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Implant Retained Dentures

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In the past, patients who lost most or all of their teeth only had one option available, conventional removable partial dentures or complete dentures. Dentures will enhance your smile and quality of life, but it will do so while providing some downsides along with the benefit. Conventional dentures require plastic or metal on the palate for better support, however, this reduces taste and can cause problems with speech. Also, they tend to make chewing harder and have little support, which allows them to sometimes move and not fit properly. Thankfully, most of this inconvenience can be addressed through the use of dental implants to retain partial and complete dentures.
No dentist is more qualified to provide this type of treatment at a higher quality than a prosthodontist, like Dr. Tyler. The only formal education and training available regarding the history, techniques, literature/research, and clinical experience for both implants and expert-level denture techniques are found in advanced dental specialty residency programs. The most highly trained dentists with respect to this type of treatment are prosthodontists.

If you’re interested in a full-arch, non-removable, fixed implant-supported prostheses, that option does exist. Click to learn more about fixed implant complete prostheses.

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What are Implant-Retained Complete Dentures?

Implant-retained complete dentures, like conventional complete dentures, allow replacement of all of your missing teeth and gums, but they are attached to dental implants to provide a more secure fit. These dentures are still removable. They are also called implant-supported complete dentures, implant overdentures, implant bar overdentures, “snap-in” dentures, etc.

What are Implant-Retained Partial Dentures?

Implant-retained partial dentures, like conventional removable partial dentures, allow replacement of your missing teeth and gums, but they are attached to dental implants to provide a more secure fit. This implant attachment can be in addition to, or allow elimination of, the clasps that attach the partial denture to your natural teeth. These dentures are still removable. They are also called implant-supported partial dentures, implant partial overdentures, “snap-in” partial dentures, etc.

What are the advantages of Implant-Retained Denture treatment?

Besides allowing replacement of all missing teeth in a dental arch, dental implants help prevent bone loss that occurs when teeth are lost. When no teeth are present the jawbone has no use, which leads to its deterioration. This shrinkage of the jawbone has esthetic consequences for your face (causing an older appearance), especially when missing all teeth. With the use of implant prostheses, the bone is put to use, preserving it and your facial support.

An implant-retained removable prosthesis can replace both teeth and gum tissue as conventional dentures do. However, it acts more like your natural teeth than conventional dentures. The prosthesis is held in place securely even when you chew and speak. In addition, like all full arch teeth replacement options, these prostheses protect your bite and jaw joint.

In comparison to conventional dentures, these secure and functional teeth are more likely to improve your confidence, self-esteem, and quality of life.

What is an Implant-Retained

Denture made of?

An Implant-retained denture consists of several parts.

01
Multiple (usually 2 to 4) dental implants, which are made of titanium, are placed in the jawbone to replace the roots of some of the missing teeth.
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The abutments (often Locator abutments) or a bar, often made of titanium, are attached to the implant with a screw. This part connects the implants to the removable prosthesis allowing it to “snap” into place. A type of attachment abutment, often a Locator abutment, are used to connect the implants to the denture.
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Implant-retained dentures are made of an esthetic plastic material (acrylic resin) forming both gums and denture teeth. The implant attachments (Locator attachments) have metal housings that are embedded into the acrylic resin. The Locator metal housings have a replaceable nylon that “snap” onto the abutments. Other types of implant attachments use replaceable rubber O-rings to hold onto the abutments. Additionally, implant dentures may include a metal framework to provide extra support and strength for both the implants and prosthesis. This metal framework can allow for an upper “palate-less” denture and implant-retained partial denture design.

How many implants do you need for

Implant-Retained Complete Dentures?

The number of implants for these removable full-arch prostheses, primarily depends on the arch or jawbone being treated. There is a substantial difference in bone density (hardness of the bone foundation for the implants) between the upper and lower jawbones. By nature, the lower jaw has more dense bone than the upper jaw. Therefore, less implants (usually 2 to 4) are needed for the lower jaw to allow sufficient support of a lower complete denture. On the contrary, more implants (usually 4 or more) are needed to support an upper “palate-less” complete denture. But, this is not the only factor the prosthodontist must take in to account when planning your prosthesis. Just a couple of major other factors include:
  • Oral Habits – Most commonly, whether or not the patient suffers from bruxism (clenching and/or grinding teeth) or Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD). This factor leads to consideration of more implants.
  • The Opposing Arch – Those with natural teeth have increased bite force. Therefore, if the opposing arch is natural teeth, usually more implants are required and vice-versa. For example, when the patient has a conventional upper complete denture without implants opposing a lower implant-retained complete denture, most cases only require two implants in the lower jaw to support the prosthesis.
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What is the success rate of Implant-Retained Dentures?

For a healthy individual with good oral hygiene, dental implants have reported success rates above 90-95 percent. Good oral hygiene is very important to the success of any implant-supported prosthesis. Although the implants and the restoration can’t decay, you’ll need to make sure the area around them is especially clean to prevent gum problems. The hygiene maintenance is important to avoid peri-implantitis, an inflammatory process that can damage the soft tissue and bone around implants.

The normal lifetime of dentures is 5 to 10 years, but this can vary widely depending on the patient. Over time, these prostheses may need relined or rebased. Relining is when new material is added to the underside of the denture base to re-fit to your gums. Rebasing is when a new base is made while still using the existing teeth. Repairs or replacement of the denture is expected after many years of service. Like natural teeth and conventional dentures, an implant prosthesis can wear and break.

On average, every 6 to 24 months, the Locator nylons or rubber O-ring part of the implant attachment apparatus used to retain the dentures wear out. When this happens, the dentures don’t “snap” in or hold as tight as they used to (the retentive force is decreased). Usually, with replacement of only the Locator nylons or O-rings they fit nice and snug again. However, usually after many years of service (average 5 to 15 years), the abutments may need to be replaced due to wear.

How do I clean my

Implant-Retained Dentures?

It is important to keep in mind that any removable denture (including implant-retained) are not meant to be worn 24 hours a day. It is recommended to take them out at night. The tissues that are covered with denture material all the time can become irritated or even infected (candidiasis). Like natural teeth, you must take good care of dentures. Make sure to clean them on a daily basis to avoid accumulation of food particles or plaque. When brushing them avoid the use of toothpaste because most toothpastes contain abrasive particles. Liquid hand soap is a good alternative. Keep them in water or a denture soaking solution when not wearing them so they do not dry out. Rinse them very well after using any denture cleanser because it may contain chemicals that should not go in the mouth.

The implants require regular at-home and professional hygiene maintenance just as natural teeth do. Brushing the implants and abutments twice a day is very important. In addition, visits to our Registered Dental Hygienist every 3 to 6 months for dental implant maintenance is recommended.

Implant-retained dentures are a great way to provide more conformity, better stability, and better speech. Talk to our prosthodontist and find out if they are an option for you.
For any further questions about implant-retained dentures please do not hesitate to ask us.

Replacing All Your Teeth: Know Your Options

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To provide EXCELLENT DENTAL CARE enabling each patient to maintain their teeth for a lifetime in maximal health, aesthetics, and function. In harmony with patient’s expectations, focusing on individual dental concerns, dedicated to the HIGHEST STANDARDS of care in the restoration and replacement of teeth.