For many people dealing with the loss of teeth, dentures offer a convenient and lasting solution so that they can eat and speak confidently again. While dentures can restore dental function and improve one’s appearance, they cannot address bone stimulation.
With natural teeth, chewing and biting stimulate bones in our jaws to grow and replace older ones. When we lose our teeth, we also lose this function. Over time, our bones’ density and volume will significantly decrease.
Modern advancements in the dental industry have allowed experts to come up with a solution: implant-supported dentures. While regular dentures rest on the patient’s gums, this innovation is secured and attached to implants. It provides more support and stability for your jaws and minimizes bone loss. If this is the first time you’re learning about this tooth restoration option, read on to know more about its process, benefits, and maintenance tips.
Different Types of Implant-Supported Dentures
Implant-supported dentures are made of an acrylic base that mimics the shape of your gums. Either porcelain or plastic teeth are attached to the plate. There are two types of implant-supported dentures: bar-retained and ball-retained.
- Bar-retained dentures — This comes as a thin metal bar that follows the curve of your jaw, attached to implants along your jawbone. Special clips or attachments are fitted to the bar, and the dentures fit over it.
- Ball-retained dentures — These are also known as slud-attachment dentures. Each implant in the jawbone has a ball-shaped metal attachment that fits into its pair on the dentures.
The Implant Process
While implant-supported dentures provide huge advantages, the installation process is more complicated than regular ones. It requires multiple consultations and at least two surgeries, and the whole process may take months to complete—sometimes even years.
The implants are usually placed in the jawbone at the front of your mouth, where there are more density and fewer nerves. During the first surgery, implants are placed under your gums along your jawbone. The patient is given a few months of rest while waiting for the bones and implants to fuse. After about three to six months, a second surgery is needed to expose the top part of the implants.
A dental specialist called a prosthodontist does the procedure. During your initial consultation, the dentist will review your medical and dental histories. They’ll also take X-rays and create impressions of your oral cavity. In some cases, a CT scan is needed to see how much bone is still left. This is crucial for the dentist to know where to best place the implants. If you’re not wearing dentures already, the prosthodontist will recommend you to do so for a few months while readying you for the procedure.
Once your implant-supported dentures are successfully in place, you’ll find it to be more stable than your old plates. Speaking will also be easier and more comfortable because you won’t have to worry about it becoming dislodged. Additionally, you’ll be able to eat harder foods.
How to Care for Your Implant-Supported Dentures:
Like regular dentures, you should remove your implants every night for cleaning. You should also clean the attachments and the surrounding area in your gums. For bar-retained dentures, the clips will need to be replaced every six months. Regularly visiting your doctor is vital to ensure your gums remain healthy and free of infections.
If you’re interested in getting implant-supported dentures in Ypsilanti, visit our dentist today to see if you’re the right candidate. For dental concerns, get in touch with our team and see how we can help!