More Stable Denture Wear
Dentures are a great option for replacing missing teeth, but they can also be a source of frustration for many patients. These fixtures can slip, move, and even fall out, causing embarrassment and discomfort. Thankfully, our San Luis Obispo implant dentists offer a more stable option for denture wearers: implant-supported dentures.
What are Implant-Supported Dentures?
Implant-supported dentures also called implant-retained dentures are a type of denture that uses dental implants for stability, providing a secure foundation for your prosthetic teeth. Traditional dentures rely on suction or sticky adhesives to stay in place, which can sometimes fail. In contrast, implant-retained dentures are anchored to dental implants that are surgically placed into the jawbone, providing a permanent solution that’s also long-lasting.
Types of Implant-Supported Dentures
When it comes to implant-supported dentures, three different types of attachment systems are available, each with their unique set of benefits.
Ball Attachment Dentures
Ball attachment dentures, also known as snap-in dentures, are a type of implant-supported denture that uses a ball-and-socket mechanism to secure the denture in place. The implant is topped with a ball-shaped attachment, which fits snugly into a corresponding socket on the underside of the denture.
This type of attachment allows for removal while still providing a stable fit, making it a good option for patients who prefer a more natural feel. Ball attachment implant-supported dentures also put less pressure on the jawbone. This makes it a better option for patients with advanced jawbone density loss (resorption).
Bar Attachment Dentures
Bar attachment dentures use a metal bar that runs along the arch of your jaw, with the denture being attached with clips or other fasteners. This provides a more secure fit than ball attachment dentures, as the denture is supported by the entire bar rather than just a few points of contact.
The extra stability provided by the bar also makes this option a great solution for patients who have lost a lot of jawbone density. They won’t come out without professional help, meaning you clean them like your natural teeth.
Screw-retained dentures use a small number of implants that are secured to the jawbone with screws. The denture is then screwed onto the implants, providing a highly secure and stable fit. Much like bar attachment dentures, screw-retained implant-supported dentures won’t come out without professional help, so you can clean them like you would with your natural teeth.
The Benefits of Implant-Supported Dentures
There are many benefits to choosing implant-supported dentures, including the following:
- Improved Stability: Implant-supported dentures are much more stable than traditional dentures, so you can eat, speak, and smile with confidence.
- Long-Lasting: With proper care and maintenance, implant-supported dentures can last for a lifetime, providing a long-lasting solution for your missing teeth.
- Better Oral Health: Implant-supported dentures help to preserve your jawbone by stimulating natural bone growth. This helps to prevent the bone loss that can occur with traditional dentures.
- Improved Comfort: Implant-retained dentures are custom-made to fit your mouth, providing a comfortable and secure fit that you can be comfortable with.
- Affordability: Implant-supported dentures are held in place by a minimal number of implants making them much more affordable. We may also be able to attach your current dentures, further helping you save.
- Better Appearance: Implant-supported dentures restore the look of your smile and they can help to restore the natural shape of your face. This reduces the appearance of wrinkles and other signs of aging.
The Implant-Supported Denture Process
The process of getting implant-supported dentures typically involves multiple steps over a matter of months:
Before you’re approved for implant-retained dentures, you’ll undergo a consultation with Dr. Ramirez or Dr. Johnson. Your San Luis Obispo implant dentist will evaluate your oral health and discuss your treatment options with you to determine which type of dentures is right for you.
If you’ve been approved for implant-retained dentures, we’ll take digital images and impressions of your mouth and your remaining teeth. These will serve as the blueprints for your dental implants and the creation of new dentures if necessary.
We’ll make sure you’re numb and comfortable by applying a local anesthetic. Your implant dentist will make small incisions into your jawbone where the posts will be placed. Then, the dental implants will be inserted into the jawbone through these incisions. Your implants will fuse to the jawbone in a process called osseointegration, which usually takes about three to six months.
Installing Your Implant-Supported Dentures
Once the implant is securely in place, an abutment is attached to the implant, which will be used to support the denture. In some cases, the abutment and the implant are placed in the same procedure. The final step is the placement of the custom-made denture onto the abutments. This denture is designed to fit the patient’s mouth perfectly, ensuring a comfortable and stable fit with minimal chances of complications.
Healing & Aftercare
After the procedure, it is essential to follow a proper aftercare routine to ensure proper healing and long-lasting results. Patients should follow all post-operative instructions provided by their San Luis Obispo implant dentist, including:
- Keeping the area clean and free of infection by following a proper oral hygiene routine
- Avoiding hard or chewy foods that may damage the denture or implant
- Attending all scheduled follow-up appointments to monitor your healing progress
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, implant-supported dentures are generally more expensive than traditional dentures. However, they provide a more stable and long-lasting solution that may ultimately save you money on future repairs and replacements.
The process typically takes several months, as it involves multiple stages of consultation, design, and installation. However the exact time for the process will vary from patient to patient based on multiple factors. Your dentist will provide you with an accurate treatment timeline during your initial consultation.
Patients may experience some minor discomfort and swelling during the healing process. Rest assured that the procedure itself is performed under local anesthesia. Your dentist will likely prescribe pain medication to help control any lingering discomfort.
With proper care and maintenance, the dentures themselves can last up to 10-20 years or more while the implants can potentially last up to a lifetime. However, it’s important to attend regular dental checkups and follow a proper oral hygiene routine to ensure the longevity of the dentures and the implants.
Enjoy A Better Smile With Implant-Supported Dentures
If you’re tired of dealing with traditional dentures that slip and slide or want a more secure and stable solution to missing teeth, implant-supported dentures may be the right option for you.
Contact our San Luis Obispo dental office, to learn more about implant-supported dentures and how they can help you achieve a better smile. Call us today at (805) 549-8483 or click the button below and fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation. We provide implant-supported dentures to patients from San Luis Obispo and surrounding areas such as Santa Margarita, Arroyo Grande, and Pismo Beach, CA.