over time with traditional dentures. The implant-supported dentures act as a replacement for the roots of missing teeth, stimulating the jawbone and preventing it from shrinking.

Implant-supported dentures are a good option for patients who are not candidates for traditional dentures or bridges, or for those who have a lot of missing teeth. It is also a good option for patients who have trouble speaking or eating with traditional dentures. However, it is important to note that implant-supported dentures require a surgical procedure to place the implant, and a recovery period. It is important to have a consultation with a dentist to evaluate if this type of denture is the best option for you and to discuss the procedure and recovery process.

Combining dental implants with dentures, we arrive at implant-supported dentures. These function by surgically attaching four to six implants with titanium screws into the patients jawbone. Then they are allowed to fuse to the jawbone for a time of about 6 months. This is call osseointegration.

After the period of osseointegration, the implants are able to support a custom set of dentures. These dentures, once inserted cannot be removed except by a dentist. This offers quite a few benefits for the dentures from the implants, such as:

  • It helps to prevent bone tissue loss since the implants are stimulating the patient’s gums
  • It feels and looks natural in the patient’s mouth
  • There is no adjustment period with these prosthetics
  • Taking care of this type of dentures is no different from taking care of real teeth
  • The patient can go back to enjoying his/her favorite foods

Unfortunately, not everyone qualifies for dentures supported by implants. Before installation, Dr. Tyson Pickett, DDS FAGD, DDS FAGD will verify that the patient has enough healthy jawbone tissue for the procedure. Bone grafting or artificial bone tissue is sometimes used when the patient does not have the adequate bone tissue.

Do you want to know if you qualify for implant-supported dentures? Schedule an appointment with one of our dentists today!