Wellington Dentures

Phone (04) 478 4747

Dental Implant Dentures

 

You may have heard about Dental Implants or Dental Implant Dentures but you were not sure exactly what they are and whether they may be a good denture solution for you.

So here is an outline on the different types available and what they involve.

 

Please contact us if you have any questions or if you would like a no-obligation opinion on whether Dental Implant Dentures are right for you.

 

What are Dental Implant Dentures?


An implant-supported denture is a type of over denture that is supported by and attached to implants. A regular denture rests on the gums, and is not supported by implants.


An implant-supported denture is used when a person doesn't have any teeth in the jaw, but has enough bone in the jaw to support implants. An implant-supported denture has special attachments that snap onto attachments on the implants.


Implant-supported dentures usually are made for the lower jaw because regular dentures tend to be less stable there. Usually, a regular denture made to fit an upper jaw is quite stable on its own and doesn't need the extra support offered by implants. However, you can receive an implant-supported denture in either the upper or lower jaw.

 

How do Dental Implants work?

 

There are two types of implant-supported dentures: bar-retained and ball-retained. In both cases, the denture will be made of an acrylic base that will look like gums. Acrylic teeth that look like natural teeth are attached to the base. Both types of dentures need at least two implants for support.

 

  1. Bar-retained dentures — A thin metal bar that follows the curve of your jaw is attached to two to five implants that have been placed in your jawbone. Clips or other types of attachments are fitted to the bar, the denture or both. The denture fits over the bar and is securely clipped into place by the attachments.
  2. Ball-retained dentures (stud-attachment dentures) — Each implant in the jawbone holds a metal attachment that fits into another attachment on the denture. 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.

 

The Implant Process


The implants usually are placed in the jawbone at the front of your mouth because there tends to be more bone in the front of the jaw than in the back. This usually is true even if teeth have been missing for some time. Once you lose teeth, bone resorption progresses in the area. Also, the front jaw doesn't have many nerves or other structures that could interfere with the placement of implants.


The time frame to complete the implant depends on many factors. The shortest time frame is about five months in the lower jaw and seven months in the upper jaw. This includes surgeries and the placement of the denture. However, the process can last a year or more, especially if you need bone grafting or other preliminary procedures.
Two surgeries usually are needed. The first one places the implants in the jawbone under your gums. The second surgery exposes the tops of the implants. The second procedure comes three to six months after the first.


A one-stage procedure is now used sometimes. In this procedure, your dentist can place the implants and the supporting bar in one step. The success rate of this procedure is high.

 

What Can You Expect From Your Implant-Supported Denture?


Your implant-supported denture will be more stable than a regular denture. You will find it easier to speak and you won't have to worry about the denture becoming loose or falling out of your mouth. You generally will be able to eat foods you could not eat before. However, you will not be able to chew hard or sticky foods because they can damage the denture.


If you have an implant-supported denture in your upper jaw, it can be made to cover less of your palate (roof of your mouth) than a regular denture. That's because the implants are holding it in place instead of the suction created between the full denture and your palate.

 

Contact us today to find out more about Dental Implants.