As compared to dentures, dental implants provide a permanent solution to missing teeth. One can get dental implants for one or more missing teeth. However, getting implants for entire jaw can be a bit complex. Therefore, dental implants can now be combined with dentures to make dentures more stable and functional. This new type of hybrid appliance is called Implant-Supported Dentures.
But what exactly are Implant-Supported Dentures?
Implant Supported Dentures
An Implant-Supported Denture is a denture that is attached to an implant and is supported by an implant. Unlike regular dentures, implant supported dentures do not rest on the gums and have special attachments to fix them in the jawbone.
Purpose of Implant-Supported Dentures
- Implant-Supported Dentures are designed for a person who an empty jaw but has enough jawbone to fix the implants in it.
- A regular denture tends to be looser on the lower jaw as compared to the upper jaw. Therefore, an Implant-Supported Denture is usually designed to fit on the lower jaw. However, you can get an Implant-Supported Denture for both jaws – upper and lower.
Benefits of Implanted-Support Dentures
- Restores your chewing power thus improving your digestion and overall health.
- Boost your confidence by improving your speech (or speaking ability).
- Prevents irritation of gums and are more comfortable and convenient.
- They are removable and easy to clean.
Types of Implant-Supported Dentures
Bar-retained Dentures– A thin metal bar is bent to follow the curvature of your jaw. It is fixed into the jawbone by using two to five biocompatible titanium dental implants. After this, the dentures are locked on the metal bar by using clips.
Ball-retained Dentures – Implants are directly fixed into the jawbone with their ball-shaped head facing outside. After this, the dentures are placed on the implants. The ball-shaped implants are designed to fit in the sockets of dentures so as to lock the dentures.
Complications and Drawbacks:
- Risk of failure of surgery.
- Expensive procedure as compared to regular dentures.
- In the case of bar-retained dentures, there is very less space available on the denture framework for the placement of the teeth.
- The bar should be carefully balanced on the implant with a “passive fit”. The passive fit prevents extra strain on the bar. However, if the bar is not placed properly on the implant then the extra strain can loosen the screws.
Care of Implant-Supported Dentures
- Remove the dentures before sleeping and while cleaning.
- Clean the attachments carefully.
If you have the habit of clenching or grinding your teeth then you may end up hurting your gums. Grinding can break delicate parts of the dentures and also loosen the screws.