What are implant supported dentures?
Dentures and dental bridges are dental prosthetics that replace missing teeth. You’re probably familiar with traditional removable dentures, which replace full rows of natural teeth and are held in the mouth with an acrylic base and denture adhesive.While affordable, conventional dentures are notorious for slipping and rubbing, interfering with eating and speaking and often causing painful sores. Dental bridges replace one tooth or a few teeth, usually relying on the adjacent healthy teeth for support. These adjacent teeth are prepared by filing them into shape so they can accommodate artificial teeth called crowns.These crowns are attached to the replacement tooth or teeth, in a row called a bridge, with all the porcelain tinted to match the color of the surrounding teeth, supporting the bridge.While sturdy, it’s necessary to remove healthy dental tissue to prepare them for crowns, which isn’t optimal.
Dental implants are very small titanium posts that are surgically implanted into the jawbone and used to support artificial teeth. Dental implants are a long-term solution that looks and feels completely natural, holding the artificial tooth or teeth sturdily in place. In addition to being highly durable, dental implants help keep the jawbone from shrinking, which happens when the teeth are extracted or fall out: without the tooth root there to stimulate it, the bone is reabsorbed into the body and the jaw appears sunken and misshapen.While helping to maintain the appearance of the face, dental implants support custom-crafted dental prosthetics that look as good as, if not better than, lustrous natural teeth.The healing process for dental implants is a fundamental part of their success, and the overall treatment time for dental implants is usually several months. Because dental implants require sufficient healthy bone to support them, additional procedures, like bone grafts, might be necessary to prepare the jaw for implants.
Traditionally, dental implants have been used in a one-to-one ratio, with one dental implant post supporting a single dental crown. This remains the ideal aesthetic option when the missing teeth are in the front of the mouth, but not a great solution, mechanically or financially, in a lot of other cases.Fortunately, dental implants can also be used to support dentures and bridges, providing all the benefits of dental implants with a more affordable and accessible option for people who are missing multiple teeth in a row.In some cases, thanks to technical and material innovation, it might even be possible to use as few as four or six dental implants to support an entire row of teeth. That’s a far cry from the messy, sticky adhesive and sore gums that come with traditional dentures, especially while providing stimulation to the jaw and helping keep it strong and healthy.It’s important to maintain excellent oral hygiene habits to ensure the longevity of dental implants, and you’ll brush your implant supported denture, along with your gums and other oral tissues, just like you would brush your teeth. With the proper care, they can give you a lifetime of comfort, convenience, and confidence.