If you lose teeth due to decay or gum disease, then you understand the agony of missing teeth. Interacting with people becomes a huge problem because of a lack of confidence. Additionally, eating or smiling becomes a problem. We at The Downey Dentist, are devoted to providing implant-supported dentures to solve your tooth loss problem.

Understanding Implant Supported Dentures

Implant-supported dentures are also known as implant dentures or implant anchored dentures. A denture is a removable dental appliance with artificial teeth blent and designed to function and look like the natural teeth. Where a patient has lost all or most teeth, dentists opt for dentures to enhance their smile and esthetics. Fixed dentures are also available but are not as popular as dentures because they cannot be removed during meals or cleaning.

An implant-supported denture is a dental restoration procedure that uses dental implants and a denture device to replace a missing tooth. The complete removable denture appliance is fitted over the top of the implant. Implant-supported dentures are very firm because they are attached to an implant that is anchored deep in your tooth root.

Benefits of Implant Supported Dentures

If you are among the many people with missing teeth, then you should be considering implant-supported dentures. With the new dental technology, you don’t have to rely on traditional dentures, which loosen after some time. But after a denture appliance anchored on an implant is fitted, you are guaranteed that the device will restore your flawless smile and functionality. Top benefits of implant-supported dentures include:

  1. Excellent Stability

The same way a natural tooth is anchored to the jawbone by the tooth root, dentures are supported by an implant anchored on the jawbone. Your teeth become more stable and enable you to chew any food you like. Apart from being able to eat food comfortably, implant-supported dentures improve your speech because they don’t keep shifting like the traditional dentures, which require adjustment from time to time. Because of how firm they are, your confidence when speaking or making a speech will be high since you have no fear of losing the restoration.

  1. Prevent Bone Atrophy

Implant-supported dentures stimulate and strengthen your jawbone, thus preventing it from losing its shape or becoming weak. Compared to traditional dentures that are not attached to the jawbone, implant-supported dentures are connected to the jawbone, which ensures the stimulation that strengthens and helps maintain the shape of your jawbone.

  1. Enhancing Quality of Life

If you have lost teeth, then you know that chewing food is a problem. On top of that, the teeth adjacent to the opening might shift towards the open space causing misalignments. The confidence to smile in social gatherings also becomes a problem. Because of all these reasons, the quality of your life deteriorates with time. However, once you get an implant-supported denture, you get an artificial tooth that functions like the natural teeth. At the end of the procedure, your self-esteem gets restored, and you enjoy life again. Also, issues like experiencing pain on the jaw will no longer bother you because the implant provides the jaw bone with stimulation that makes it stronger.

  1. Cost-Effective Restoration Solution

If you compare this restoration method with others, you will realize that implant-supported dentures require fewer implants on the jaw. Because many implants are what make the procedure costly, reducing the number of implants lowers the total cost of treatment.

  1. Faster Treatment and Healing Period

The treatment can be completed within a single visit to your cosmetic dentist. After a surgical procedure to fit the implant, a denture is attached on the same day, which saves the hours you spend on the dentist’s chair.

  1.  Improves your Overall Health

Teeth play a vital role in ensuring the proper chewing of food as well as helping the jawbone and the surrounding areas to maintain strength. Gums support the traditional dentures, and with time, the denture wears down the soft tissues of your mouth. But with implant-supported dentures, the tissues are preserved by dental implants, which means they have no effects on your gums.

Other benefits of the procedure are that it has been scientifically tested, proven, and documented after decades of studies. If you want a restoration procedure whose results are guaranteed, then you should choose implant-supported dentures. Additionally, the treatment is less invasive and decreases irritation of gum tissues. If you are looking for longevity and something easy to care for, implant-supported dentures are the answer.

Note that although the treatment has many advantages, it has some shortcomings. The first disadvantage is that in the first six to eight weeks after surgery, you have to stick to soft foods and stay away from tough or crunchy foods. Biting crunchy food immediately after treatment might result in implant failure. The other downside of the procedure is that it is not ideal for everyone. The dentist must conduct a thorough examination first to find out if you are eligible for the treatment or not. 

