Traditionally, dentures have been removable devices that have provided varying degrees of functionality and aesthetics. They often had an unnatural appearance and were known for slipping, or even coming completely loose while the wearer was eating, drinking, or having a conversation. They had to be removed on a nightly basis, cleaned, and soaked overnight in a special solution. They were often obvious in appearance, and wearers had to be careful about certain foods and beverages. Fortunately, dental technology has evolved to the point where patients have alternatives to traditional dentures. The main option is implant retained dentures. Here’s what you need to know:
Implant Retained Dentures Provide Greater Stability Than Traditional Dentures
One of the main drawbacks of traditional dentures is that they lack the stability provided by natural teeth. Those who wear them are often unable to properly chew their food, and they usually find themselves eating a restricted diet as a result. Because implant supported dentures are designed to mimic the functionality of natural teeth, you’ll be able to enjoy the same foods as before. Because you’ll be able to consume a more well-rounded diet with implant retained dentures, you’ll enjoy substantial nutritional benefits.
You also won’t have to worry about the embarrassment of them falling out, for instance, during a holiday dinner with friends and family or in the middle of a crowded restaurant. Implant supported dentures are prosthetic teeth anchored to titanium screws that are installed in your gum tissue — just like natural tooth roots.
Implant Retained Dentures Are Easier to Care For
Implant supported dentures are come with a far lower maintenance level than their traditional counterparts. You’ll have to brush and floss them in the same manner as natural teeth, and your dentist may recommend low-abrasive cleansers designed for use on prosthetic teeth as well as a special type of floss. Other than that, caring for your implants is the same as for natural teeth, which may result in better overall oral health. The difficulty of caring for traditional dentures sometimes results in bacterial buildup on the gums that results in periodontal disease.
However, some types of implant supported dentures snap on and off and are designed to be removed at night and cleaned just like traditional dentures. However, you may have the option of crown or bridgework that remain permanently affixed to the dentures. Your dentist can help you decide which approach is the right one for you.
Are You a Good Candidate for Implant Retained Dentures?
Implant supported dentures aren’t viable options for everyone. The first step to determining whether this is the right approach for you is scheduling a consultation which your dentist followed by a comprehensive dental exam. We’ll review your medical history, perform x-rays, and discuss your goals and expectations for prosthetic dentistry option. Idea candidates are in good overall health and are free from serious oral health conditions such as gum disease. They must also have enough bone tissue to be able to support the implants.
During the initial exam, your dentist may create impressions of your teeth and gum area as well as perform a CT scan to determine how much bone tissue you have in your jar. In some cases, those who don’t have the necessary bone tissue may benefit from bone grafting.
The Implant Procedure
Implant procedures vary per patient. If bone grafting is required, it will be necessary to allow your tissues to heal from this before proceeding with the rest of the implant installation process. Most patients require two implant installation surgeries, although a small number only need one. The first surgery places the titanium screws in the jawbone material underneath the gums. The second procedure, which typically occurs anywhere from three to six months after the first, involves exposing the tops of the implants so that the prosthetic teeth can be attached.
Under certain circumstances, one-stage implant procedures are performed. Your dentist can tell you if you’re a good candidate for this.
Please feel free to schedule an appointment with Bellbrook Family Dentistry if you’d like more information on whether implant retained dentures is the right choice for you. We’ll be happy to address your questions and concerns about any aspect of oral health.