Implant-Supported Dentures: What They Are and Why You Want Them

If you are in need of a complete set of dentures, you can choose to enforce them and have them look as natural as possible by incorporating dental implants. Typically, dental implants help to replace individual teeth that have fallen out or needed to be removed. However, with implant-supported dentures, you have a series of implants that are actually holding your dentures in place. There are many benefits to choosing full mouth dental implants with dentures as opposed to traditional dentures.

How many implants are used?

There are a few different ways to get implant-supported dentures, depending on your needs or preference. For a full mouth of dentures, you will usually have four implants: two for the top row and two for the bottom row. In some cases, you don't have all dentures, but have partials and bridges, so you may need up to eight implants to place all of these effectively.

Why should you get implant-supported dentures?

When you choose full mouth dental implants to support your dentures, you are getting a seamless look without the stress of your dentures falling out. One of the biggest drawbacks to having dentures is that they are simply placed over your gums, so they can move or fall out while talking or eating. This is not only frustrating, but embarrassing. When they are attached to dental implants, the dentures are locked in place so there is no risk of this happening. You also have the benefit of them lasting a long time, as well as being considerably more comfortable.

How is the implant procedure done?

For implant-supported dentures, the procedure starts with the x-ray process. Your dentist needs to be sure you have enough jawbone to support the implants. If not, you may need to get bone grafts done first. The dentist will also take impressions of your gums for the dentures and send those to the lab. Once you are ready, you will go under anesthesia and have metal posts with screws planted into your jawbone. It then takes about three months to go through osseointegration, which allows the bone to fuse to the posts.

After this is done, you return to your dentist, one like Arrowhead Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, to have the full set of dentures attached to the metal posts. Since the dentures are attached to dental implants, they work more like a fixed bridge. They are not removable but are as close to having natural teeth as possible.