Implant-supported dentures could be the perfect solution for restoring your smile, if you’re missing an entire row (or two) of teeth.
Traditional dentures have long been the go-to choice for a full set of replacement teeth. And until recently, they were the only available option. But now when it comes to dentures, many oral surgeons and dental health care professionals prefer the implant-supported approach.
What Are Implant-Supported Dentures?
Dental implant surgery is often thought of as a procedure for replacing just one missing tooth. And in fact, many patients who get implants only have a single gap in their smiles.
But dental implants can also support partial and complete dentures.
The implant surgery procedure for dentures is similar to that for a single tooth replacement. Titanium, screw-like rods are inserted into the jawbone. Once the rods have fused with the bone — a process called osseointegration — an abutment, or connector, is added to hold the custom-made denture framework.
Only four titanium rods are needed to support the entire dental arch. For that reason, denture implants are sometimes referred to as all-on-four implants.
What Are the Benefits of Implant-Supported Dentures?
Traditional dentures rely on adhesive for stability. But adhesive isn’t all that effective —denture-wearers often complain about their replacement teeth shifting, slipping and coming loose when they speak or eat. For many, the movement creates sore and tender spots on the gums.
With denture implants, those issues disappear. In fact, because the implants are firmly anchored in the jawbone, the dentures fit, feel and function like natural teeth. And because of their stability, dentures anchored with implants allow patients to eat all their favorite foods — with traditional dentures, many foods are off the table.
Denture implants also offer another impressive benefit — they help prevent bone degeneration in the jaw. The titanium rods act as replacement tooth roots, providing the necessary stimulation for bone cell growth.
Are You a Candidate for Implant-Supported Dentures?
Generally speaking, if you’re healthy enough for a routine dental procedure such as a filling or tooth extraction, you may be a candidate for denture implant surgery. But keep in mind that some chronic medical conditions and other factors like tobacco use can affect the healing process. You’ll need to consult with an oral surgeon to find out if denture implants are right for you.
Also, if X-rays show significant jawbone degeneration — a common issue for people with multiple missing teeth — you’ll probably need a bone graft prior to having denture implant surgery.
If you’re ready to learn more, the professional team at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah specializes in tooth replacement and can offer expert advice on your smile restoration options. Contact one of our three convenient Salt Lake City offices for a consultation to discuss implant-supported dentures today.