How many implants for snap in denture?
There are many factors to consider when deciding how many implants you will need for your implant denture.
- Implant survival
- Location in the mouth (upper or lower jaw)
- Your quality of bone
- Stability of the denture
You want to have enough implants in the jaw so that you can evenly distribute the chewing forces amongst the implants. The more implants you have, the less stress each implant will have exerted on it. The fewer implants you have, the more stress each implant will have even though it’s the same total force. For example, if your jaws generate 500N of total force every time you bit down if you had 5 implants placed, each implant would experience 100N of force. If you had 2 implants placed, each implant will experience 250N of force. If you have too much force distributed on a single implant, you will cause the implant to experience biomechanical forces that are excessive and will cause the implant to potentially fail. If you are a person who has a tendency to bite down with more force (larger males more so than females) it’s a good idea to get more implants placed to prevent an implant from being lost from too much force.
2. Location in the mouth:
The location in the mouth is a large factor when deciding how many implants to get placed for an implant snap-on denture. When placing implants in the mouth, bone density is a huge factor in how many implants are necessary to place for stabilization. Your lower (mandible) jaw is naturally more dense than your upper (maxillary) jaw. As a result, you don’t need to place as many implants in the mandible as you do the maxilla. In the softer maxillary bone, you will need at least 4 implants to stabilize an upper implant denture. In the denser mandible bone, you will need at least 2 implants to stabilize a lower implant denture.
3. Quality of bone:
As we discussed earlier, the bone is denser in the mandible and as a result, you need fewer implants to support your implant denture than in the softer maxillary bone. However, everybody has different qualities of bone. Different factors influence this such as age, race, gender, medications, etc. In theory, the softer the bone quality, the more implants you should have placed to make sure your implants will be able to withstand the chewing forces you will place on your implant dentures.
4. Stability of the denture:
When focusing on the stability of the denture, it’s important to consider the anterior-posterior spread of the implants. The more your implants are spread from the front to the back of the jaw, the better stability your denture will have. Think of the legs of a table, the more the legs of the table are spread apart from each other towards the outer edge, the more stable the table.