Implant Supported Dentures - Salinas, CA
Dentures that look and feel just like natural teeth!
Dentures are replacements for missing teeth that can be taken out and put back into your mouth. While dentures take some getting used to, and will never feel exactly the same as one’s natural teeth, today’s dentures are natural looking and more comfortable than ever.
There are two main types of dentures: full and partial. Your dentist will help you choose the type of denture that’s best for you based on whether some or all of your teeth are going to be replaced and the cost involved.
What are Implant Supported Dentures?
Unlike a regular denture, which rests on your gums, Implant Supported Dentures are anchored in your mouth by dental implants. Most often, this form of permanent denture is placed in the lower jaw because dentures tend to be less stable in the lower jaw. However, Implant Supported Dentures can be placed in in the upper jaw as well. In this type of permanent denture, your Implant Supported Denture snaps into place on the implants surgically placed in your jaw. This prevents the denture from slipping or coming loose in the mouth. It also removes the need for denture paste or adhesives. The Implant Supported Denture can be removed at night for cleaning or, if you have a permanent denture placed, your dentures will act as permanent teeth.
Basics of Implant Supported Dentures
There are two types of Implant Supported Dentures, bar-retained dentures and ball-retained dentures. Both types of permanent dentures require two or more dental implants to be placed and both will provide you with a beautiful, natural smile.
In the Bar-Retained type of denture, three or more implants are surgically placed in the gums. Attached to these implants is a metal bar that runs along the gum line. The denture then rests on the metal bar and is attached using clips or other types of attachments. This type of Implant Supported Denture holds the permanent denture in place without the steel studs used in Ball-Retained Dentures.
Many patients prefer tooth implant procedure over a traditional denture because it alleviates much of the discomfort and rubbing of traditional dentures. The denture is held in place far more securely and is less likely to come loose.
Ball-Retained Dentures, also called Stud-Attachment Dentures, use a ball-and-socked design to attach the dentures to the implants surgically placed in the gums. Traditionally, the denture is fitted with sockets and the implants have a ball on top of them. The denture and implants snap together where the ball and sockets meet.
This form of permanent denture is considered exceptionally secure and will allow for an open upper palate denture. Ball-Retained Dentures are less likely to slip or move in the mouth, and will allow denture wearers to eat more foods they love and speak more clearly!
The Dental Implant Process
Before any work is done, you will have an initial exam to evaluate the best type of implant-supported dentures for you. The doctor will take x-rays, create impressions, and take your medical and dental history. If you are not already wearing a full denture, a temporary permanent denture will be made for you to wear until the permanent denture is placed.
The initial surgery will place the implants in the jaw bone. Three or six months will elapse before your next surgery. This is to ensure that your jaw bone and implant integrate and fuse. The second surgery will expose the tops of the implant and a healing cap (or collar) is placed on the head of each exposed implant. Less healing time is needed after the second surgery, so your next appointment will be within two weeks. In the third appointment, the healing caps will be replaced with regular abutments – the part of the implant the crown, metal bar, or ball-socket are attached to. Your last appointment will be to try on your new permanent dentures to ensure that you have a comfortable fit.
Caring for your Implant-Supported Denture
It is always important to remove your denture at night and to clean it thoroughly. You should also clean the attachments thoroughly to prevent gum disease or decay. Follow your dentist’s instructions carefully to keep your new smile as beautiful as possible!