Tooth loss affects billions of people, and approximately 19% of the world’s population wears partial or full dentures. While dentures resolve many problems that come with missing teeth, they have some downsides.
Traditional dentures can be uncomfortable and restrict what foods you can eat. If you’re like many people who wear dentures, you’re looking for a more comfortable method of tooth replacement. To help those who have missing teeth, Hope Dental offers a better option: implant-retained dentures.
What Are Dentures?
Traditional dentures are removable dental devices that replace missing teeth in your lower or upper jaws or both. There are different types of dentures, including full and partial ones, as well as implant-retained dentures.
Removable dentures rely on your jawbone and gums for support. They may require you to apply adhesives to prevent the dentures from shifting. Implant-retained dentures instead use dental implants to fix the device into place.
Dental implants are titanium posts that go into your gums or jawbone and support artificial teeth. At Hope Dental, we offer mini dental implants to help people — even those who have limited jawbone density — get the dentures they need.
Like traditional dentures, implant-retained dentures are removable because they clip onto the implants.
There are two main types of attachments for implant-retained dentures: ball attachments and bar attachments. Ball attachments have ball-like denture abutments with caps that clip on and off the implants. Dentures that use bar attachments clip over a bar that connects to multiple implants.
The best candidates for implant-retained dentures are people who:
Are in good overall health
Have some jawbone density left
Have multiple missing teeth
Practice good oral hygiene habits
If you take steroids or drugs that suppress your immune system, you may not be a good candidate for implant-retained dentures because your body might reject the implants. You also might not be a good candidate if you have bleeding issues that can slow the healing process.
Benefits of Implant-Retained Dentures
Implant-retained dentures can help preserve your jawbone and even prevent bone loss.
Your jawbone depends on the stimulation it receives from the roots of your teeth. When you have missing teeth, the stimulation is no longer there. Traditional dentures cannot slow down this bone loss, but implant-retained dentures can. Because implants function like tooth roots, they stimulate the bone to prevent further bone loss.
Traditional dentures rely on adhesives that can be messy and frustrating to use — and even with the adhesive, these dentures can shift in and out of place. This shifting can cause you to develop painful sores on your gums, which can potentially lead to other oral health issues.
Implant-retained dentures do not have this problem; once they are secured to the implants, they will not shift or slip. You can eat what you like and speak without fear of the dentures moving.
In addition, implant-retained dentures offer better biting force. Because the dental implants are fixed to your jawbone, you have the full power of your jaw behind the dentures. That is not the case with traditional dentures.
Some types of traditional upper dentures cover part of your palate, diminishing your ability to taste. Implant-retained dentures do not cover your palate.
Finally, implant-retained dentures look natural, allowing you to speak and smile without fear.
Getting Implant-Retained Dentures
If you have missing teeth and want to get implant-retained dentures, contact Hope Dental to schedule a $49 consultation.
At the consultation, our team will examine your mouth and get your full medical history to see if you are a good candidate for implant-retained dentures. Tell us about any medications or supplements you take.
We will take X-rays to check your jawbone density, and we will also ask questions to get a sense of your overall oral hygiene.
At the consultation, we will also discuss the cost of treatment, providing you with a full breakdown of your expenses. We offer many payment options and will help you access third-party financing. Many of these options have 0% interest rates with affordable monthly payments.
We can also discuss the anesthetics we will use for the procedure. If you have anxiety about dental procedures, we also offer sedatives.
If we think you are a good candidate for implant-retained dentures, the next step is for us to make impressions of your mouth. We then send these off to the lab that will create the dentures.
We will then schedule an appointment to place the dental implants. We use mini dental implants, which are much smaller than traditional options and require a less complex process. Mini dental implants do not usually require bone grafts.
While you are getting ready for your implant procedure, you might need to stop taking blood-thinning medications and supplements. If you smoke, you should stop in the days leading up to your appointment.
To fix the implants in place, we begin by numbing your gum and jaw with a local anesthetic. We then make a small hole into your gum and insert the implant post. Mini dental implants do not require abutments like traditional implants do, and they also do not require us to cut extensively into your gums, making the recovery process easier and faster.
Once the dental implants have healed, we can attach the dentures to them.
Recovery and Denture Care
It might take a few days for you to get used to wearing implant-retained dentures. As you recover, avoid hard or sticky foods. You might also feel more sensitivity when you drink hot drinks, so avoid them for a day or two.
For any discomfort, you can use over-the-counter medications as well as ice packs. You want to get a lot of rest as you recover.
Keeping your mouth clean is important. Brush your teeth after every meal, but avoid the sites of the implants until they have healed. You can also rinse your mouth with salt water to remove bacteria throughout the day, but avoid mouthwashes that include alcohol.
Caring for your dentures and implants is similar to caring for your natural teeth, but you should avoid harsh toothpaste, which can damage the implants.
Wash your dentures every day. Remove all detachable parts of the device and clean them individually. We can recommend special products you can use to wash dentures, and make sure to choose a soft-bristled brush.
You will likely need to remove your implant-retained dentures while you sleep. Let the dentures soak in a special solution, and rinse them before reattaching them to your implants.
The O-rings, which attach the dentures to your implants, can wear out after a few months. We’ll help you replace them as needed.
Remember that dental implants can break under a lot of force, so if you grind your teeth at night, you will need a mouth guard.
Turn to Hope Dental
Implant-retained dentures can help you regain the full use of your jaws again. You can start enjoying the foods you once loved, and you can speak and smile without worrying about slippery dentures.
At Hope Dental in Cook County, IL, Dr. Russell Ras has over 30 years of experience providing dental care. Using the latest technologies at his state-of-the-art facilities, he can help you achieve the results you want. Get your teeth back by calling Hope Dental to schedule a consultation.
Necessary diagnostics will be taken at the initial consultation. After that, placing the implants and delivering the implant supported denture can be done in one visit. However, if a new denture is needed, extra time will be needed.
Mini Dental Implants are smaller in diameter than conventional, root form implants, so it is not necessary for Dr. Ras to perform flap surgery. MDIs are a less invasive treatment option and therefore patients usually feel little to no pain. However, any soreness is usually relieved with ibuprofen or Tylenol. Be sure consult with your physician to see if you can take those medications.
Definitely – but in a good way! For obvious reasons, a denture that is more secure will leave you feeling more confident in your daily activities. Also, an added benefit to having your upper denture stabilized with implants is that your palate will no longer be covered by the denture. Consequently, you will be able to enjoy tasting food like you did before you had dentures.
Insurance may cover this treatment if your plan covers implants. Please consult your dental insurance manual. Our friendly, caring staff here at Hope Dental will help you in any way we can to be sure you understand what is covered.