Implant Supported Denture Options

Implant dentures come in various options. These are:

All-On-4

Under this procedure, dentists use four implants to fit a full arch on the lower or upper jaw to hold the denture appliance firmly and make sure it fits comfortably. The challenge is that not everyone is fit for the approach. A dentist must check your oral structure and jawbone density to determine if the procedure is right for you or not.

All-On-6

The approach works like the all-on-4 explained above. The only significant difference is that it uses six implants instead of four. If your jawbone density cannot support an all-on-4 approach, you should opt for all-on-6.

Full Mouth Restoration

The approach is suitable for people who have lost all their teeth and are looking forward to smiling again. In these cases, a dentist can choose to have a full set of dental implants or combine implant-supported dentures. Make sure you discuss the available options with your dentist to prevent regretting your decision in the future.

Conventional Dentures Vs. Implant Supported Dentures

The main difference between traditional dentures and implant-supported dentures is that conventional dentures are designed to conform with the shape of the mouth and are usually placed on top of your gums. If the denture rubs the gums for an extended period, it might result in sores that can cause discomfort.

Implant-supported dentures, on the other hand, are retained and anchored by four or more dental implants. The denture appliance isn’t placed on the gums but instead on the implants.

The advantage of implant-supported dentures over conventional dentures is that they don’t cause sores on your gums. Additionally, because they are anchored on the jawbone, they do not slip.

Traditional dentures do not stimulate the bone, which means with time, the jawbone shrinks or weakens, thus affecting the shape of your mouth. Also, with conventional dentures, you will have to maintain regular visits to the dentist for adjusting of the denture. To prevent the sores and irritations that come with traditional dentures, you should get the dentures remade or relined after five to seven years. 

Implant Supported Dentures Candidature

As mentioned above, not everyone qualifies for the procedure, and this is a significant disadvantage. Just like with dental implants, implant-supported dentures have an essential requirement. The treatment is not advisable for children or teenagers because their jawbones are not mature enough. Young and older adults alike are eligible for the procedure but after a thorough health examination. If you have gum disease or any other oral problem, it must be addressed first before you can be allowed to receive an implant-supported denture. People with health conditions like cancer and diabetes require further treatment before the procedure is performed.

If you have lost multiple teeth and you want an affordable treatment that doesn’t involve the removal of dentures, then implant-supported dentures are your restoration solution.

Preparations and Procedure for Implant Supported Dentures

In your first visit to a dental office, your cosmetic dentist will evaluate your gums and jawbone to determine the appropriate treatment. If you have gum disease or tooth decay, the dentist will begin by addressing the problems first. If you are a smoker, the dentist will suggest that you quit smoking to reduce the chances of implant failure. Remember that if the dental implant fails, the whole procedure fails to achieve the desired outcome.

If you want to find out whether you have enough jawbone density to support the implant, x-rays are done. Some dental clinics use state of the art technology like Cone Beam CT Scanner, which produces 3-D images of the jaw. The photos also help dentists to identify where blood vessels, nerves, and facial muscles are situated so that they can determine how the procedure will be approached. The images guide the expert in deciding where implants will be placed to ensure they stabilize each other. A computer simulation is often done to see how the implant will attach to the jawbone.

The information acquired or obtained from the computer simulation is used to create a surgical guide. The guide or template is used in implant-supported denture procedures to minimize errors. It is essential to plan adequately for the treatment because an implant is fitted through a surgical procedure, and on the same day, a denture appliance is placed, which leaves no room for errors. Small errors during the treatment result in nonfunctional and less appealing teeth.

After the dentist has created a guide for the procedure, he or she should take an impression of the teeth or mouth and send it to a dental laboratory for the creation of an artificial one.

Once impressions have been taken, your dentist will begin the dental implant procedure by numbing your gums and giving you anesthesia to reduce the pain. A pilot hole is drilled on the section without teeth until it reaches the jawbone. The implant, which is a titanium screw, is then attached to the jaw. During drilling, the dentist must rely on the images of the CT scan to ensure that they don’t damage the face structure or nerves. A skilled cosmetic dentist is required to ensure the process goes as planned.

