Partial dentures should fit comfortably, but there may be times when they need a slight adjustment. This can occur for a variety of reasons, such as the shifting of natural teeth or periodontal changes. The dentist can check on the fit and comfort of the partial dentures with every check-up visit and make adjustments when…
How Many Dental Implants Are Needed for Implant-Supported Dentures?
Implant-supported dentures are a type of overdenture that is supported by and attached to dental implants. These implants are titanium screws that are surgically inserted into a healthy jawbone, becoming a permanent fixture of the mouth and acting as new tooth roots where tooth loss has occurred. These popular appliances are usually chosen when a patient has no teeth left in the jaw but has enough bone density to support several implants.
Regular dentures are attached by a dental adhesive and only rely on support from the mouth muscles to stay in place. Implant-supported dentures, however, gain strength from the actual implants. This helps to keep the bone structure strong and for the patient to use their implant dentures much like natural teeth.
It is important to note that implant-supported dentures are usually used for the lower jaw, as traditional implants do not have much stability here. They work as a full smile replacement as well, restoring both the top and bottom arches.
The dental implant procedure
Implants are generally placed at the front of the mouth, as this is where the jaw is most dense. Once teeth have been lost, the bone begins to deteriorate, and this is especially true in the back of the jaw. The front of the jaw is also free from interfering structures such as nerves.
In the initial consultation appointment, the dentist will first determine if there is enough bone structure to support the dental implants. If a patient is in good overall health and has an otherwise healthy oral cavity, they are usually a good candidate for implant-supported dentures.
After the implants are placed, there is a healing period that typically lasts about five to seven months depending on each patient.
How many implants will I need?
Although the number of implants can vary by patient, at least two implants per set of teeth are required to hold an implant-supported denture. Up to five implants may need to be surgically placed depending on the amount of bone available and the type of denture.
Bar-retained dentures are secured by snapping the acrylic denture onto a thin metal bar that runs along the palate. Ball-retained dentures are secured by a peg mechanism on each implant that snaps onto its corresponding space in the top of the denture. Bar-retained dentures will need fewer implants than ball-retained dentures.
Two surgeries are usually needed for the implants to be successful. In the first, the dentist places the implants into the jawbone under the gum line. The second surgery is when the dentist exposes the tops of the implants to allow for placement of the dentures.
Caring for an implant-supported denture
Removal of the dentures at night for cleaning is a crucial part of the care regimen required to keep your implant-supported dentures in optimal shape.
Keep in mind that these appliances will need to be replaced from time to time, as the snapping mechanism expands due to use and due to daily wear and tear. Carefully clean around the attachments, as well.
Ready to get started?
If you are currently in need of dentures and are considering implant-supported dentures, we invite you to contact our office today to schedule a consultation to determine which type of dentures will work best for you.
Request an appointment here: https://smilesonmichigan.com or call Smiles On Michigan at (312) 509-9492 for an appointment in our Chicago office.
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