Posted on: 8 September 2015
When it comes to replacing teeth that have been lost due to accident or dental disease, you've probably heard of dental implants. You might also have heard that dentures are an efficient and cost-effective way to replace multiple teeth. What you might not know is that you can get denture implants. The dentures themselves are still removable prosthetic teeth, as opposed to a dental implant where the prosthetic tooth and its base (which is the actual implant) is permanently inserted into your jawbone. A denture supported by an implant is a denture that clicks into a holder that has been inserted into your jawbone. This is convenient for those who dislike wearing a denture, as it adds noticeable stability. So how do these implant supported dentures work? And do you need these implants in both your upper and lower jaw?
Your Upper Jaw
If you are deemed to be a suitable candidate for denture implants, your denture clinic will probably just recommend an implant for the lower jaw. The roof of your mouth provides ample surface area for the upper denture to remain stable without an implant. There's a natural suction that will keep the denture in place, and denture adhesive can be used for added surety. There are a wide variety of adhesives available, although a non-water soluble adhesive paste is best. It will not be weakened by excessive saliva, and its consistency allows you to determine the thickness of the seal for a more natural feeling. This differs to adhesive strips, where the thickness is determined by the manufacturer.
Your Lower Jaw: Option 1
Denture clinics will use one of two types of implant supported dentures, depending on your jawbone. If the teeth have been missing for a number of years, you can start to lose jawbone as well, as the bone recedes slightly when it no longer has to support teeth. In these cases, a bar-retained implant is usually used. This involves two to three abutments (support knobs) inserted into the jaw. Once healed, a metal bar is permanently attached to the tops of these abutments. The denture then clicks into place over the bar.
Your Lower Jaw: Option 2
In instances where any bone loss is minor, a ball-retained implant is used. It's similar to a bar-retained implant in that two to three abutments are implanted. Once these have healed, metallic studs are permanently attached. The denture clips onto these studs and is firmly held in place. Titanium is generally used for both types of implants, as it's extremely unlikely to irritate the gums. It's also highly durable, but it will need to be cleaned along with any remaining natural teeth. Your dentist will show you how to do this, and might suggest a mouthwash designed specifically for this purpose.
Denture implants will hold your dentures in place so firmly that you can forget you're wearing them. You will still need to take your dentures out each night, but they can be inserted in the morning with a simple click.Share