After drilling a pilot hole on the jawbone, it is then widened to allow the screw to fit precisely. Once the screw or the implant is in place and covered with the surrounding gum tissue, the osseointegration process begins. The process can take up to six months, and during this period, you have to survive on temporary restorations that hold the implant in place during healing. Once the dental implant has completely integrated with the jawbone, you can return to the dentist so that the permanent denture appliances can be attached to the implant.

Recovery and Care after Implant Supported Dentures

Your recovery after this treatment is dependent on a lot of factors. What is essential after an implant has been fitted is to observe healthy oral hygiene to ensure proper integration of the titanium screw with the jawbone. Also, one should ensure oral health by brushing and flossing teeth regularly. Doing this eliminates the possibility of bacteria causing infections in the areas surrounding the implants. Smoking also might affect the osseointegration process, which is why it’s advisable to keep off tobacco when planning for implant-supported dentures.

Where temporary dentures or restorations have been placed to protect the implant, you will have to care for them as you do with your natural teeth to ensure proper fusing of the bone and the implant.

After the initial surgical procedure, you might encounter problems like gum swelling, bruising, and bleeding in the place the implant has been attached. The prescription of pain medications can handle the pain and discomfort after the treatment. The medicines can also be found over the counter, so pain should not be of significant concern when planning to undertake an implant-supported denture procedure.

Caring for implant dentures should not be assumed because if irritation continues for an extended time without being addressed, you might end up developing severe health conditions like periodontal disease, fungal infections, and leukoplakia. 

Success Rates for Implant Supported Dentures

The success rate of the procedure is similar to conventional dentures. However, how successful the process depends on the following factors:

  1. Careful Planning

For implant-supported dentures to function normally, they must be strategically placed to prevent overloading and offer the best anchorage to the denture appliance.

  1. Experience and Training

Your dentist must have the proper training and experience in performing these procedures if the process is to be successful. If a novice conducts the treatment, the dental implant might end up failing. Someone without proper training on implant-supported dentures might not give you the desired outcome.

  1. Modern Technology

Proper planning of the procedure requires computer simulation. State of the art equipment like the cone beam CT scanner aid in the process to ensure that no errors are made that might interfere with the outcome of the process. Where there is no such equipment, there will be no extreme planning that occurs, and errors might occur, making the treatment fail.

Risk Factors of the Procedure

After attaching a dental implant to the jawbone, a temporary restoration is fitted. Most people fear that the temporary restoration might affect the implant-supported denture, but that is not true. If the implant fuses well with the jawbone, the temporary restoration will not affect the treatment. 

Cost of the Procedure

The cost of implant-supported dentures highly depends on your needs. A full arch of a hybrid denture costs between $27,000 to $35,000 based on the number of implants involved and the preparations necessary for the treatment. The price includes the temporary restoration that is fitted for the healing period, the final denture appliance, dental laboratory fees, and the surgical procedure.

Compared to traditional dentures, implant-supported dentures are affordable, and the fact that they are long-lasting makes them more cost-effective in the long run.

Choosing the Right Dentist for the Implant Supported Dentures

To spot the right dentist to undertake this procedure, you will need to do some research about this field of cosmetic dentistry. Additionally, you will need to consider some of the following factors:

  • The duration the dentist has been in the practice handling patients with a condition like yours.
  • The training and clinical experience the dentist has in performing implant-supported denture procedures.
  • Check if the dentist takes part in continuing education courses. The dental industry is evolving very fast nowadays, and dental procedures and technology keep changing every day. If you want a guaranteed outcome, you will need someone who takes part in continuing education courses often to ensure he or she is up to date with the current dental techniques and technology.
  • Also, the location of the dental office is essential. If you are making frequent visits to the dentist, you might want to work with a dentist located close to your home or place of work.

Find a Downey Dentist Near Me

If you are thinking of rebuilding your smile after tooth decay, physical injury, or gum disease, reach out to The Downey Dentist at 562-746-0350 for consultation.