Over time, the loss of bone and changes in gum tissue can cause dentures to become loose and ill-fitting. Unstable dentures frequently interfere with your ability to speak and eat without embarrassment, and they can trap food, causing damage to the underlying bone. If you're struggling with a denture that doesn't fit properly and want an alternative to messy adhesives, implant-supported dentures may be a good option for you.
Implant-Supported Lower Dentures
An implant-supported denture, also called an overdenture, involves surgically placing 2 metal screws -- implants -- into the jaw. In 2 to 6 months, the implants will have healed and fused to your jawbone. Your dentist will then make a denture designed to snap firmly over the implants. Because an overdenture is securely held in place, you'll be able to chew and speak normally. In addition, an implant-supported denture will help retain the bone in your jaw.
All dentures need to be taken out daily for cleaning. With an overdenture, you need to clean around the implant fixtures every day to keep the bone and gum tissue healthy and ensure the implant's longevity. Regular dental appointments enable your dentist to monitor the tissue around your implants. While implant-supported dentures have many advantages over conventional dentures, they cost considerably more, and smoking can interfere with healing and the long-term health of an implant. Not everyone is a good candidate for dental implants, so talk to your dentist about your options. Besides an overdenture, there is little else that can be offered except making adjustments to your current denture so it will fit better or obtaining a new denture.
- Lanap and Implant Center of Pennsylvania: Implant-Supported Dentures
- Journal of Advanced Prosthodontics: Implant and Root Supported Overdentures - A Literature Review and Some Data on Bone Loss in Edentulous Jaws
- American Academy of Periodontology: Full Mouth Dental Implants
- Journal of Clinical Periodontology: Smoking Interferes With the Prognosis of Dental Implant Treatment: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
- American Dental Association: Patient Education Center: Dental Implants