Dentures offer reliable, aesthetically pleasing tooth replacement. However, they do come with some disadvantages. Many people with dentures may hesitate to wear them because they are afraid that the dentures will slip or click during eating and speaking. Others find that the fit of dentures changes over time, which makes the prosthetics more difficult to wear. In this blog post, we discuss a solution to such problems as we answer the question, How can an implant help dentures fit better?
How Dental Implants Help
Dental implants are small posts, usually made out of a titanium alloy, that get inserted into the jawbone. They bond with the bone around them during a process known as osseointegration. When dentures are attached to dental implants, the prosthetic teeth remain stable during eating and speaking. Dental implants even help the jawbone to retain its shape, which can ensure that dentures fit well for as long as possible.
There are numerous types of implant-supported dentures, including:
- These can snap onto and off of as few as two dental implants. However, more implants may be recommended to provide the greatest base of support possible.
- An implant-supported full bridge. This type of prosthetic is like a denture in that it replaces an entire arch of missing teeth. However, instead of being removable, it is permanently attached to the implants that support it. Usually, six or more dental implants are necessary to support this type of prosthetic.
Are You a Candidate for Implant-Supported Dentures?
You might be a candidate for implant-supported dentures if:
- You have recently lost a significant number of teeth, or you know you will soon have your remaining natural teeth extracted.
- You have had traditional dentures for a while, and you are ready to try a sturdier option. In some cases, traditional dentures can even be retrofitted to work with dental implants.
- Your bones are strong enough and thick enough to support dental implants, or you are willing to accept a bone graft to fortify your jaw.
- You are free of gum disease and other conditions that might jeopardize your implants’ success.
What to Expect
After your initial consultation, you will undergo a minimally invasive surgery, wherein the implants will be placed into your jaw at precise, pre-planned positions. During your healing period, you will need to be diligent about following postoperative instructions so your recovery proceeds as smoothly as possible. Later, your dentist will carefully design your implant-supported denture and give you tips on how to use it and care for it. The entire process may take several months to a year or longer, depending on the specifics of your treatment plan.
Unsteady dentures can be bothersome, but dental implants can help your prosthetic teeth stay exactly where they belong.
About the Author
Dr. Venu Chimmiri is a Master of the Academy of General Dentistry and the International Congress of Oral Implantologists. He and the team at Meriden Dental Group offer both traditional and implant-supported dentures. To learn more about tooth replacement options, contact us at 203-235-3539.