Supporting Your Dentures with Implants

August 7, 2014 — by Dr. Nathaniel Podilsky
Tags: Dentures Dental Implants Restorative Dentistry

An older couple with full, natural smilesIf you suffer from multiple lost teeth, there are a variety of tooth replacement methods to restore a full, healthy smile. For complete tooth loss, one of the most common and practical methods of replacement is a set of dentures. Like any treatment option, dentures have their benefits as well as their drawbacks, and patients often have to weigh the advantages of dentures against alternative options. However, sometimes it is a combination of treatments that yields the best results. By supporting your dentures with dental implants, you can negate many of the problems commonly associated with dentures.

Implant-supported dentures are often an excellent solution to widespread tooth loss, but they are not for everyone. If you already have dentures or plan on receiving them in the future, take a moment to learn how implants can increase their effectiveness. If you are indeed a good candidate for implant-supported dentures, our Edmonton practice would love to help you take the next step toward a satisfying smile.      

Problems with Loose Dentures

When dentures fit perfectly, patients should not expect any significant problems from them. Unfortunately, tooth loss results in the perpetual loss of jawbone tissue over time, thereby changing the shape of a patient’s jaw and lower facial structure. In turn, dentures that once fit well may no longer conform to the exact shape of the gums and mouth. Loose or ill-fitting dentures can lead to a variety of problems, including:

  • Discomfort or pain
  • Swollen and reddened gum tissue
  • Difficulty eating
  • Speech impediments
  • Dentures that slip out of place
  • Mouth sores
  • Infections  

How Can Implants Help?

Dental implants are essentially permanent replacements for the roots of teeth, as they are installed directly into the gum and bone. Once tissues heal around an implant, it is able to support restorations above it through the natural strength of the jaw. In the case of dentures, small attachments are fastened to implants for easy connection, allowing dentures to simply slide over them or snap into place.

Once dentures are supported by implants, they no longer need to rely on suction or adhesive cream to stay in place. Instead, they are held firmly by a few implants, ensuring a good fit every time.

Benefits of Implant-supported Dentures

By using implants to hold your dentures in place, you gain the following benefits:

  • Reliable fit: Even if your jaw continues to change shape, your dentures will continue to fit properly through the support of implants.
  • Improved bite: Dental implants are connected to your jaw, giving your dentures a stronger, more natural bite. You may even find that you are able to eat foods that were previously problematic.
  • Improved comfort: Since your dentures will fit properly and will not rely on your gums for adhesion, you can expect greater overall comfort.
  • Preserved bone: Once they fuse with your jaw, implants help preserve bone tissue, slowing any changes to your facial structure.

Candidates for Implant-supported Dentures

If you have one or more dental implants installed, you are likely an excellent candidate for implant-supported dentures. Additional implants may need to installed, depending on the preexisting number and their placement, but making the transition from implants to dentures is extremely easy.

If you have not yet had dental implants, your candidacy must first be determined. Aside from healthy gums, patients must also have enough bone structure for implants to be installed, which is sometimes jeopardized by long-term tooth loss. By speaking with your dentist and undergoing an initial exam, your ability to support implants can be discerned. In the event you are not immediately a candidate for implant surgery, your dentist may recommend a bone graft to improve your candidacy.   

Schedule Your Consultation

Dr. Podilsky is eager to help you achieve a full smile once more. By coming in for an initial consultation, you can learn which treatment options are most advantageous for you. Contact us to learn more or to schedule your first appointment.