Implant supported dentures, also known as all-on-4 implants or smile in a day implants, are similar to traditional dentures, however they are fixed into the mouth and provide more support. Unlike traditional dentures, which sit atop the gums with little to no support, implant supported dentures are stabilized with the use of dental implants. Dental implants are titanium screws that act as artificial tooth roots implanted into the jawbone. Because implant supported dentures have adequate support, they will not slip or become loose like traditional dentures. Additionally, implant supported dentures will provide greater comfort, easier chewing, and better communication capabilities.
At Glow Dental Dallas, we offer two different variations of implant supported dentures: ball retained and bar retained. Ball retained dentures are attached to dental implants using ball and socket joint attachments. Bar retained dentures, on the other hand, uses a single bar that has different attachments spaced between about 2-5 dental implants. As a general rule, bar retained implants require less dental implants than ball retained implants.
According to the American College of Prosthodontists, over 36 million Americans do not have any teeth. Of this 36 million, it is estimated that around 15% will have dentures made each year.
You may be a candidate for implant supported dentures if you are currently missing all or most of your teeth. You may also be a candidate for implant supported dentures if your remaining teeth are severely damaged or decayed and cannot be saved with other restoration methods.
Ideal candidates for implant supported dentures will also have adequate bone mass. After losing a tooth, bone loss generally begins to occur at six months after the loss. This means that depending on how long you have been missing teeth, you may need to undergo additional procedures to build up the bone mass in the affected area prior to have implant supported dentures placed.
To find out if implant supported dentures are the right treatment choice for you, schedule a consultation with Dr. Joshi of Glow Dental & Implant Center in Dallas today!
If you do not have adequate bone mass, you may still be able to get implant supported dentures, however you will likely need to undergo a bone graft or sinus lift to increase your bone mass. A bone graft is a procedure that takes bone grafting material and places it in areas with low bone density. Eventually, this bone grafting material will grow new bone and fuse with the surrounding bone tissue. A sinus lift is a special type of bone graft that is performed on the top teeth. It is called a sinus lift because it builds up the jaw bone that lies just under the sinus cavity. In some cases, sinus lifts are essential to ensure the implant does not damage the sinus cavity.
In other cases, your dental implants may be placed using a different placement technique. All-on-four implants can be placed with two implants in the back of the mouth and two in the front. To avoid the need for a bone graft, the back dental implants can be tilted at a 45 degree angle, while the front implants are placed in straight. The combination of the four provides enough support to allow for implant placement with decreased bone mass.
However, just because there are a variety of options, it doesn’t mean that each option is ideal for everyone. Ultimately, Dr. Joshi will need to evaluate your situation and determine which option is best for you.
Implant supported dentures have the same function as traditional dentures, in that they restore an entire arch of missing teeth. However the main difference between implant supported and traditional dentures is that implant supported dentures are fixed inside the mouth and are supported by about 2-6 dental implants rather than simply the gum. With the additional support from the dental implants, implant supported dentures will offer the same benefits as traditional dentures without having to worry about them slipping or falling out of place. Additionally, implant supported dentures tend to be gentler on the gums since it is the implant supporting the denture, not the gums.
At Glow Dental Dallas, your implant supported dentures will likely be placed during two separate dental appointments, however in some cases it may be done in a single appointment. During your initial consultation, Dr. Joshi will evaluate your oral health and discuss your treatment options. He may also take CBCT scans, as well as dental x-rays to evaluate the internal structures and determine if you have adequate bone mass.
If implant supported dentures are determined to be the best option, then he will schedule your first appointment to surgically place your dental implants. If you currently have decayed or damaged teeth in need of extraction, they will also need to be removed prior to placing the implants. To place the implants, a small incision will be made in your gums to access the jawbone. Then, Dr. Joshi will use a dental drill to shape the socket where the implant will sit. Then, the implant will be screwed in place and the abutment, or connector piece, will be placed. Finally, the gums will be sutured up over the implant with the abutment piece sticking out.
Next, you will be sent home to heal for about six months. During this time, your bones will undergo a process called osseointegration, in which the surrounding bones will fuse with the implants. This process is essential because it is what gives the implants their strength. While your teeth are healing, you will usually wear a set of temporary teeth until the permanent restoration can be placed.
Your second appointment will occur once your implants have fused with the surrounding bone. At this point, if all looks good, your permanent fixed denture will be placed.
Implant supported dentures will need to be removed at night for cleaning just like traditional dentures. To clean the denture, you will need to use a soft toothbrush and special denture detergent to thoroughly brush every part of the denture. You will also need to keep the connectors in your mouth clean as well. Using a single-tuft toothbrush, you will need to gently brush around each abutment.
Implant supported dentures last longer than traditional dentures because the dental implants ensure that there is no further bone loss. Often times, traditional dentures must be changed about every five years because the mouth begins to change shape as the bone is lost.
With that being said, the lifespan of implant supported dentures is dependent upon both the implant and the denture. Dental implants generally last about 10-15 years on average, with some last up to 20 years. However, the denture piece generally lasts about 8 years before becoming worn out, so you may need to replace the denture before the implants. Additionally, if you have a bar retained denture, the attachment pieces will need to be switched out about every six months to a year because they will wear down over time.
For the best implant supported dentures in Dallas, schedule a consultation with Dr. Joshi of Glow Dental & Implant Center. We proudly serve the residents of Dallas, TX and the surrounding communities.