Implant Retained Dentures
Implant-Retained or Implant-Supported Dentures
If you wear dentures and your quality of life is suffering, Dr. Alan Singleton of Singleton Dental Implants, right here in the Okanagan, recommends implants or implant-retained or implant-supported dentures.
What is an implant and how does it work?
A traditional denture simply lies or rests on the gums, with nothing to prevent it from moving or popping out. An implant-supported or implant-retained denture is supported by and attached to the implants.
At Singleton Dental Implants, we recommend an implant-supported denture if all the teeth are missing—if there is still enough bone in the jaw to support implants. Special attachments on the implant-retained denture snap onto attachments on the implants themselves, or an implant-supported denture can be fixed right onto the implants.
Implant-supported dentures are typically made for the lower jaw because regular dentures tend to be less stable there. A regular denture made to fit an upper jaw is usually quite stable on its own and doesn't require the extra support offered by implants. However, patients can receive an implant-supported denture in either the upper or lower jaw.
What’s the difference between an implant and an implant-supported denture or implant retained denture?
The difference between a dental implant or implants and an implant-supported denture is the denture is removable, while an implant is not. An implant-supported denture needs daily cleaning of the denture and gum. You should not sleep with the implant-supported dentures at night.
An implant-supported denture is a type of overdenture supported by and attached to implants. A regular denture rests on the gums, and is not supported by implants.
An implant-supported denture is recommended when a patient is left with no teeth in the jaw, but there is enough bone in the jaw to support implants. The implant-supported denture has special attachments, which snap onto attachments on the implants.
An implant-supported denture should be removed daily to clean the denture and gum area and should be removed at night. Some patients prefer to have fixed (permanent) crown and bridgework in their mouths that can't be removed. Dr. Singleton will take into consideration your particular needs and preferences when suggesting fixed or removable options.
What are the options?
There are two types of implant-supported dentures: bar-retained and ball-retained. They are both made of an acrylic base that will look like gums. Porcelain or acrylic teeth that look like natural teeth are attached to the base.
Porcelain or acrylic teeth that look like natural teeth are attached to the base of the denture. There are different ways to attach the dentures and Dr. Singleton will discuss with you the type best suited for your needs. You will need two to five implants placed in your jawbone, with a thin metal bar that follows the curve of your jaw. Unlike a traditional denture, clips or other types of attachments are fitted to the bar, the denture or both. The denture then fits over the bar and is securely held in place by the attachments.
Bar-retained dentures — A thin metal bar is attached to two to five implants that have been placed in your jawbone. Clips or other types of attachments are then fitted to the bar, the denture or both. The bar-retained denture fits over the bar and is then securely clipped into place with the attachments.
Ball-retained dentures (stud-attachment dentures) — Each implant in the jawbone holds a metal attachment that fits into another attachment on the denture. Typically, these attachments are ball-shaped or "male" attachments, or they fit into sockets or "female" attachments on the denture. In some situations, the denture holds the male attachments and the implants hold the female ones.
For more information on implants, go to IMPLANT FAQs.
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