The loss of most or all of your teeth shouldn’t be the clincher that sends your oral health and appearance into a tailspin characterized by jawbone deterioration, receding gums, and incomplete smiles.
Getting an implant-supported denture in Carrollton, Texas is your best bet. Understandably, you’d have questions that need to be comprehensively answered and an information gap that needs to be filled. Which is where this guide comes in. It answers crucial questions such as:
- What is an implant-supported denture?
- How does it differ from the more common traditional denture?
- What type of implant denture is right for you?
- How is the implant denture procedure carried out?
- How long will it take?
That said, let’s start from the basics…
The Implant Denture
What Is It and What Does It Do?
An implant denture, also called “implant-supported denture” is a dental prosthetic that attaches to implants placed in your jawbone.
An over-simplistic structure of an implant denture is that is consists of:
- implant posts (at least two and as many as eight)
- abutment or connector (and related accessories)
- the visible dental prosthetic, also called an overdenture
The major deal with implant dentures (as with all forms of dental implant restorations) is the placement of the implants within the jawbone. As such, the condition of the jawbone is one of the cardinal factors considered when deciding if an implant denture is appropriate for you in Carrollton, TX.
The implant posts anchor to and fuse with the jawbone to provide exceptional stability for the attached overdenture, much like natural tooth roots do for natural teeth.
Implant-supported dentures are used almost exclusively for teeth restoration in individuals with complete or near-complete edentulism (loss of all teeth). Partially edentulous patients (individuals who’ve lost a few teeth) are recommended to have implant-supported bridges.
Implant Dentures vs. Regular Dentures
A regular or traditional denture is the major alternative to an implant denture. A regular denture consists entirely of an overdenture. It rests on your gum, it’s removable, and it’s cheaper. Regular dentures used to be the gold standard, by virtue of being the only viable option, but not anymore.
You see, they’ve always had a number of downsides, many of which are not shared by implant dentures (which is why implant dentures are now preferred to regular dentures). These downsides include:
- Repeated use of adhesive or paste. Dental adhesives are not often necessary. But at some point in the lives of regular denture wearers, it becomes a must-have. The main hassle is that you have to use them repeatedly, as even the best adhesives would only hold for a maximum of 12 hours. Also, they aren’t always reliable.
The unreliability and limited lifespan of adhesives and the fact that regular dentures rely on the gums for support is a poor combination that leads to the many unpleasant intricacies that denture wearers know too well. Such as:
- the denture slipping or outright falling out of your mouth when eating or speaking
- gum irritation and sores
- inability to chew hard or sticky food
- awkward sucking and clicking sounds
In comparison, implant-supported dentures do not require adhesives or paste, regardless of type. Removable implant dentures snugly snap into place when attached. While fixed implant dentures are reminiscent of natural teeth.
As a result, regular denture wearers who upgrade to implant dentures say goodbye to most of the eccentricities they had to cope with. Slips and embarrassing sounds are almost non-existent. And you can begin to eat your favorite foods that you had to give up.
- Does virtually nothing to preserve jawbone and gum structures. Because regular dentures do not stimulate the jawbone, inevitable bone resorption (deterioration) occurs unchecked. This would cause the jawbone to shrink, losing both bone quantity and density, and altering the appearance of your face and smile.
As for the gums, traditional dentures are infamous for being of more harm than good.
Implant-supported dentures, on the other hand, do well to check bone deterioration and gum recession. And in so doing, preserve the jawbone, gum, and facial structure.
- Short lifespan. Regular dentures don’t last as long as implant-supported dentures do.
Implant Denture Terminology
Read enough literature about implant dentures, and it’s likely that the inconsistent usage of some terms will confuse you. Some of the most challenging culprits are:
- Implant overdenture
An overdenture is the visible prosthetic part of any denture. Most overdentures have a pink acrylic resin base (looking like the gum) and white porcelain or acrylic artificial teeth. Some overdentures use other materials.
Thus, an implant overdenture is the prosthetic that attaches to the implant posts. For regular dentures, the overdenture is not distinct from the denture, as it sits directly on the gums. Which is why many use both (overdenture and denture) interchangeably for regular dentures. And sometimes even for implant dentures (often as ‘implant-supported overdenture’ to refer to an implant denture that is not fixed).
Overdentures are almost always removable. Overdentures that have been fixed (used in placing fixed implant dentures) often cease to be called overdentures, unless when trying to tell the parts apart.
- Implant denture
It is also called an implant-supported denture. It essentially refers to the entire denture assembly comprising the implant post, abutment, and overdenture.
- Snap-in denture
It is also called a snap-on denture. It is simply a synonym of implant-supported denture, usually the removable type. The snap-on part of the term originates from the snapping action required to attach the overdenture and the abutment securely.
- Partial denture
The term denture often refers to full-arch teeth restorations. Technically, it should be complete denture, but complete is often omitted. A partial denture as the name implies is the type of prosthetic that looks like a denture but replaces some teeth (rather than all the teeth) in a jaw. Partial dentures are generally removable.
Prosthetics that also replace some teeth in a jaw but are not removable are called dental or fixed bridges.
Fixed bridges anchored to implant posts are called implant-supported bridges.
Types of Implant Dentures in Carrollton, TX
By nature of implant denture
- Permanent Implant Denture
Permanent or fixed implant dentures generally belong to a family of All On * (where * is the number of implants supporting the denture) implant dentures, also called hybrid dentures. They are a number of branded and non-branded implant dentures that emphasize the need to support full-arch replacement teeth on 4 to 8 dental implants.
