Replacing missing teeth has traditionally been done through the use of dentures but as modern dentistry evolves, there are now more options. One of those options happens to be implant-supported dentures. Here at Las Cruces Dental Solutions, we strive to provide the most modern dental care to our patients. Traditional dentures are dated and can present a whole host of problems for someone. Why not consider implant-supported dentures?
What are Implant-Supported Dentures?
First and foremost, let’s discuss exactly what implant-supported dentures are. If you currently have dentures then you’re already familiar with what dentures are. And, if you’re familiar with modern dentistry, then dental implants may not be too new to you either.
Dental implants are surgical components that are placed within a person’s jaw bone. They act as replacements for a tooth’s structure, similar to the roots of a tooth. Implants are shaped like screws and they are placed to support an artificial tooth known as a dental crown, bridge, or in this case – dentures.
Dentures, on the other hand, can be used in conjunction with dental implants or on their own. However, when dentures are on their own, they tend to create a number of problems with chewing, speaking, and even smiling. Because they are big and somewhat bulky, they can make chewing difficult. People often experience them sliding around and not staying secure within the mouth. Speaking normally can be hard because again, the dentures tend to move around. And lastly, smiling can feel less natural or aesthetically pleasing when the dentures are constantly moving around.
When dentures are supported by implants, they are held in place more securely. Instead of that constant sliding around, the dentures will be secured by small attachments that hold them in place.
What is the Procedure like?
The implant-supported denture procedure is pretty straightforward. With modern dentistry, our team at Las Cruces Dental Solutions can perform this procedure with ease. Previously, the word “dental implants” has been intimidating to some because surgery is involved but there is nothing to worry about. Because of the hesitation about dental implants, most have turned to the very familiar and traditional dentures. However, as modern dentistry has evolved, an implant-supported denture procedure is a great option to consider.
The procedure will likely be spread out over a few different sessions – if you don’t already have dentures. When someone is in need of the whole set up, it requires some time because implants have to heal. However, unlike other dental practices, we can do all of it here in our office. Our trained team has undergone additional training so that we can provide you with dental implants right in our office.
The healing process for dental implants typically takes a few months because there needs to be sufficient time for them to fuse with the jawbone. When there’s a need for full arch replacement, multiple implants may have to be placed, meaning the recovery time may be extended.
Once the bone has fused with the dental implants, we can go back in and permanently attach the dentures.
We also have a great relationship with our denture lab, so if you’re starting from the beginning and you don’t already have dentures then you won’t have to wait endless time for them to be created. Most dental practices send your impressions off to a lab and you are required to wait several weeks or more for them to be created, but we can have your dentures back and completed for you much faster. Plus, we’re pioneering a 3D printing method that will allow us to create your denture in one day! We are currently testing this with a selection of patients and hope for this to be available soon.
Why Consider Implant-Supported Dentures
Dentures alone can be uncomfortable and implants have to work hand in hand with another appliance, so why not combine the two?
More Natural Feeling
One of the main reasons to consider implant-supported dentures is because of the more natural feeling that they provide a person. Dentures alone can cause a bulky feeling within the mouth that may make speaking, eating, and even smiling uncomfortable or difficult. Because they aren’t secure on their own, they can slide around and cause problems. However, when the dentures are secured in place (by the implants), you can bite down with force, talk normally, and even smile confidently again.
A side note is that when a person is missing a significant amount of teeth, their bone mass begins to deteriorate significantly. This then results in resorption over time. Wondering how this relates to dentures? Well, most people that just wear dentures on their own, rely on that bone structure to keep them in place. But, because the bone deteriorates, there eventually won’t be enough there to hold the dentures in place. This is where implant-supported dentures come into play. The implant can help stop bone loss in the jaw, which not only helps with the denture, but also helps you keep the same external facial structure.
Even when just having two dental implants placed, a person’s overall quality of life is improved because they can bite down more forcefully without risking the denture moving all around. We have found that patients with implant-supported dentures (using just two implants) have been able to chew 3-4 times more effectively with their dentures being secured in place.
Frequently Asked Questions: Implant-Supported Dentures
1. Are Implant-Supported Dentures Affordable?
Yes! Again, dental implants have had a poor reputation of being intimidating due to the procedure, recovery, and price but you’d be surprised at how simple and affordable it can be. Our office can work with you to come up with an affordable budget. As we mentioned in our video, even just two dental implants to support a denture is affordable and budget-friendly.
2. Do Implant-Supported Dentures Hurt?
Everyone reacts differently to dental procedures but that isn’t to say that the process necessarily hurts. We do everything that we can to make sure you are comfortable during the procedure and afterward, for recovery.
The placement of the dental implants may cause some discomfort initially but the body does a good job of working together to help heal the implant sites. Having dentures attached to the dental implants won’t hurt either. The mouth may take some time to adjust, especially if you have never had dentures before but again, there shouldn’t be any pain.
3. How Long Will it Take for me to Feel Natural Again?
This depends on the person and the number of implants placed, but typically a few weeks. For someone who has already had dentures, it may not take too much time. However, if someone is getting dentures for the first time with their implants, then it may take a few weeks to adjust. The mouth will have to adapt to having a prosthetic device within it.
All in all, implant-supported dentures are used so that natural eating, speaking, and smiling can be achieved. It’s best to give the mouth time to adjust or visit us if you’re feeling like something is off.
4. Can I Have More Than 2 Dental Implants Placed?
Yes! We mentioned that just two dental implants are able to support a full arch denture but you can opt to have more dental implants placed too. More dental implants can help secure the dentures even more and further reduce bone loss, but it is important to remember that this will lengthen the recovery time.
With two dental implants, the dentures may still be prone to some moving around but they will be a lot more secure than they were without any implants.
Someone that needs all of their teeth replaced (on top or bottom) can consider multiple implants so that maximum support to the denture is provided. Most people that have it within their budget would opt for more implants so that their denture doesn’t move around at all. This, too, will ensure that the chewing force is strong and durable so that eating feels natural.
5. Can Implant-Supported Dentures Replace My Top AND Bottom Teeth?
Yes, dental implants can be placed anywhere in the mouth – both for the top and bottom set of teeth. They can replace any tooth’s structure so that overall tooth replacement is achievable.
Dentures can also be used for either the top or bottom set of teeth. There have been a lot of misconceptions that dentures are impossible to wear on the lower set of teeth because they are essentially floating above the gums and there isn’t much suction. However, with implant-supported dentures, they can easily be secured so that they aren’t “floating”. Securing the lower set of dentures allows for more forceful chewing.
Implant-Supported Dentures at Our Office
Want to know more about implant-supported dentures? Our team, here at Las Cruces, can help provide you with any information that you’re curious about. We can give you a free consultation to determine whether or not implant-supported dentures are in your future. Whether you already have dentures now or you’re looking to replace missing teeth, implant-supported dentures may be a possibility.
Our trained professionals can guide you through this entire process! Tooth replacement can be intimidating but it doesn’t have to be. We will see you through, from start to finish. Give us a call today!