Phoenix Dentist

Implant Supported DenturesPhoenix, AZ

Implant-supported dentures are a combination of two of the most popular oral prosthetics used in cosmetic dentistry: implants and dentures. Combining these two missing teeth options makes sense given the unique benefits of each.

Dentures are the most affordable way to replace missing teeth. They are typically recommended to those who have lost most of their real teeth to minimize costs. Implants are often viewed as the preferred way to replace missing teeth thanks to their bone preserving properties. Unfortunately for many people, implants also happen to be the most expensive way to replace missing teeth. Replacing a full set of teeth with implants is not an option for most people given how much that would cost. To put things in perspective, the price of a single implant can be more than the price of a full set of dentures.

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Other reasons why combining implants with dentures makes sense include:

  • Dentures are held in place through suction, and that leads to a certain degree of instability. These restorations are known to shift in the mouth when worn, leading to issues like sores forming due to the restoration rubbing against soft tissues in the mouth
  • Implants are virtually as stable as real teeth, and so are dentures that are attached to implants. This makes it easier to eat and speak with implant-supported dentures
  • Dentures are removable devices that require specialized cleaning each night. Implant-supported dentures can be removable or fixed in place. Fixed implant-retained dentures typically do not require specialized cleaning. This is a significantly more convenient option over traditional dentures
  • Supporting dentures with implants makes it possible to use smaller, thinner dentures. This creates more space for the wearer’s tongue, leading to a more comfortable experience

The ideal candidate

Implant-supported dentures are often recommended to patients who have lost most of their teeth or denture wearers who are unhappy with their experience. An extraction might be recommended before the installation of implant-supported dentures if the patient still has a few teeth left.

The installation of implant-retained dentures starts with the cosmetic dentist crafting a customized plan for the patient based on their needs. The process often involves the dentist placing two to six implants on each side of the patient’s jaw being fitted. Factors like the patient’s oral health and their jawbone thickness often determine the number of implants used. Diagnostic tests like x-rays are typically used to evaluate the condition of the patient’s jaw.

Not having enough bone thickness in the jaw to hold implants in place does not automatically disqualify a patient from getting implant-supported dentures. Bone grafts can be used to thicken the jaws of patients who do not have a sufficient amount of jawbone tissues. The patient will need to wait up to three months as they recover from the treatment to proceed with the installation of implants.

Getting implants requires oral surgery, and it might involve making an incision into gum tissues. Patients need to be healthy enough to recover from the treatment. Health conditions like diabetes and autoimmune disorders can make it harder for the body to heal. So can medication like blood thinners, alcohol or tobacco. Patients will be evaluated on an individual basis to determine if they are ideal candidates for dental implants.

Benefits of implant-supported dentures

Here are some of the most common reasons why a growing number of people are choosing implant-supported dentures over conventional ones:

  • Implant-retained dentures are stable in the wearer’s mouth. This eliminates the need for awful tasting dental adhesives that traditional denture wearers often have to deal with
  • Implant-supported dentures are significantly more affordable than replacing teeth with implants, yet the wearer gets to enjoy the bone preserving benefits of implants
  • The stability of implant-retained dentures allows patients to use their artificial teeth similarly to the way they used their real teeth
  • Implant-supported dentures can be removable or fixed in place. Both options give patients excellent stability

The process

A local anesthetic is typically administered during the installation of implants to prevent the patient from feeling pain as the dentist works. Incisions might be made into the gums, so the jawbone is exposed. Holes are strategically drilled into the patient’s jaw for each implant.

Each implant is pushed into its corresponding hole until the bone tissues around it hold it in place. Incisions made are closed to finish up the first stage. It can take up to 12 weeks to recover from the surgery. Patients who already wear dentures can continue using theirs while the implants fuse with bone tissues via osseointegration.

When the implants have bonded with bone tissues around them, abutments or attachments might be fitted. These are used to keep the patient’s dentures in place. The patient will get a new set of customized dentures that are designed specifically to be held in place with implants. The most common type snap into place.

Patients also have the option of going with removable dentures that are fixed in place. These require using special denture sets that only require brushing and flossing to maintain.

The process of getting implant-supported dentures can take up to six months or up to nine months if the patient requires bone grafts. The implants they get should last the rest of their life, so they should only have to replace the denture in the future.

Restore your smile with implant-supported dentures

Implants-supported dentures provide a more comfortable way to replace multiple missing teeth than dentures. Instead of having to deal with an unstable restoration that keeps moving in your mouth, you get artificial teeth that are firmly held in place by implants.

This helps to prevent bone tissues in your jaw from breaking down due to a lack of stimulation. Every bite taken sends forces to the jaw through the implant, keeping the tissues there healthy. With implant-retained dentures, people who have lost most of their teeth now have an affordable solution that leaves them with artificial teeth that feel a lot like the real teeth they lost.

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Phoenix Family Dentistry is located at
13821 N. 35th Drive, Ste. 2
Phoenix, AZ

(602) 362-7061