How Long Do Implant-Retained Dentures Last?
Implant-retained dentures are commonly known as clip-on dentures. If your conventional, removable dentures are ill-fitting and uncomfortable, you may find that they affect your ability to eat or make you gag, or simply that they make you feel insecure about their fit and appearance. Implant-retained dentures may be a perfect solution for you. With just a few dental implants, implant-retained dentures can create a whole world of difference. Like conventional dentures, implant-retained dentures can be removed for cleaning; simply unsnap them and then resnap them when you’re done cleaning them. Implant-retained dentures allow the wearer to eat most foods, though certain foods aren’t advised; for example, it may not be a great idea to bite down directly on something hard, like an apple. It’s generally recommended to chew with the back teeth when wearing implant-retained dentures, and there may be a little movement of the teeth when chewing, but the dentures themselves are secure and a little movement is perfectly normal. In any case, implant-retained dentures are far more stable than conventional, removable dentures, and they allow wearers to enjoy a far greater range of foods.
It takes a few months to complete the installation of implant-retained dentures. Once the implants are placed into the jaw, the bones of the jaw need time to heal. As they heal, the bones of the jaw will begin to fuse together with the implants, strengthening the support that the implants will provide. While the implants are healing, your dentist can give you a temporary denture, or you may continue to wear your removable denture. Once the jaws have fully healed and the implants have fused into the bone, in a process called osseointegration, you will receive your clip-on dentures and learn how to place, remove, and clean them. Osseointegration usually takes anywhere from 3 to 7 months, depending primarily on the health of the jawbone and the location of the implants.
Dental implants can be expected to last at least 15 years, if not more. While implants can fail for a few reasons, their failure is rare. Possible factors that can contribute to the failure of implants include gum disease, poor oral hygiene after placement, certain medications, some preexisting medical conditions, smoking, and teeth grinding. Implants can also fail if they are not given adequate time to heal and integrate with the bone. The dentures, crafted separately from the implants, can be expected to last about 7 years before they begin showing wear or staining. It is important to clean the dentures properly and to maintain the cleanliness and health of the oral cavity, too. It is recommended to see the dental hygienist periodically after you receive implant-retained dentures, to make sure the implants are clean and free of any disease or infection. The small rings that hold the dentures onto the implants will also need to be replaced, usually every year or two, though some patients who prefer very tight-fitting dentures have these rings replaced more frequently. There is a small fee for replacing these rings, and office visits and cleanings incur some cast as well.