What Are Implant-Supported Dentures?
Implant-supported dentures are used as the foundation for a removable arch of replacement teeth—in other words, dentures. Unlike traditional dentures that are held on with suction or adhesive, implant-supported dentures clip onto the implants for a very secure fit. This added security is especially attractive to people who are replacing their bottom arch of teeth, because standard lower dentures are less stable than top dentures. This added stability allows most patients to start reintroducing tougher & harder foods back into their diet, which is great for both quality of life & nutrition.
If you have lost all of your teeth on your upper jaw, lower jaw, or both, dentures can give you your teeth back. However, traditional dentures are not perfect. Because they sit on the gums, they might not be very secure, especially lower dentures, & you might be limited to eating more soft foods than you’d like.
Not everyone who has lost their teeth is eligible for regular dental implants. That’s because tooth loss (& dental diseases like periodontitis) leads to bone loss in your jaw. If too much of the bone in your jaw has dissolved away over time, there may not be enough bone structure left to anchor a full set of implants. However, because implant-supported dentures only require a few implants, the dentist can place them where bone density is best able to support them. If bone grafting is needed for implant-supported dentures, it will only be needed where the few implants will go & not the entire top or bottom jaw.
In addition to a more secure fit, there are a few more major advantages to getting implant-supported dentures:
Implant-Supported Dentures Are More Affordable
Implant-supported dentures can be more affordable than regular implants because fewer implants are needed. Two, four, or six dental implants is often all you need to secure dentures. Another added cost-saving factor is the possibility of retrofitting your existing dentures to clip onto implant-supported dentures. If you’re already a denture wearer & are happy with your existing dentures or want to save money, it’s often possible to add snaps to your existing dentures so you can keep wearing them with your new dental implants. Of course, if you want to upgrade or redo the look of your teeth, we can create new custom dentures to go with your new dental implants.
Implant-Supported Dentures Can Help Stop or Prevent Bone Loss
One of the reasons you lose bone structure when you lose your teeth is because of the lack of sensation from biting & chewing. The roots of your teeth naturally transfer the force of your bite into your jawbone, thus stimulating bone to renew & regenerate itself continuously. When you lose teeth or have them removed, your jawbone no longer gets the signal to regenerate, even if you chew with dentures. With implant-supported dentures, the force of your bite can travel through your false teeth, into the implants & then into the bone. This can stimulate your bone & prevent future bone loss.