What are Implant Retained Dentures?
It is somewhat common for people to be missing their teeth in one or both of the arches. In addition, traditional dentures may not be a good solution. Traditional dentures rest on the gums and while they may fit well in the beginning, it is common for them to slowly become loose and ill-fitting over time. This occurs due to changing shape of the gums and jawbone.
Once the teeth are removed or fall out, the bony ridge which supports the teeth slowly resorbs as it is not stimulated by the tooth’s roots. This makes the changing shape of the jawbone and gums inevitable. The ridge of bone which secures the natural teeth also becomes flat and narrow. This makes it far more challenging to comfortably wear dentures and provides less support for the facial muscles, resulting in a collapsed or sunken-in appearance which is quite common for people who have full or partial dentures.
While dentures which do not fit properly can be uncomfortable, they may also prohibit patients from eating certain foods or create concerns with the movement of the dentures in social settings.
Implant Retained Dentures
Patients who have implant retained dentures do not have to limit the type of foods they consume or be concerned with attending social engagements as patients can be confident that their implant retained teeth will not shift or move. Implant retained dentures can also aid in restoring a patient’s appearance as the dentures provide adequate support for the cheeks and lips, which can ultimately enhance the facial dimensions. Patients who previously wore traditional dentures often experience improved facial appearance.
Rather than resting on the gums as traditional dentures do, implant retained dentures clip or snap onto the dental implant. This allows them to remain securely in place and can be removed as needed for cleaning. Implant retained dentures offer patients a tooth replacement option which is strong, secure and quite cost-effective. This gives patients the ability to eat the foods they love and be confident with talking or socializing with others. In most cases, just two or four dental implants can be used to secure a lower denture in place. In some cases, lower dentures can cause additional issues as they exclusively rely on the bony ridge for retention and support. When an upper denture is replaced with implant retained dentures, it will most likely require additional dental implants for increased support. However, as an added benefit, the implant retained upper denture is created in a horseshoe shape. Similar to the lower denture, this shape ensures it feels less bulky and allows the upper palate to be exposed. In addition to increased comfort, leaving the upper palate uncovered also exposes additional taste buds. This allows patients to enjoy all the unique flavors found in the foods they love.
Implant Retained Dentures Candidates
Nearly all patients are candidates for dental implants. This treatment is especially beneficial for patients who have been missing their teeth for a while as it maximizes the use of available bone in the jaw. As a result, patients are less likely to need a bone graft for treatment. Regardless of the age of the patient, implant retained dentures can be used if the patient has good dental and overall health. Schedule an appointment with a dentist in your area to discuss if implant retained dentures may be a good treatment option. During the initial appointment, your dental and general health will be assessed to discuss your goals and ensure you are a good candidate for implant retained dentures.