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Someone cleaning dentures with a toothbrush

Missing Teeth? Dentures Could Help Fill in Your Smile

What are Dentures?

Losing one tooth isn’t too complicated to replace. There are multiple options available today to fill the space that once held the natural tooth. But what options do you have when you lose all your teeth (or most of them)? Luckily, there are solutions. Dentures are one of the most common options available. But what are dentures?

Dentures are sets of false teeth that sit on your gums in place of natural teeth. Dentures have been an option for many years. A major concern among denture users was how they aren’t exactly permanent. Over time, dentures become loose due to a lack of a stable anchoring point. This is where implant-supported dentures come in. Modern dentistry sought a better way for dentures to improve their functionalities.

Denture Implants

In this case, the denture earns its support from an implant installed into the jawbone. Regular dentures rest on gums with support from adjacent teeth, or they solely support themselves. Denture implants are recommended when a patient doesn’t have any teeth in their jaw and seeks to replace them.

The patient should also have enough bone mass and density to support the implants. The implant-supported denture is designed with special attachments that peg onto the attachments on the implants. This makes implant-supported dentures more of a permanent solution compared to standard dentures.

How do Dentures Work

Like dental implants, implant-supported dentures use the support of titanium screws installed deep into the jawbone. During the procedure, an oral surgeon will attach four to six titanium posts into your jawbone. The surgical site should take about three to six months to heal, and for the implant to fuse permanently with the jawbone. The surgeon may attach temporary crowns to the implant to facilitate normal chewing.

Once the surgical site is healed and the surgeon confirms that the implants are completely fused to the jawbone, they will attach a customized set of dentures to the screws. The dentures hold on tightly on to the implants, so it feels and looks like real teeth.

Options for Dentures

Denture Snap Implants

These are removable options that allow users to remove the dentures despite being attached to an implant. Denture snap implants come in two types: implant-supported over-denture and implant-retained over-denture.

Fixed Dentures

This option is designed to be permanent. Only your dentist can remove it in case you need it adjusted or replaced. The fixed dentures come in two forms: all-on-four and implant-supported bridges.

Caring for Your Implant-supported Dentures

Pay attention to denture maintenance similarly to how you would with natural teeth. Your gums will be sore during the first few days after the dentures are fitted. The pain should go away as the dentures adjust to their new environment.

In the meantime, avoid hard foods that could force the dentures to rub hard on the gums. If you choose the permanent implant-supported dentures, maintain high oral hygiene standards such as brushing to keep gum diseases at bay. If you decide to get the removable option, ensure that you clean them at night, especially around the attachments to prevent the build-up of bacteria.

Implant vs Bridge

Many people confuse dental implants and bridges. A dental bridge is designed to gain its support from adjacent or remaining teeth and sits on the gap to create a bridge. This bridge completes a patient’s smile. As discussed earlier, an implant requires surgical intervention where a titanium post will be installed in the jawbone, and later, a partial or full denture is placed on the implant.