What Are Implant Supported Dentures

Implant supported dentures are an ideal solution for replacing lost teeth. These restorations offer patients many of the advantages of dental implants along with the affordability of a traditional denture.

Dentures amongst the more inexpensive ways to replace lost teeth especially when the person is missing all of his or her natural teeth. However, traditional dentures have several drawbacks including:

* The devices tend to shift in the wearer’s mouth
* Can cause mouth sores to develop
* Typically rely on dental adhesives to hold them in place
* Can make talking and eating difficult
* Run the risk of falling out
* Must be removed at night for cleaning and soaked overnight in a solution

Given the obvious drawbacks of traditional dentures, it is no surprise that dental implants have become a popular choice for replacing lost teeth. Implants offer several advantages, including:

* They better preserve jawbone tissue because their direct interaction mimic natural tooth roots
* Implants can be cleaned the same way as natural teeth
* Implants have no adjustment period and can last for life with proper oral hygiene
* Shifting of natural teeth is prevented
* The devices feel and look more natural

Implant Supported Dentures Explained

The lovechild of implants and dentures, implant supported dentures combine these two prosthetics. To install these dentures, the oral surgeon will surgically embed four to six implants in the patient’s jawbone.

The screws, often titanium, are then allowed time to properly fuse with the jawbone. Often taking anywhere from three to six months, the fusion process is known as osseointegration.
Once the implants are completely fused to the jawbone, a unique set of dentures customized specifically for the patient will be mounted to them. After being mounted, the dentures can only be removed by a dentist. This is a huge difference between traditional dentures and those supported by implants.

Implant supported dentures have several additional advantages, including:
* Stimulate the patient’s gums and therefore, prevent the loss of bone tissue
* They look and function more like the patient’s natural teeth
* Do not take time to adjust to the device
* Caring for them is no different than natural teeth
* Allows the patient to resume eating his/her favorite food

Although the benefits are numerous, implant supported dentures are not for everyone. For starters, patients must have sufficient jawbone area and health to support dental implants. Patients lacking these requirements, will likely not be candidates for the procedure or will have to undergo additional treatments, such as bone grafting, prior to implant surgery. It is also important that the gum tissue is sufficiently healthy or periodontic treatments may be needed prior to implant surgery.

With all the benefits they offer and because surgery is involved, implant supported dentures tend to be more costly than other restorations. However, most patients find that the benefits outweigh the cost differences. But for patients that are primarily concerned with cost or who do not want to undergo surgery and a lengthy recovery, implant supported dentures may not be ideal and options like traditional dentures may be preferable.

Cleaning Implant Supported Dentures