An implant-supported denture is a type a full denture that is secured in a patient’s mouth by attaching to dental implants. They are different from regular dentures which simply rest on the gums. They also can be used in either the lower or upper jaw. However, upper jaw implant dentures need a larger number of denture implants to provide adequate support (for a variety of technical reasons).
Fortunately, too, it may be possible to use your current denture, depending on its condition, and convert it to the required implant-supported dentures.
Implant dentures offer many significant advantages over conventional dentures – some of them life changing – which helps to justify the financial investment.
Implant-supported dentures allow:
- Increased confidence in public: patients are no longer afraid of the potential embarrassment of a denture slipping out of their mouth when they eat, talk or laugh.
- Greater comfort: due to the implant denture being held securely in place, it does not move around in your mouth, preventing uncomfortable chafing or sores.
- Far less irritation to your gum tissue (pain and pressure sores are common problems for patients with regular dentures)
- Improved speech
- A more natural feel, with improved ability to taste food. When placed on the upper jaw, implant-supported dentures do not cover your palate.
- Increased comfort due to smaller size: implant-supported dentures are smaller with less plastic used.
- No denture adhesives: as implant secure the denture, no denture adhesives are required, making them more convenient to place each day.
Dental payment plans
At Dentistry Plus, we offer competitive prices for our dental implants in our Perth dental clinics (In fact, we’ll beat any WA implant quote). But it’s still hard to pay the fee in one lump sum. That’s why we’ve introduced payment plans to make your important dental implant procedure more budget-friendly.
Chew freely again
One of the massive advantages of switching to implant-supported dentures is the ability to thoroughly chew your food again. Not being able to eat a wide variety of foods is not only extremely distressing for some denture wearers, but it limits the variety of nutritious foods you can eat. Consequently, some denture wearers suffer from nutritional deficiencies.
Let’s look at the chewing efficiency of conventional denture wearers versus those with normal teeth or with implants.
Conventional denture wearers have only 10% of the chewing efficiency of those with natural teeth.
Further to this setback, as there are fewer (or no) teeth left in the gum, the bone tissue in the jaw slowly starts to resorb. In other words, the jawbone starts to disintegrate slowly. This results in a sunken appearance to the face around the jaw area. As the jawbone resorbs, the patient’s gum also changes shape, so the current denture no longer fits well. Eating becomes even more difficult, and the dentures continually need to be relined until the patient finally requires a new set of dentures, only for the cycle to continue.
Implant-supported dentures can drastically return chewing efficiency to
This allows the patient to eat properly and follow a more normal diet without being restricted to soft foods. (Note that hard or sticky food should always be avoided, even for patients with all his or her natural teeth.)
Types of implant-supported dentures
There are three types of implant-supported dentures:
- locator abutment dentures
- ball-retained dentures
- bar-retained dentures
Locator abutment dentures
We often use locator abutment dentures; these look like a press-stud, and clip your denture into place. They have the best success in retaining the denture and are easily available around the world, should you ever need another pair to be made while away from home.
These dentures use a ball-and-socket type technology. Usually, the denture is fitted with sockets, while the implants have a ball on top of them. Then, the denture and implants ‘snap’ together at the ball and socket junction.
Bar-retained dentures need to be placed surgically. When three or more implants have been surgically placed into the gums, the dentist places a metal bar that runs along the gum line. The denture rests on the metal bar and can be attached using various types of attachments or clips. This type of denture is less commonly used in our clinics.
Caring for your implant-supported denture
It’s imperative that you remove your denture every night and clean it properly. Additionally, you must clean the attachments thoroughly, which should be no more difficult than cleaning your normal teeth. Speak to your dentist so you understand exactly how you should be cleaning your implant attachments so that you keep your mouth, teeth – and overall health in the best condition possible.