If you are missing most or all of your teeth on your upper or lower jaw (or both), implant supported dentures may be your best choice for restoring your healthy smile. Implant supported dentures may also be right if most or all of your teeth are damaged or decayed beyond repair.
But what exactly are implant supported dentures? The dentists at Las Cruces Dental Solutions hear this question often, and would like to share the answer with you.
Las Cruces Dentists Discuss Implant Supported Dentures
Implant supported dentures combine the best of dental implants and conventional dentures to create permanent replacements for your missing or severely damaged teeth.
Implant supported dentures, also known as an overdenture implant, have three main components: implant, abutment and overdenture. The implant is a metal rod implant into the jaw that acts as a sturdy anchor for the overdenture, which is a type of removable denture that replaces several teeth at once. The abutment connects the overdenture to the implant.
Types of Implant Supported Dentures
There are several types of implant supported dentures.
Implant partial denture
An implant partial denture replaces several, but not all, teeth of the upper or lower jaw.
Implant full denture
This type of denture replaces all the teeth on the upper or lower jaw, or arch.
Removable implant supported denture
As its name suggests, you can remove this type of implant supported denture.
Fixed implant denture
This type of overdenture is secured onto the implant. Only your dentist can remove an implant fixed denture.
The Implant Supported Denture Procedure
The first step is to place the dental implants. You will need at least two dental implants to hold the overdenture, but dentists typically recommend 6 implants per arch for best results.
Dental implants feature a metal post, usually made of titanium, implanted into the jawbone. In this procedure, your dentist makes a small incision in your gum to reach the jawbone. Next, your dentist creates a small hold in your jaw, which holds the screw-shaped implant.
Over time, the jawbone fuses with the implant. This process, known as osseointegration, creates a strong support structure for the overdenture. Your dentist will likely provide you with a temporary overdenture to wear while your jawbone heals.
Once osseointegration is complete, which is usually a few months, you will return for the placement of your overdenture.
Benefits of Implant Supported Dentures
Implant supported dentures provide a number of benefits over dentures and dental implants.
Less expensive than dental implants
Theoretically, a person could have up to 32 dental implants to replace all their teeth, and that would be quite costly. Implant supported dentures only require 2 to 6 implants, which comes as a real cost savings.
Permanent solution to missing teeth
Dental implants are designed to last a lifetime. The titanium used in dental implants is one of the strongest metals on earth, capable of withstanding the pressure of biting down and chewing food.
Natural-looking dentures that don’t slip
Dentures can shift, slip and even come out when you talk, laugh or eat. Because the overdenture snaps firmly into place on the implants, implant supported dentures never slide out of place. Just think – no more worries or embarrassment from dentures that move unexpectedly!
Easy to take care of
If you have a fixed overdenture, you’ll brush your implant supported dentures like you brushed your natural teeth. Your dentist will remove and professionally clean the fixed overdenture during your routine dental exams.
You’ll take care of your removable implant supported dentures the same way you take care of conventional dentures – remove the overdenture and place it in a denture soaking solution. Leave the overdenture in water or a denture solution overnight. Brush around the implants.
Helps preserve jawbone
Chewing food exerts a lot of pressure on your teeth. This pressure goes through your teeth to your jawbone. There, the pressure stimulates the growth of new bone tissue in the jaw, which keeps the jawbone strong. When you lose teeth, the jawbone does not get the stimulation it needs to stay strong.
Losing jawbone can cause you to lose even more teeth in your upper or lower jaw. It can also change the shape of your face.
Dental implants act like natural teeth in that they transfer the beneficial pressure to your jaw, just like your natural teeth, to help preserve jawbone.
Allows you to enjoy your favorite foods
Unlike dentures that come with a long list of foods to avoid, such as hard or sticky foods, there are dietary restrictions with implant supported dentures.
Am I a Good Candidate for Implant Supported Dentures?
To be a good candidate for implant supported dentures, your jaws must have enough bone tissue to hold onto the implant. Dentists refer to this as bone density; they use x-rays and other types of imaging to measure bone density in the upper and lower jaws.
If the bone density in your jaw is too low to support implants, our dentist may recommend a bone graft to help support your dental implants. Your dentist performs a bone graft by moving healthy bone from another area of your mouth to the area used for the implants.
You must also have healthy gums. Las Cruces Dental Solutions performs state-of-the-art laser periodontal treatments to restore healthy gums.
Where Can I Get Implant Supported Dentures in Las Cruces?
For more information about implant-supported dentures, contact Las Cruces Dental Solutions. Our dentists provide the implant supported dentures Las Cruces residents rely on for great smiles. Our dentists in Las Cruces also offer general and preventive care, periodontal care for gum disease, oral cancer screenings, and tooth extractions. We also perform sedation dentistry to make your visit more relaxing. For more information, contact the dental care team at Las Cruces Dental Solutions.