Understanding Implant-Supported Dentures

Conventional dentures are prepared from an impression of your oral cavity, so they are customized to the individual contours of your mouth. As a result, a denture, especially one for a top palate, can be held in place by the suction produced as the device rests against the soft tissues of the mouth. A lower denture that is properly fitted may also remain stationary in the mouth. However, since the lower palate includes the tongue, the amount of suction produced is typically less than that created between the roof of the mouth and an upper denture. If you are considering a denture, you may be concerned that the device may slip about in your mouth uncomfortably.

As a result of the excessive movement of some dentures, dentists may recommend dental implants to serve as supports for the devices. Dental implants are inserted into the jawbone through the gingival tissues. The bone cells grow around a dental implant during a healing process called osteointegration. This process stabilizes the device and makes it appropriate for denture support.

Here is a bit of information about implant-supported dentures to help you better understand them.

Dental Implants Can Be Used for Permanent and Removable Dentures

Dental implants can be attached to permanent dentures, such as all-on-four implants, using screws. The screws can only be removed by a dentist. Consequently, the permanent implant-supported dentures are left in place until the dentist removes them during maintenance appointments.

Implants can also be used as supports for removable dentures. A removable denture can be fitted with a mechanism on its underside that allows the denture wearer to detach and reattach the denture as desired.

Dental Implants Require Adequate Jawbone Density

In order to install dental implants, the patient's jawbone must be thick enough to support the devices. If the jawbone has atrophied significantly due to the loss of the natural teeth, a bone graft may be required before the implants can be placed. Once the jawbone's thickness has been restored, it can often withstand the placement of an implant.

Still, patients with thin jawbones do have other options. Instead of traditional implants, mini dental implants may be used to provide denture support.

Osseointegration Takes Time

After an implant is placed, the stabilizing healing process requires months before it is complete. Thus, the implant-supported denture may not be immediately installed after the implant surgery.

For more information about implant-supported dentures, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area.