Dentures are worn by people who have lost all of their teeth, as a replacement to their original teeth. Dentures have their cons. Obviously, the most frightening of them involves dentures falling off! Dentures also feel a little heavy in the mouth, covering the roof of the mouth almost completely. It is also tough to maintain them. All of these gaps are where implant-supported dentures step in.
What are implant-supported dentures?
In the simplest words, implant-supported dentures are dentures that are supported by implants. Implants are implanted into the jawbone, that supports the denture that is placed above them, firmly. The major benefit of implant-supported dentures is the fact that they give the dentures much more strength.
They will help you have those foods that you had to give up on after you lost your tooth, and dentures were not strong enough to bite on them! Maintenance of implant-supported dentures is also easy. It is surely easier than maintaining your traditional dentures, with no dental adhesives required to keep the dentures in their place.
It looks more natural in your mouth and saves you from the regular hassles of wearing and maintaining a denture. To topple that, regular implants do not cover the roof of your mouth entirely.
Can I get one?
If you have lost all your teeth, but just have enough bone in your jaws to support an implant, an implant-supported denture is perfect for you! Although they are made especially for the lower jaw, you can get implant-supported dentures for either of your jaws!
How do they work?
Dentures are simply attached to the implants on the jawbone. Either the implants or the jawbones have clips and attachments on them, which snap onto each other, to hold the denture firmly in position. This is the basic way in which they work in both the types of implant-supported dentures.
Ball-retained dentures are those in which there are ball-shaped attachments on the implants, that fit perfectly on the sockets of the denture. As per an article published by Colgate, “In most cases, the attachments on the implants are ball-shaped (“male” attachments), and they fit into sockets (“female” attachments) on the denture. In some cases, the denture holds the male attachments and the implants hold the female ones.”
On the other hand, a bar-retained denture includes a thin, curved metal bar that is placed on top of the implants. Either this bar or the denture has clips, that let the denture to be perfectly fitted to the bar. The bar merely acts as a connecting medium between the implant and the denture.
Do they permanently stay there?
No! A common misconception is that implant-supported dentures work just like crown implants. Implant-supported dentures are removable. You have to remove them to brush your dentures and to keep the gums clean. You also have to remove them before bedtime, just like you would with your regular dentures. To be precise, apart from the added benefits of implant-supported dentures, you have to care for them just as you would for your regular dentures.