Are implant supported dentures more beneficial than standard dentures? That's a question many denture wearers have been asking themselves. Your answers to the following simple questions may help you decide.
- Do your dentures slip when you speak?
- Does food get under your dentures when you eat?
- Do your old dentures seem to be loosing their grip?
- Are you just plain tired of dealing with sore gums?
If you found yourself answering yes more than once, you owe it to yourself to find out a little more about implant supported dentures.
What exactly do we mean when we say "denture implants"? The term implant refers directly to a surgical procedure that is performed under anesthetic. One or more small titanium rods are literally screwed into the bone of the dental ridge under your gums, and the tops of the rods are left exposed above the gum line. The implants are then given time to heal, usually at least two months. If all looks good, then you are ready for mounting.
The number of implants depends on exactly what type of denture you are mounting to them. A full denture plate can be mounted with just a few strategically placed rods, and much the same for a partial. Single teeth can also be cemented to individual posts.
Dentures that have been permanently implanted have a few advantages. Number one is stability. Since implanted dentures are anchored to the jaw with titanium screws, you never have to worry about them moving around. No more shifting while you speak or chew. Dentures rubbing your gums and leaving tender spots are a thing of the past. Implant supported dentures stay put.
A common problem most standard denture wearers will eventually face is bone resorption. Once natural teeth have been removed there is no longer any pressure stimulation to the boney ridge beneath the gums. Bone production now slows to a halt and the bone begins to deteriorate, resulting in a shrunken appearance. It is this shrinkage that causes once perfectly fitted dentures to begin slipping. Even with adjustments or total replacement dentures, bone resorption will continue throughout the denture wearers life time, eventually making it impossible to wear conventional dentures.
This is where implant supported dentures shine their brightest (no pun intended). The pressure stimulation provided by the implanted titanium rods means little to none of the bone shrinkage that usually spoils the fit of standard dentures within a couple of years. Titanium is actually the best material for implants as it has been found more compatible with the bone tissue, which actually attaches to the rods as it grows. The result? Stabile dentures and no more sore spots!
If any of this sounds to you like an improvement over standard dentures, then implant supported dentures may be the right choice for you. Be sure to consult with your denture professional.