What Are Implant Supported Dentures?

An implant-supported denture is a type of overdenture attached to and supported by implants. This makes them much more stable than regular dentures because they don’t rest on the gums. Implant-supported dentures are often recommended for patients who no longer have any teeth, but have enough bone in their jaws to support the implants.

While implant-supported dentures can be made for both the upper and lower jaws, they’re usually only made for the latter. This is because the lower jaws are where regular dentures tend to be less stable.

Different Types of Implant-Supported Dentures

The two different types of implant-supported dentures are bar-retained and ball-retained. They’re both made of an acrylic base to look like gums, to which natural-looking teeth made out of either acrylic or porcelain are attached to.

  • Bar-Retained Dentures – Two to five implants are placed in your jawbone. Then, a thin metal bar that’s curved the same way as your jaw is attached to the said implants. Fitted are clips and other types of attachments to either the denture or the bar, sometimes to both. The attachments then ensures the proper and secure fit of the denture over the bar.
  • Ball-Retained Dentures – Also known as stud-attachment dentures, these dentures are composed of metal attachments in the jawbone that’s fitted onto another attachment on the denture. The attachments are ball-shaped and are fitted onto the sockets found on the denture.

The Process

Implants are usually placed in the jawbone at the front of your mouth. This is because there’s usually more bone in the front jaws than in the back, even if teeth have already been missing for a long time. There’s also not as many nerves and other structures that could be damaged in the front jaw.

The whole process can take as short as five months, but can also last for more than a year. This is because of the many factors that could affect the whole process, such as surgery, placement of the denture, bone grafting and other preliminary procedures.

There’s usually two surgeries involved in the process. The first one is for the placement of the implants in the jawbone. The second, which comes three to six months after the first, then exposes the tops of the implants.

In rare cases, a one-stage procedure is applicable. In this procedure, the dentist places both the implants and supporting bar in one step, significantly cutting down on the treatment time. Although the one-stage procedure sounds quite risky, the success rate is surprisingly quite high.

What to Expect from Implant-Supported Dentures

Fortunately, implant-supported dentures are much more stable than regular dentures, making them well worth the risk. They’re also more comfortable to wear and less likely to interfere with how you speak or eat. You also don’t have to make as many adjustments to what you can or cannot eat as well. However, hard or sticky foods are still prohibited to prevent damage to the denture.

If you feel that you may benefit from implant supported dentures,  contact Dr. Ted Haines, DDS in Snohomish, WA at 360-568-8577 or visit www.tedhainesdds.com for additional information.

Dr. Ted Haines proudly accepts patients from Monroe, Lake Stevens, Everett, Mill Creek, Woodville, and surrounding areas.