Implant Supported Denture: What is it and how does it work?

Implant Supported Denture is a type of overdenture which supports and attaches to the implants. As far as conventional denture is concerned it rests on gums and has never been supported by dental implants.

Why is Implant Supported Denture used?

Implant Supported Denture is used only when the patient does not have any teeth in the jaw. However to support the implant he/she has enough bone. It has special attachment which gets attached to the implants.

These dental appliance are made for the lower jaw. The reason is that the conventional dentures are not much stable in that portion. It is not necessary that you would need Implant Supported Denture on lower jaw. It can be used either on upper or lower. Generally it has been seen that the conventional denture is pretty much stable hence does not need any additional support.

You need to make sure that the Implant Supported Denture is removed everytime when you are cleaning your gums. Make sure not to sleep with the dentures just like you do not sleep with regular dentures. Some people prefer to have fixed (permanent) crown and bridgework in their mouths that can’t be removed. Your dentist will consider your particular needs and preferences when suggesting fixed or removable options.

How does Implant Supported Denture work?

Implant Supported Denture are of two types – bar-retained and ball-retained. The dentures will be made of acrylic base. This will look exactly like gums. At the base of your gum the dentist will attach Porcelain or acrylic teeth. These look like natural teeth. To support the dentures they need at least two types of support.

  • Bar Retained Dentures: They are thin metal bars and takes the shape of the jaw. They are attached to two to five implants which are placed in the jawbone. The denture fits on the bar and with the help of attachments it is clipped securely at the right place.
  • Ball Retained Dentures: This is also called as stud attachment dentures.  In this every implant present in the jawbone is being held with a metal attachment. These attachments fits into another attachment in the denture. So this works like a male-female attachment. The male attachment is ball shaped and female attachment is the socket on the denture.

The procedure

Because of more bone on the front of the teeth the implants are placed in the jawbone at the front portion of your mouth. This is done irrespective of the fact whether you have been missing teeth for sometime or not. Tooth loss can lead to bone loss as well. The advantage of the front jaw is that it doesn’t have much nerves or any other structures. Such alignment does not interfere with the placement of the implant.

Time frame for Implant Supported Denture

It depends on a lot of factors. However the shortest time frame is five months if it’s done in the lower jaw and seven months if it is done in the upper jaw. The entire time frame for treatment includes the surgeries and placement of the denture. In situations when you need a bone grafting or any other process then the time frame goes up to one year.

Ideally you will have to undergo two surgeries. The first surgery will put the implant in the jawbone under your gums. The second surgery will expose the top of the implant. The second surgery will be done three to six months after the first.

Conclusion and Expectation from you

This is a successful surgical procedure. Post the surgery it is expected that you remove the denture at night before sleeping and also for cleaning. Make sure you carefully clean around the attachments. Last but not the least maintain high standards of dental hygiene as well.

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