What is Implant Supported Denture?

By  , Expert Content
Dec 04, 2012

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Dental implants are metal posts or frames which are placed in the jaw bone under the gums by surgery. In implant-supported denture the overdenture is supported by and attached to implants placed in your jaw where as the standard denture is rests directly on the gums. Most of the regular dentures tend to fit less firmly in the mouth. But remember that for placing implant-supported denture there should be enough bone in the jaw to support the implants.


Implant supported dentures can be made for both the upper and lower jaw. But they are usually preferred for the lower jaw and a regular denture is made for the upper jaw. The implant-supported dentures can be removed easily.


How Does It Work


The two common types of implant-supported dentures are

  • Bar-retained dentures and
  • Ball-retained dentures.

The base of the denture is made of acrylic base and look like natural gums, and the teeth are made of porcelain or acrylic that look like natural teeth.

  • Bar-retained dentures: They need least three implants. A thin metal bar is attached to the implant placed in your jawbone. The denture is placed over the bar.
  • Ball-retained dentures: They need at least two implants. These implants have a metal attachment that fits into another attachment on the denture.


The Implant Process


The implants are mostly placed in the front part of the jaw bone as it tends to havemore bone as compared to the back of your jaw even if your teeth have been missing for some time. After a tooth is lost you begin to lose bone in the area. In addition the front part of the jaw bone has fewer nerves or other structures that can interfere with the placement of implants.


Time needed to complete implant placement can vary from a few months (about five months in the lower jaw and seven months in the upper jaw) to a year or more.


Most implants are placed in two surgeries. Some dental implants may be placed in one surgery.

  • First surgery: The implant is placed in the jawbone under your gums
  • Second surgery: Is done to expose the tops of the implant usually after three to six months


Initial consultation


Dental implants are placed by a dental specialist called a prosthodontist or a general dentist with advanced training for placing dental implants. If you want an implant your dentist after examining you will decide whether you can receive implants. Initial evaluation before placing an implant includes

  • Examination of mouth and teeth
  • Detailed review of your medical and dental histories
  • X-ray of the teeth and jaws
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan if needed

Your dentist will make a complete denture for you if you don’t have one. This temporary denture is used till implant-supported denture is completed. The position of the teeth in temporary denture helps your dentist to determine the best position for the teeth in your implant-supported denture. The dentist uses the temporary denture as a guide for help to place the implants in the proper positions in your jaw.


First surgery: In the first surgery the implant is placed in the jawbone. After the surgery you will be advised not to put pressure on the implant, avoid eating hard foods and won’t be able to wear temporary denture for about a month. Your temporary dentures will be modified after the implant is placed to make sure it fits properly and reduces the pressure on your gums. The second surgery fo...

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