As people age, they lose their teeth. Implant-supported dentures, also known as snap-on dentures or overdentures, are a safe and effective choice for people who want replacement teeth that can restore the functionality and esthetics of their mouth. Implant-supported dentures are a type of dentures that are not attached to your gums but are supported by dental implants that jut out from the gums. These dentures are removable like regular dentures but they offer more stability, security, and comfort than them.
Types of Implant-Supported Dentures
There are two main types of implant-supported dentures:
Bar-retained dentures involve a thin metal bar that is attached to two to five implants in the jawbone. The overdenture is fixed to this metal bar with the help of clips or other attachments.
Ball-retained dentures, also known as stud-attachment dentures, consist of sockets that fit into the ball-shaped plugs on the implants.
The Implant-Supported Dentures Process
The condition of your jawbone and the type of implants will determine how the surgery will be performed on you. Implant surgery typically is completed over several months. Generally, the surgery involves two steps. In the first part, we will place the dentures in your gums and in the second phase, we will expose the top of the implants and clip on your overdentures.
At Amir Sanjabi, DDS, Amir Sanjabi, DDS and we will first review your medical history and take a dental exam. We will also take x-rays an impression of your teeth and gums so that the overdentures can be fabricated and order a CT scan to find out your nerve and sinus placement before we start the surgery.
We will also see whether your jaw bone is dense enough to support the implants by itself or if you need a bone graft.
In addition, we will also create temporary dentures for you so that we can determine the best position for your teeth in your final overdentures.
During the surgical process, we will first numb the area with anesthesia. We may also recommend some form of sedation to some people.
We will make an incision in your gum and make a small hole in the jaw bone where the implant can sit securely. Once the implant is placed inside, the surgical area will then be sutured close.
While you are waiting for the jaw to heal, make sure you do not place pressure on the implants or jolt them as it can result in failure of the procedure. The waiting period can vary anywhere from three months to six months.
After the gums and jawbone have healed, we will use an x-ray to see whether the implant has fused properly to the bone or not. The patient is then anesthetized in the area again and a small incision is made to expose the top of the implants. A healing cap is then placed on each implant so that the gums can heal correctly around it.
This collar will be placed for about 14 days and will then be replaced by abutments, the connectors between the implants and the overdentures. The metal bar or balls are placed on the abutment and we will check if your denture framework fits them correctly.
The denture teeth are placed on the framework in was before the entire prosthetic device is made and secured onto the bar or ball attachments.
Implant-Supported Dentures After-Care
Implant-supported dentures are much more stable than regular dentures; however, they may still move slightly while you are chewing. Additionally, if you bite down too hard on the, their screws may loosen, an artificial tooth may fall out or the dentures may break.
That’s why it is important to take proper care of your dentures:
Implant-supported dentures have many benefits over regular dentures. They are much more stable and comfortable and do not need to be replaced every few years like regular dentures. If you think implant-supported dentures may be right for you, call (562) 869-0928 to speak to us.