Implant-Supported Dentures Look, Feel And Function Like Natural Teeth
By Dr. Anasinski
For many people, dentures—either partial or full—are a reality. In fact, statistics show that by the age of seventy-four, 26% of adults have lost all of their permanent teeth. While traditional dentures take the place of natural teeth, they typically do not function like permanent teeth…often slipping, making clicking sounds and not giving firm, secure biting abilities. Therefore, a lot of people with dentures no longer eat many of the foods they used to enjoy, and they become self-conscious and constantly aware of the fact that they have dentures.
With modern dental technology, we now have the tools to be able to support full or partial dentures with dental implants that attach the prosthesis firmly to the jawbone allowing the denture to look, feel and function just like natural teeth. The implant, which is a titanium screw that is placed into the jawbone, acts like a tooth root and in a process call osseointegration, becomes a part of the bone, creating a firm foundation for the denture. Once the implant is in the jawbone, it acts just like a natural tooth root and keeps the gums and bone stimulated, thus eliminating the gum and bone loss that happens with traditional dentures.
Dental implants can be used to firmly attach existing dentures or they can be created in the process of getting dentures for the first time. Depending on the process the dentist uses, dental implants can be done in a procedure that takes several months or with a method that can be accomplished all in one day. After a thorough examination, we are able to determine which process will be the best choice for the patient. Although healthy gums and a strong jawbone are prerequisites for successful implant-supported dentures, patients whose gums and jawbones are not currently substantial enough for dental implants can have procedures done to increase their periodontal health and their bone density.
The benefits of implant-supported dentures are many…they:
- Prevent boss loss and gum recession that can happen with traditional dentures;
- Eliminate the pain often associated with ill-fitting dentures;
- Create a stable, secure fitting denture;
- Maintain the integrity of the facial structure;
- Can improve a patient’s smile to one that is natural-looking;
- Restore much of the stability that comes with natural teeth;
- Can improve speech that is sometimes impaired by traditional dentures;
- Eliminate the need for dental adhesives, which can be nasty to deal with;
- Restore natural biting and chewing abilities;
- Can restore self-confidence for smiling, talking and eating; and
- May provide the chance to have an open upper palate which returns the ability of the taste buds that are located in that area of the mouth.
Depending on the type of implant-supported dentures that we recommend for each individual patient, some dentures can be permanently secured in the patient’s mouth giving them the structural stability of natural teeth. In other cases, implant-supported dentures can be easily removed for cleaning.
With good oral hygiene habits, implant-supported dentures will maintain their stability and appearance, and because the implants keep the gum tissues and jawbone stimulated and healthy, implant-supported dentures do not need to be realigned the way conventional dentures do. Implants help provide stable, secure dentures for a very long time.