Dentures have been the treatment for multiple missing teeth since at least 700BC, when the Etruscans in northern Italy made dentures out of human or animal teeth. While the process of making dentures has advanced greatly since ancient times, they can still prove to be inconvenient and uncomfortable. And, because they do not sit as stable in the mouth as natural teeth, dentures prevent many from eating nutritious foods. With advances in implants, dental materials, and technology used to place implants, dentists are now able to offer patients with missing teeth two options that involve implants. An article released by Colgate and reviewed by the Faculty at Columbia University College of Dental Medicine succinctly explains the key advantages to implant dentures over regular dentures: “You will find it easier to speak and you won’t have to worry about the denture becoming loose or falling out of your mouth. You generally will be able to eat foods you could not eat before. However, you will not be able to chew hard or sticky foods because they can damage the denture.”
Patients may be provided two implant denture options – implant retained dentures or a fixed implant bridge and implant supported dentures or overdentures
Implant Retained Dentures
A full implant retained denture is typically held in place by four to six implants that are placed in the jaw bone. The titanium implant bodies fuse to the bone, and are the perfect anchor for the denture to be placed on top. The denture is screwed into the implant body. The implant retained denture, is only the shape of the arch, and does not need to cover the roof of the mouth since the restoration is supported by the implants. With the implant retained denture, the forces of chewing are applied to the bone beneath the gums, just as they would be if the patient still had natural teeth
Implant Supported Dentures or Overdentures
Implant supported dentures are still secured by implants, but the bulk of the chewing forces are on the gums. Implant supported dentures are not permanently screwed into the mouth, but rather snap on and off of the supporting implants. In some cases, they may snap onto a bar that mirrors the shape of the arch and is fixed to the implants. They must be removed for cleaning. Even though implant supported dentures are not a permanently fixed restoration, they still offer far more stability than a traditional denture. Upper implant supported dentures will also cover the entire roof of the mouth
Which type of implant dentures are right for you?
It is best to see your dentist to determine which type of implant dentures will work best to meet your smile goals. In most cases, implant retained restorations are preferred as they are more permanent and mimic the look and feel of natural teeth. However, there may be situations in which your dentist will recommend an over denture instead.
Still have Questions?
The team at Digital Implant Design Center is happy to answer any questions you have about implant dentures. Digital Implant Design Center specializes in rejuvenating your smile with implant restorations. Contact us today or schedule a complimentary consultation to learn more.
*Source: Implant Supported Dentures: https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/cosmetic-dentistry/dentures/implant-supported-denture