What Are Implant Supported Dentures?
Implant supported dentures are the combination or collaboration of two teeth replacement solutions. With the continued advancement of technology of bringing these two procedures together it gives you, the patient, the best of both solutions. Let’s look at both individually and then bring them together to identify the benefits of considering implant supported dentures for your replacement needs.
Removable Dentures, both Partial and Complete
The operative word for dentures is removable. They are designed to be taken out of your mouth every evening for hygiene objectives. You not only clean and soak your dentures you also brush your arches and tongue to keep them healthy as well. If for any of a number of reasons you have lost all your teeth, in one arch or both, dentures are a full set of replacement teeth. A partial set of dentures is using some remaining natural teeth and complimenting them with dentures.
The Denture Procedure
An impression is first made of your arches. Then an acrylic tray is fabricated in a dental lab. The material will match the natural color of your gums. Artificial teeth are then placed into this acrylic tray. The teeth are made of either porcelain or ceramic and look like natural crowns. The tray is placed on your arch and if the fit is acceptable the dentures are held in place with a mild adhesive.
Partial dentures are most often trays that replace your molars since the remaining natural teeth are the front teeth. A metal framework is introduced into the tray to attach via clasps to the natural teeth. Still removable this is a good solution to replace missing teeth but keeping as many healthy natural teeth as possible.
The Dental Implant Process
The gold standard for replacement teeth, the implant is the closest thing to a natural tooth. The procedure is also expensive. The first step, after a local anesthetic is administered, is to open a small incision and to drill a small hole in the jawbone. Inserted into this hole will be a titanium post. The post is then allowed to fuse to the bone which usually takes several months. An extension, or an abutment, is then put on the post reaching the gumline. At this time a ceramic or porcelain artificial crown is affixed to the post. This solution is permanent, not removable, and the strongest replacement available. This solution is also the costliest.
Combining the Two into the Implant Supported Denture
At this point you can take four or six implant titanium posts, place them and allow them to fuse to the bone, and then design a tray with artificial teeth that will sit on those posts. Small cups, or receivers, are designed so the tray snaps on to the posts. Just like that you have combined both technologies for a state-of-the-art replacement.
The Benefits of Implant Supported Dentures
The first benefit is that you have an affordable solution for replacement teeth. The strength is close to natural in chewing, speaking and the security of staying in place. The posts also are very beneficial for the prolonged health of the jaw.
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