Dentures are commonly used to replace missing teeth. But as we age it becomes increasingly difficult to wear traditional dentures. In some cases, dentures don’t fit properly and look unnatural. This may affect your confidence and have an impact on your quality of life.
Rather than wear a denture, which can be uncomfortable, some patients choose to undergo implant-supported dentures. Here is what you need to know about this procedure, including recovery time, and other concerns.
What Are Implant-Supported Dentures?
Implant-supported dentures are a type of oral appliance that is supported by dental implants. They can be used as an alternative to bridges and full dentures. In fact, they may be best suited for patients who need multiple implants to support their new teeth. This type of restoration can also be used in combination with other types of dental prosthetics such as crowns or bridges.
They are highly durable and can last for decades. In addition to implant-supported dentures, there are several other types of implant-supported dentistry options available today. They include:
- Implants in teeth: This procedure involves placing an implant in the jawbone to hold a bridge or partial denture securely in place.
- Implant retained dentures: These removable dental prostheses are designed so that one or more of the teeth attached to it has had an implant placed underneath it. This allows for greater stability and support than traditional dentures can offer. The result is a more comfortable fit for the patient as well as better oral hygiene because there’s no need for daily cleaning or flossing like there would be with conventional dentures.
- Implant-supported overdentures: Overdentures are another type of removable partial denture that consists of three components — two natural teeth on either side and a false tooth in between them.
Advantages of Implant-Supported Dentures
There are many reasons why patients choose to get implant-supported dentures instead of traditional dentures. The main advantage is the security and stability that comes from the implant. Implants are metal posts that are surgically placed into the jawbone so that it can hold onto the entire structure of your new teeth. This means that there’s less chance of losing your new teeth, which is great for someone who has been struggling with missing teeth for a long time or has had trouble keeping their old ones in place.
Other advantages may include:
- Improved comfort: Traditional dentures, if they don’t fit well or rub against the gums, can cause discomfort and irritation. On the other hand, implant-supported dentures sit on your jawbone and are custom-made to fit perfectly—providing a much more comfortable and natural feel.
- Better chewing ability: Implant-supported dentures can make it easier to eat certain foods, such as hard or crunchy ones that might be more difficult for you with traditional dentures.
- Increased confidence: Unlike traditional dentures, implant-supported ones are more secure and natural looking—so you can feel confident in any situation.
- Long-lasting solution: Implant-supported dentures last longer than traditional dentures, which means you don’t have to worry about replacing them as often.
Overall, implant-supported dentures are a great option for anyone looking for a more stable, comfortable, and long-lasting solution for replacing missing teeth.
How To Prepare for Your Implant-Supported Dentures Appointment
Before you visit your periodontist for implant-supported dentures, you’ll want to make sure that you’re prepared for the appointment.
Here are some tips and tricks to help you prepare for your implant-supported denture appointment:
- Make sure to discuss your expectations with your periodontist before you get started. This will help establish a clear understanding of what it is that you want from this process and whether or not it’s something the two of you can achieve together.
- Brush up on your dental history. Make sure to give your periodontist a clear and accurate history of your dental health, including any previous dental procedures or conditions.
- Seek pain management options. Implant-supported dentures can be invasive and may cause discomfort afterward. Talk to your periodontist about over-the-counter pain relievers or prescription medications that could help with postoperative aches.
- Before your appointment, you may be asked to fast or avoid certain medications. Be sure to follow these instructions carefully before the procedure.
- Make a list of the questions you would like to ask before your appointment so that you can refer back to it and don’t forget anything important.
- Be well-rested so your appointment will be more pleasurable and productive.
- Plan ahead for transportation. If possible, arrange to have someone take you home after your appointment.
Remember, your periodontist is there to help you—so be sure to ask any questions or voice concerns before your appointment. This will give him a chance to make sure everything goes smoothly.
What to Expect During and After the Implant-Supported Denture Procedure
If you’re considering an implant-supported denture, here’s a breakdown of what you can expect during and after your implant-supported denture procedure.
During the Procedure:
- Depending on the extent of the procedure, your periodontist will numb the area with local anesthesia, sedation, or general anesthetic to minimize discomfort.
- The first step of the procedure is to place dental implants in your jawbone. This is done with a surgical guide, which ensures proper placement and angulation.
- After the implants are placed, you will need to wait for a while while they heal and integrate with your jawbone. This can range anywhere from several weeks to several months.
- Once the implants have healed, your periodontist attaches abutments to them that serve as bases for your new denture.
- Fabrication of denture. Once abutments are in place, a mold of your jaw and teeth will be taken to create the custom denture.
After the Procedure:
- Recovery: You can expect some swelling, soreness, and discomfort for the first few days after the procedure. Your periodontist will provide you with pain management options and instructions for postoperative care.
- It may take some time to adjust to eating and speaking with your new denture. Your periodontist will provide you with tips and techniques for handling it gracefully.
- You will need to schedule follow-up appointments with your periodontist so that he can monitor the healing process and ensure that your new denture is fitting properly.
- Implant-supported dentures require regular maintenance just like traditional dentures, so be sure to keep up with the cleaning and care instructions given by your periodontist.
It’s important to keep in mind that every dental experience is unique, and your results may vary. If you have any concerns or questions about this treatment plan, be sure to discuss them with your periodontist.
Restore Your Smile and Bite with Implant-Supported Dentures
It’s never too late to get the perfect smile you deserve. At Periodontal Associates of Memphis, we offer implant-supported dentures so you can finally have a smile that looks and feels natural while also providing a secure foundation for your jawbone. We’re here to help you find a solution that works for your unique situation, and we’re ready to answer any questions you might have. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!