For many years, people without teeth have turned to dentures to restore their chewing power and their appearance, but dentures can have their downfalls. They often lack when it comes to fitting snugly and they can shift and move unnaturally. Implant-supported dentures in Tulsa, OK may be a good solution.
Who Is a Good Fit for Implant-Supported Dentures?
Implant-supported dentures are a good option for people who have either lost all of their natural teeth and do not have dentures or who have dentures already that do not remain stable in the mouth or do not fit well. The dentist will assess whether a patient is a good candidate for implant-supported dentures by looking at several different things, such as:
- How much natural bone is available in the jaws to anchor an implant to
- If the patient has overall healthy gum tissue and no signs of periodontal disease
- The patient’s medical history and if there are problems that could interfere
Patients with certain medical conditions are not often a good fit for implants. For example, someone with uncontrolled type-2 diabetes is more prone to infection, which can mean placing implants would be a risky procedure. People seeking implant supports for their dentures should also be vigilant about following oral health guidelines provided by their dentist.
The Benefits of Implant-Supported Dentures
Implant-supported dentures can have a full list of advantages for some people. The primary benefits include:
- Having dentures that do not shift or move when you eat or speak
- Eliminating reliance on dental adhesives, such as denture glue or denture powder glue
- Being more confident with your smile overall
- Dentures can still be removed to allow for cleaning
With dentures firmly seated on a set of implants, chewing power is also enhanced to a point that is closer to what it would be with natural teeth. Therefore, patients who may have previously had issues with things like chewing dense or crunchy foods can eat foods they enjoy without having issues.
A Look at the Types of Implant-Supported Dentures
Implant-supported dentures are not all the same, there are a few different ways the dentist with implant experience can create support systems for dentures. Below is a look at two of the most common types of implant support systems for dentures and how they work.
Bar-Retained Denture Supports
A bar-retention system for dentures involves placing implants into the jawline that protrude slightly above the gums. These implants serve as an anchoring system for a thin metal bar that follows the natural shape of the jawline. Dentures are created that snap down onto the bar for retention. The attachment mechanisms can vary depending on who does the work and patient preferences, but the end result is a stabilized denture that is removable as needed.
Ball-Retained Denture Supports
Ball-and-socket style clips are used to secure dentures in place with ball-retained denture supports. The ball snaps into a small socket and holds the denture arch down on the gums securely. For this kind of implant support, the dentist will surgically install several implants into the jawline, create a specially crafted denture with clasps integrated into the underside of the arch, and then work to connect the two in a natural way. The denture is still removable with the ball-retained denture support system, but they are incredibly stable.
The Process for Obtaining Implant-Supported Dentures
Unlike obtaining basic dentures, the process to obtain implant-supported dentures in Tulsa, OK is a bit more in-depth. Several steps will take place before you will even have the initial surgery, and more than one surgery may be involved.
The initial consultation will be done to ensure you are a good candidate for implant-supported dentures in Tulsa, OK. During this first meeting, the dentist will take measurements and perform several x-rays to get an idea of whether you have enough bone height in your jaws to support the implants. Plans for placing the implants will also stem from this initial visit.
Temporary dentures allow the dentist to determine the optimal style and shape of your final dentures, and they allow you to have teeth to use in the meantime until the process is complete. It can take as long as seven months from start to finish, so having a temporary denture can be helpful. Your temporary dentures will be made after or even during your initial consultation.
First and Second Surgery
The first surgery will involve the first placements of the implants. An incision is made through the soft tissue in the mouth, holes are drilled through the bones and the implants are placed. The incisions in the soft tissue are sutured around and over the new implants. It can take several months for the new implants to fuse to the bone and the soft tissue to heal. Once this occurs, a second surgery is done to expose the implant that the dentures will attach to. Small caps may be placed over the openings while the gum tissue heals.
Final Denture Fitting
Once you have healed and your permanent dentures have been created, you will go back to the office for a final denture filling. This process will involve placing the new permanent set of dentures on the implants for the first time and then making any adjustments that have to be made. Follow-ups after this visit may be necessary to make any further adjustments.
Contact Us for Information About Implant-Supported Dentures in Tulsa, OK
Even though implant-supported dentures are not for everyone, those patients who do decide this is good for their smile are well-pleased with the end results. If you have issues with typical dentures or believe you may be a good candidate for implant supports for your dentures, it never hurts to check with a dentist to find out if this modern solution could be good for you. Contact us at the office of Dr. Chris Ward DDS, which is a board-certified dental implantologist, for an appointment.