Implant Anchored Dentures
An implant-supported denture is a kind of overdenture which is supported by dental implants. These dentures offer a blend of both fixed and removable components and have attachments that clip onto the implants.
At Oral and Facial Surgery Center, we recommend implant-supported dentures when the person is missing all their teeth but still has enough jawbone density to support implants.
Considerations for Implant-Supported Dentures
Implant-supported dentures are usually recommended for the lower jaw because the mandible has a higher bone density than the upper jaw, even after teeth are lost. Another reason is that traditional dentures tend to be less stable in the upper jaw, unlike in the lower jaw, where dentures do not need extra support. However, depending on your condition, they can also be used on your upper jaw.
Implant-supported dentures should be unclipped and removed from the mouth daily for cleaning the dentures and the gum area. As is with traditional dentures, you should not sleep with implant-supported dentures in your mouth.
Because of these limitations, some people prefer to have fixed crowns or bridges in their mouth that do not need to be removed and cleaned separately. Dr. Kennedy and Dr. Ardoin will consider your particular case and will suggest fixed or removable options based on that.
Types of Implant-Supported Dentures
The two types of implant-supported dentures are bar-retained and ball-retained dentures. These dentures are made with flesh-colored acrylic material and come fixed with ceramic or acrylic teeth that look like natural teeth. Both these dentures need at least two implants for adequate support.
This involves two to five implants being placed in your jaw and attached to a metal bar that runs the arch of your jaw. Clips or other attachments are fixed to the bar, and often the dentures have attachments too. The dentures are then fitted over the bar and secured with the attachments.
Ball-retained dentures include implants embedded in the jawbone that hold metal attachments. These attachments are fitted to other attachments on the removable dentures. Typically, the implant attachments are ball-shaped, and they fit into sockets in the dentures, but in some cases, the reverse is also true.
Potential Complications of Implant-Supported Dentures
Implant-supported dentures carry a small risk of failure, especially if the jawbone is not dense enough to support the implants. Bar-retained dentures carry additional risks as these dentures need more space on the framework for the attachments fitted to the bar. This means less space is available for the false teeth on the framework. This can cause the teeth to become loose from the base. However, they can be easily be fitted back.
Additionally, the bar should be evenly arranged on each implant. This is known as a “passive fit.” If the balance is not correct, the pressure on the bar can cause screws to become loose. If you have a habit of grinding your teeth or if you chew on something hard, your denture can break, or your implants can shift from place.
What to Expect From Implant-Supported Dentures
Implant supported dentures are more stable and comfortable than regular dentures. People will find it easier to speak and breathe, and they won’t have to worry about the dentures slipping from their mouth. You can also enjoy a wider range of food with them than you can with traditional dentures. However, hard and sticky food should be avoided as they can damage the dentures.
If you have several missing teeth, implant-supported dentures can be a good option for you. Contact us on 337-443-2533 for our Lafayette location or 337-381-3663 for our Opelousas location, and we will determine what types of dental restorative options are right for you.