Supported by and attached to your dental implants, an implant-supported denture is a type of over-denture. A traditional denture rests on your gums, and is not supported by implants. Our Old Greenwich general dentist will use dental implant supported dentures when a person doesn’t have any teeth in their jaw, but has enough bone in the jaw to support implants. A dental implant supported denture has special attachments that snap onto attachments on the implants. Usually made for the lower jaw, implant-supported dentures work much better there since regular dentures tend to be less stable in the lower jaw area. Normally, a regular denture made to fit an upper jaw is very stable by itself, and doesn’t need the extra support offered by implants. You can, however, get a dental implant supported denture in either the upper or lower jaw.
There are two types of dental implant supported dentures: ball-retained and bar-retained. In both cases, your denture will be made of an acrylic base that will look like gums. Acrylic or porcelain teeth that look like natural teeth are attached to the acrylic base. Both types of dentures require at least two implants for support. With ball-retained dentures, each implant in the jawbone holds a metal attachment that fits into another attachment on the denture. In most cases, the attachments on the implants are ball-shaped, and they fit into sockets on the denture. Bar-retained dentures have a thin metal bar that follows the curve of your jaw, and is attached to two to five implants that have been placed in your jawbone. Clips, or some other type of attachments, are fitted to the bar, the denture or both. The denture fits over the bar and is clipped securely into place by the attachments.
Our Old Greenwich general dentist recommends that you remove an implant-supported denture daily to clean the denture as well as the gum area. Just as with regular dentures, you should never sleep with the implant-supported dentures at night. We do have some patients at My Creative Dentist who do prefer to have fixed (permanent) crown and bridgework in their mouths that can’t be removed. We certainly take your particular needs and preferences into consideration when suggesting fixed or removable options.