Implant Supported Dentures
Implant anchored dentures, also referred to as implant supported dentures, are simply a type of denture we can provide in our office at Pacific Maxillofacial Center. This type of denture is supported by and attached to the dental implants we install on the jawbone and will extend outward from the gums. Instead of being held onto the gums and jawbone, these dentures are held in place by an implant.
Replace Missing Teeth
When it comes to replacing missing teeth, one of the best tooth replacement solutions is implant supported dentures since they provide the benefits associated with dental implants without compromising affordability. Replacing more than one tooth can be a costly endeavor, especially if you would like to have dental implants installed. With implant supported dentures, you get to enjoy the benefits of dental implants without the minor inconveniences that come along with dentures.
The Types of Dental Implants
There are two main types of implant supported dentures our office may choose from to use with our patients. The bar-retained dentures will include a thin metal bar attached to at least two implants in the bone. Clips—which is another type of attachment—can then help put the denture in place. Our office may also choose to use a ball-retained denture. This denture is often known as a stud-attachment denture. This type of denture will contain sockets that will fit onto the connectors of your implant. The type of dental implant we choose will depend on your unique dental needs.
The Process Involved in Implant Supported Dentures
The First Visit
Getting implant supported dentures will require several visits to our office to complete. During the first visit, we will review both your dental and medical history to see if there are any concerns we need to know about. The dentist will conduct a comprehensive evaluation to determine viability.
We can then take x-rays and create a model of the gums and teeth. An x-ray is usually done to provide a closer look into the patient's dental structure and provide more information that can be used to determine if implant supported dentures are the best option for you. The x-ray also provides the dentist with results of the available bone mass, which is a crucial factor in installing dental implants. If the patient lacks sufficient bone mass, a bone graft is done to ensure that the jaw can provide adequate support for the implants. However, undergoing a bone graft will slow down a patient's implant placement by up to three months, to allow healing from the grafting procedure.
We may also order a CT scan to get the accurate placement of the nerves and sinuses and to see exactly how much bone we have to work with. During this visit, we can create a temporary denture so you can walk out of our office with a full set of teeth until the surgery.
The First Surgery
There are several surgeries our office must complete to get the implant supported dentures in place. The first step involves placing the dental implants in the bone. We will use local anesthesia in the area where we plan to place the implants. Then a small incision is made to the gum at the site and a hole drilled into the bone. The implant is placed into this hole and then the site is stitched closed. We recommend our patients avoid any pressure on this area as it heals.
Since each patient's circumstances are different, the dentist can choose to place the dentures during the same procedure or give the patient time for the dental implants to heal and fuse with the jawbone. Similar to the All-on-4® Treatment Concept, supported dentures can either be removed or fixed permanently.
Exposing the Implant Heads
At your second surgery, we will start with an x-ray to determine if the dental implant has had time to fuse to the bone. If so, then we can use local anesthesia in the area of the dental implant. We will use another small incision into the gum to allow the tops of the implants to show through. We can add a healing cap on the top of each dental implant to help guide the gum tissue to properly heal. These healing caps need to stay in place for 10 to 14 days.
Putting the Dentures On
After the gums have healed properly, it is time to put in the dentures. We will temporarily place them on the framework before manufacturing and placing the permanent denture, securing it to the ball or bar attachments. Patients need to follow proper oral health care during the healing process to help the dentures stay in place.
Advantages of Implant Supported Dentures
These dental appliances provide the jawbone with stimulation, which prevents it from shrinking. If gaps are left untreated, the jaw is likely to incur atrophy, affecting strength and shape. In addition, unlike traditional dentures that require a patient to regularly come in for adjustments due to the regular changes in the jaw, implant supported dentures do not need adjustments, saving you both time and money.
With supported dentures, you no longer have to worry about them shifting or slipping from the mouth since they are anchored to the jaw by dental implants. You do not need to constantly check on the position of the appliances, which enhances confidence and aesthetics. Supported dentures also share the same attribute as dental implants in that they both look identical to natural teeth and perform the same tasks as well.
Many of our patients benefit from using implant supported dentures. If you are interested in seeing if these dentures are right for you, contact Pacific Maxillofacial Center at 808-585-8455. Our extensive experience in dentistry allows us to provide a wide range of teeth replacement solutions that are suitable for each patient's dental needs, from dental crowns and bridges, to implant anchored dentures, to All-on-4. Pacific Maxillofacial Center is focused on ensuring that all of our patients have access to the best dental services.