Losing your tooth should not be the end of your smiling journey. With modern dentistry introducing many different tooth restoration solutions, there is always hope for a restored smile. The same applies to patients that have lost multiple teeth. that large gap in our mouth can be filled with dental appliances, allowing you to showcase your beautiful smile to the world.
In dental restoration, many people talk about dentures and dental implants. Rarely do they talk about them together? Modern dentistry has allowed for the use of both dental implants and dentures, realizing a restoration treatment known as implant-retained dentures.
What is Implant Retained Dentures?
They are tooth replacement alternatives from DDS Dentures + Implant Solutions® that provide patients with a perfect compromise for enjoying their new smiles without the complications of regular dentures. Ideally, this treatment combines the use of dentures and dental implants to give patients a wonderful experience.
Traditional dentures are great for replacing multiple missing teeth. however, they have other challenges like excessive salivation, discomfort, and even soreness. Sometimes the dentures can even embarrass patients by slipping off, especially as the gum tissue shrinks during healing. To combat these challenges, implant-retained dentures are used.
How Do They Work?
Ideally, a dental implant is used to replace a single missing tooth. In that case, for every tooth you are missing, a dental implant would be installed to replace it. This means that patients with multiple missing teeth would require very many dental implants to restore the missing teeth. However, when implants are used with dentures, the narrative changes.
1. Ball attachment
In a case where you are missing all your lower teeth, for example, you do not need 16 dental implants to replace your teeth. In that case, a ball attachment or locator-attached denture is used. Usually, a dentist near you will place two dental implants in your lower jaw. The implants are strategically placed so that they can properly support the dentures to be placed afterward. The dental implants will act as anchors for which a full set of lower dentures will be snapped on, for a natural-looking smile.
2. Bar attachment denture
This method utilizes more dental implants, usually between 2 and 6 implants. Once the implants are inserted in your lower jawbone, a custom-fitted support bar is fastened to the dental implants. Special retention clips are then used to help the dentures snap on the implanted metal fixtures. In this case, the support is more stable and firmer compared to ball attachment. The method is also known as overdenture. The dentures are still removable, allowing you to clean them appropriately.
3. Screw-retained dentures
As compared to the other two, screw-retained dentures are permanent teeth replacement alternatives. Usually, four or more implants are planted on your lower jaw. Afterward, the dentures are affixed on the implants and screwed in place. This makes them exceptionally secure, without the flexibility of removing them for cleaning or any other purpose. During routine visits, your dentist can remove them for a thorough cleaning, and then restore them. In between the visits, you have to learn to clean your mouth with the secured dentures in place.
Replacement for Upper Jaw?
The structure of the upper jawline is usually different from the lower jaw. However, the same techniques used to replace teeth in your lower jaw using the implant-retained dentures can be used on the upper jaw. Your attending dentist will give you a breakdown of the possible alternatives there are to replacing your missing tooth.
Things You Should Know
Admittedly, tooth replacement with implant retained dentures is different from other alternatives like dental bridges or traditional dentures. Some of the things you need to know include:
- It is an invasive treatment – installing implants in your jawbone is usually a surgical procedure.
- You need a healthy mouth – your gums and jawbone need to be healthy for this treatment to work. If your tooth loss was an accident, you need to go through emergency dentistry first, before he restoration treatments can begin. A healthy bone structure provides the necessary foundation for the implants to be placed.
- Healing takes time – as your body adjusts to having titanium metal fixtures, healing may take longer than is the case with typical dental procedures.