Implant-supported dentures are a type of dental prosthesis designed to provide stability and support for individuals who have lost multiple teeth. It is used to replace missing teeth, offering enhanced stability and function for individuals with missing teeth and improving confidence and quality of life. When it comes to fixed vs. removable dentures, fixed dentures are stable dentures surgically attached to dental implants that are positioned in the mouth. Traditional removable dentures rest on the gums and may need adhesives to stay in place. Implant-supported dentures offer several advantages, including stability and improved functionality. Here are some of the advantages of implant-supported dentures:
- Enhanced Stability: They are firmly anchored in the jawbone through dental implants. Implant-supported dentures provide a level of stability that traditional removable dentures cannot match. The implants serve as secure anchors, preventing the dentures from slipping or shifting during activities like eating, talking, or laughing.
- Improved Confidence: The stability of implant-supported dentures boosts a person’s self-confidence. Individuals no longer have to worry about their dentures coming loose, which can be embarrassing and uncomfortable. This newfound confidence often leads to more social interactions and a better quality of life.
- Better Chewing Function: Implant-supported dentures allow for better chewing function. With traditional dentures, the lack of stability can limit the types of foods a person can comfortably eat. They provide a more natural biting and chewing experience, allowing for a broader range of food choices, including tougher and crunchier items.
- Enhanced Speech: Loose-fitting dentures can interfere with speech, causing slurring or mumbling. Implant-supported dentures stay securely in place, which helps individuals speak more clearly and confidently.
- Long-Term Solution: Implant-supported dentures are a long-term dental solution. While traditional dentures may require regular adjustments and replacements, implant-supported dentures can last for many years with proper care and maintenance.
- Preservation of Jawbone: Dental implants used in implant-supported dentures stimulate the jawbone, preventing bone loss. This is crucial for maintaining facial structure and preventing the sunken appearance that can occur with traditional dentures over time.
- Easy Maintenance: Denture maintenance is straightforward, as regular oral hygiene practices, such as brushing and flossing, are all that’s needed to keep the prosthetic and surrounding gum tissue in good condition.
The Implant Placement Process for Denture Support.
Implant placement is a dental procedure in which dental implants are surgically inserted into the jawbone to serve as artificial tooth roots for supporting prosthetic teeth. The process of placing dental implants to support dentures involves several key steps, from the initial consultation to the final restoration. Here’s the process for an implant denture :
- Consultation and Examination: The journey begins with an initial consultation with a dental implant specialist. During this appointment, the dentist will assess your oral health, review your medical history, and discuss your goals and expectations for implant-supported dentures. They will also take X-rays or use advanced imaging techniques to evaluate the condition of your jawbone and plan the implant placement.
- Treatment Planning: Based on the examination and imaging, the dental team will develop a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. This plan will include details about the number of dental implants required, their optimal placement positions, and the type of denture you’ll receive (either a fixed or removable implant-supported denture).
- Dental Implant Placement: The next step is the surgical placement of dental implants. This procedure is typically done under local anesthesia or conscious sedation to ensure your comfort. The dentist will carefully insert the implant posts into your jawbone at the predetermined locations. The number of implants placed will depend on the type of denture and the condition of your jawbone. After implant placement, the surgical sites are sutured closed.
- Healing Period: Once the implants are in place, there is a healing period, which can last several months. During this time, the implants integrate with the jawbone through a process called osseointegration. This fusion ensures the implants become stable and secure.
- Abutment Placement: After the healing period, a second minor surgical procedure may be needed to attach abutments to the implant posts. Abutments are connectors that protrude above the gumline and provide an anchor for the denture. The dentist will take impressions to create a custom-fitted denture that attaches to the abutments.
- Denture Fabrication and Placement: The final step involves the creation of your implant-supported denture. The denture will be fabricated to fit precisely over the abutments and provide a natural appearance. Once ready, it is attached to the abutments, and your dentist will ensure it fits securely and comfortably.
- Follow-Up Care: After your implant-supported denture is in place, you’ll be given post-operative care instructions. You will need to attend follow-up appointments to monitor the healing process and ensure the denture remains secure and comfortable. Regular dental check-ups and oral hygiene maintenance are also essential to keeping your implant-supported denture in optimal condition.