For patients who are missing many or all of their teeth, implant-supported dentures may be a good alternative to traditional dentures. Implant-supported dentures can be either fixed or removable.
An implant-supported denture is supported by and attached to implants that are anchored into the jawbone, making it more stable than a regular denture which rests on the gums and is supported by natural suction and adhesive.
In addition, you will benefit from:
- Superior strength: The implant’s titanium post and porcelain crown are stronger than your natural teeth
- Durability: Implant can last up to 20 years or more
- Increased chewing efficiency
- Improved speech
- Look and feel like natural teeth
Who is a good candidate for implant-supported dentures?
An implant-supported denture is a good solution for people who don’t have many – or any – teeth but have enough bone in their jaw to support implants. Implant-supported dentures can be made for the lower or upper jaw.
If the implant dentures will be placed next to natural teeth, the natural teeth and surrounding gums must be healthy. If there is not enough bone to place and support the implants, the supporting bone must be built up using bone augmentation or grafting before the actual implant procedure.
Before any work is done, you will undergo a comprehensive examination. This exam will include a review of your medical and dental histories as well as X-rays. Impressions will also be made of your teeth and gums so that models can be fabricated.
You may also need to have a computed tomography (CT) scan to show where your sinuses and nerves are to ensure implants won’t affect them. A CT scan can also how much bone is available to hold the denture implants in place.
What are implant-supported dentures made of?
The denture will be made of an acrylic base that looks like gums. Porcelain or acrylic teeth that look like natural teeth are then attached to the base.
The implant itself is made of titanium and shaped like a screw. The abutments, which are cylinders made of titanium, gold or porcelain, are screwed onto the implant and the denture is placed on top of the implant in either a fixed or removable manner.
How long does the implant process take?
The shortest time frame is about five months in the lower jaw and seven months in the upper jaw. This includes surgeries and the placement of the denture. However, the process can last a year or more, especially if you need bone grafting or other preliminary procedures.
Two surgeries usually are needed. The first one places the implants in the jawbone under your gums The second procedure, when your denture will be placed, comes three to six months after the first or whenever the implant has fully fused with the jawbone.
Note that if you’re not already wearing a denture, we will make you a temporary one. This process can take several weeks, but it is enormously beneficial for the final denture placement.
Fixed versus removable dentures
There are advantages to both types. Dr. Wynn will make her recommendation to you.
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