Implant Supported Dentures – What Are the Benefits?
Just about all of us are familiar with dentures, and most of us would like to avoid them if at all possible. Ideally, you would keep all of your teeth for your entire life. Having a full set of healthy teeth contributes to the health of the teeth, jaw, and surrounding muscles and joints. It also contributes to good digestion.
Unfortunately, not all of us are blessed to have all of our teeth. For those who have only a few missing teeth, implants seem like an optimal choice to keep the rest of the existing teeth healthy, and our bones, tissues, and joints stable.
What about those of us who need dentures? Do we have to be subject to the ooze of denture adhesives or constant denture adjustments because of the loss of jaw structure? No! This isn’t the only option. Denture patients can benefit from implants, too, with implant supported dentures.
- What they are – Implant supported dentures are dentures that fit over implants. The implants are placed into the jaw, and the denture attaches to either individual implants or bars that connect the implants together. Dentures are fabricated with special snaps or rings that hold onto the implant and keep the denture nice and secure.
- Why beneficial – Incorporating implants into your denture treatment plan results in at least two benefits. The first is the fact that the denture will fit more securely. If the denture is secure, you’ll be able to chew food more thoroughly resulting in better digestion. Second, implants secure the jaw bone. Healthy teeth support the jaw bone. Once teeth are extracted, there is nothing to keep the jaw bone secure and the bone starts to lose structure. You can see evidence of this in someone who has had dentures for years. Their jaw bone is much smaller than someone who has a full set of teeth. Placing implants after extractions keeps the jaw bone healthy and strong.
- The procedures involved –
There are at least three surgical procedures involved – the extractions, the placement of the implants, and the uncovering of the implants. During this process, the dentures will be fabricated by a dental laboratory. In order for the dentures to be processed, there are appointments at your dental office for impressions. The impressions are then sent to the lab, and the dentures are made. Once finished, you will see your dentist to try in the dentures and make any necessary adjustments to the bite, fit, and aesthetics of the dentures.
If you have existing dentures or are looking at dentures as a future prospect, talk to your dentist about the possibility of implant supported dentures. He, or she, will be able to tell you if you’re a candidate, what steps will be involved, and if insurance will cover any of the cost. Gone are the days of settling for denture adhesive and ill-fitting dentures. Call your dental care provider today to find out what options you have!