Dentures are a dental appliance made to replace a person’s teeth. Before making the decision to get dentures, many denture wearers have likely endured years of tooth decay, tooth and bone loss, chronic pain, gum disease and declining oral health for many years. They may have believed that dentures would be a simple and problem-free solution that would allow them to live a pain-free life, with the comfort and performance of natural teeth.
The fact is, getting dentures is a life changing event. Dentures can be uncomfortable to wear and can cause embarrassing moments when they become dislodged or slip out of place, affecting the way we feel about ourselves, our eating habits, and even the way we talk.
A regular, full set of dentures rests on the gums, and their fit can shift as the jaw shrinks and bone loss occurs over time. However, one solution is to secure the dentures more securely with dental implants, which provide a secure foundation for the dentures to be firmly attached to the gums. Implant-secured dentures prevent slippage experienced by many denture wearers, improve eating experience, and increase a sense of security which enhances comfort and confidence. In fact, a study of denture wearers by the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery found that patient satisfaction and chewing ability increased significantly with implanted-secured dentures.
The implant overdenture procedure can be done at any point in the life of the dentures – for patients who have just been fitted for complete dentures (after healing from teeth extractions is complete), to patients who have worn dentures for a longer period of time. For full dentures, the procedure consists of placement of at least two dental implants in the jaw bone for each arch, then a rework of the patient’s existing dentures to install contact points that align with the implants. Once the dentures have been reworked and fitted to align with the dental implants, the patient is able to attach the dentures with snaps that give them a more secure and permanent feel. An implant expert can provide all the details for a patient’s unique situation.
Denture wearers face many challenges, but if their dentures are secured with dental implants, they can optimize their denture experience, eat more of the foods they love, and smile with confidence.