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What are Dentures?

Dentures are an attractive way to restore your smile when you have experienced the loss of multiple teeth. These removable appliances come in different styles today, but one of the most popular is implant supported dentures that offer more stability particularly in the lower jaw. Implant supported dentures offer the best of both worlds to the right patients, giving them the ability to take out the appliance for cleaning while establishing a sturdy attachment to the jaw that leads to confidence when eating or speaking. At Radiance Smiles Center, Dr. Haynes offers his Durango-area patients this option in replacing missing teeth and enhancing their appearance.

Dentures are a removable appliance that consists of a bridge containing prosthetic teeth. They are designed to fit over your gums and are usually held in place with adhesive and the suction effect as they are placed snugly over the gum line. The upper dentures tend to be more secure than lower dentures, due to the additional surface area on the roof of the mouth. Dentures come in both full and partial styles, depending on the number of teeth you need to replace.

What are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are small titanium posts that are surgically placed into the jawbone. Over time, the bone integrates with the post, anchoring it to the jaw even more securely. Known as osseointegration, this process provides a firm foundation for both fixed and removable appliances that are used to replace missing and severely damaged teeth. In addition to securely anchoring the dentures, implants play a role in preserving bone in the jaw to help you maintain a healthy, attractive facial contour.

What are Implant Supported Dentures?

As the name suggests, implant supported dentures use posts or implants that are affixed to the jawbone to create a sound basis for the dentures to attach to the gum line. Like other types of dentures, these appliances are customized to fit snugly over the gums for a natural look and function. However, the addition of the implants, small posts that attach both to the bone and the appliance, provide additional security, ensuring the dentures will not slip out of place. It also eliminates the need for messy adhesives and pastes that are used to hold traditional dentures in place.

Options in Implant Supported Dentures

There are two basic options available in implant supported dentures:

Bar-Retained Dentures

This type of denture uses at least three implants that hold a metal bar above the gum line. The denture fastens to the bar using clips or another type of attachment. This denture is preferred over the traditional variety by many patients because it leads to greater comfort and security throughout a day of wear.

Ball-Retained Dentures

This denture attaches directly to the implants using a ball and socket design. The implants contain a small ball, while the denture has the socket for the ball to fit into snugly. Patients like this design because the added security feels more natural and allows them to eat all types of food with confidence.

Are Implant Supported Dentures Right for You?

Implant supported dentures may be a more cost-effective way to restore a full mouth of teeth than some of the fixed options also available today. If the denture becomes damaged, it is also easier to fix because the appliance can be removed and sent to the lab for repair. Dental implants have a high success rate and rarely fail. If they do, the repair is usually relatively simple and cost-effective.

Despite their benefits, removable appliances are not the best choice for every patient. Dr. Haynes will assess your circumstances to determine whether implant supported dentures will fit with your lifestyle and your concerns. In some cases, he may recommend a fixed appliance like a crown, bridge or fixed denture to provide you with satisfactory results.

About the Process

Implant supported dentures usually take more than one appointment to complete. At your first appointment, Dr. Haynes will place the implants into your jawbone. This procedure is performed using local anesthetic and involves minimal discomfort and recovery time afterward. Once the implants are in place, they are left for about three to six months to allow the posts to integrate with the bone.

Patients will usually have a temporary denture in between appointments to maintain the integrity of the space while osseointegration takes place. When the implants are ready, Dr. Haynes will see you for your second appointment so that the fasteners can be added to the implants and the permanent denture can be placed.

Caring for Your Implant Supported Dentures

Proper care of your new dentures will ensure they look and feel good for a longer time. Remove your dentures every night and clean them thoroughly as well as the attachments. Keep your appointments with Dr. Haynes for regular check-ups and cleanings and notify our office if you begin to have any problems with your dentures. This appliance should last for many years, while implants are permanent in nearly all cases.

If you are looking for a cost-effective way to restore your full set of teeth and your beautiful smile, implant supported dentures might be the right choice for you. To learn more about this restorative option, contact Radiance Smiles Center today at 970-247-9549.