The most common denture in this family is the all-on-4 denture or dental implant. It is almost the de facto term for the family. Another common denture in the family is the all-on-6 implant. Several names, ranging from same day implant to instant loading implant, are used to refer to this family of dentures, especially when they carry the promise of a one-day procedure.
Dentures in this family are typically fixed and are an ideal replacement for complete tooth loss.
Fixed Full-Arch Implant-Supported Bridges
Implant-supported bridges are a category of implant prosthetics for individuals who have lost some but not all of their teeth. However, some aren’t strict with the term and use it refer to complete dentures that are fixed, use 4-8 dental implants, and made of high-end materials as fixed full-arch implant-supported bridges. This may appear confusing at first glance since not everyone subscribes to this use of the term (as the all-on-* denture family is also fixed and use 4-8 dental implants).
Dentures that fall under this nomenclature are typically more expensive and better than usual all-on-* dentures, almost entirely because they use higher-quality materials. For example, while the usual hybrid dentures use denture teeth and acrylic, full-arch implant bridges use porcelain that has more esthetic value, is durable, and is easier to clean.
- Removable Implant Denture
Removable implant-supported dentures are implant dentures with removable prosthetics (overdentures). You can remove the overdenture (and should nightly) for thorough cleaning.
Although they are less expensive than fixed or permanent implant dentures, some individuals do not like the routine of removing overdentures, instead opting to pay more for a fixed implant denture that is more like natural teeth.
Also called implant-supported overdentures, they require more maintenance than permanent implant dentures, as they may need repairs, relining, or replacement of attachment parts when they inevitably wear out from the repeated snapping and detaching.
- Implant-Retained Denture
Many use “implant-retained dentures” as a synonym of “implant-supported dentures” in Carrollton, Texas. But the relationship between both terms is a lot like that between “Ford car” and “automobile.” All Ford cars are automobiles. But all automobiles are not Ford cars.
Similarly, all implant-retained dentures are implant-supported dentures, but all implant-supported dentures are not implant-retained dentures.
So how they do differ?
The major difference is the level of support provided by the implants. The implants in implant-retained dentures (IRDs) do not absorb most of the force from a bite like the implants in other types of implant-supported dentures (ISDs) do. Instead, the gums of IRDs bear most of the force of a bite.
As a result, IRDs are cheaper, may be used with mini dental implants, may be used with fewer dental implants (sometimes only two implants would do) and often do not require bone grafts. They are also usually removable.
Because IRDs use the gums for substantial support, sore spots are common (although not to the same degree as regular dentures), and they may require periodic relining. Furthermore, they do not offer the same stability as other ISDs.
By type of attachment
- Ball-retained dentures
The connection of ball-retained dentures, also called stud-attachment dentures, is a classic male-female connection, a lot like the headphone jack-headphone plug connection. Usually, the abutment attachment on the implant is shaped like a ball (male), while the attachment on the overdenture is shaped like a socket (female). It may be the other way round.
Regardless, both sides snap together for a snug fit.
- Bar-retained dentures
Bar-retained dentures are a tad more complex. The abutment is a thin metal bar with other attachment accessories (could be clips or something else). The bar follows the jaw’s curve and is attached to the top of the implants placed in your jawbone.
Afterwards, the attachment accessories are fitted to the bar, the overdenture, or both. Then the overdenture is placed over the bar and attached securely using the attachment accessories.
Benefits of Implant-Supported Dentures
- Provide better fit and more comfort
- Offer improved ability to eat, speak, and smile
- Are the ideal full-arch restoration option as they look and feel like natural teeth
- Preserve jawbone, gum, and facial structure
- Help rouse your self-confidence and self-esteem
- Do not require dental adhesives
- Have longer lifespans
The Implant-Supported Denture Process in Carrollton, Texas
- The implant denture process starts with an initial consultation with a dental specialist. The consultation would involve a review of your medical and dental histories, detailed examination (often using x-ray imaging or CT scan), and creating impressions of your gums and teeth to guide the process of making custom models.
Furthermore, if you do not have an existing denture, you may be given a regular denture to wear until the implant denture is placed.
- After the consultation process, depending on your treatment plan, you may need to have a tooth extraction, gum graft, bone graft, and/or treatment of any underlying condition (such as periodontal disease.
- The next step is to have your first surgery to place the implant posts in your jawbone. Following the surgery, the implant would be left to fuse with the jawbone in a process known as osseointegration.
- With osseointegration complete (and confirmed using x-ray imaging), you’d have a second, simpler surgery to place healing caps that’d help the gum tissue heal correctly.
Roughly two weeks after this (second) surgery, the healing caps on each abutment will be replaced with an abutment or connector. After which, an impression would be made of your gum tissue and abutments. The impression will be used to make a working model of your jaw and abutments, and the model will, in turn, be used to make the framework and teeth of the overdenture.
- The last stage of the implant denture process is to place, test, and adjust the overdenture. This is usually completed over two visits.
Duration of the Implant Denture Procedure in Carrollton, Texas
Depending on your treatment plan, an implant-supported denture procedure can take anywhere from five months to up to a year (or more). You’d usually have some teeth to wear throughout the entire process.
Risks Associated with Implant Dentures
- Screws may loosen
- Screw fracture
- Implant may loosen
- Implant fracture
- Possible infection
- Osseointegration issues
- Fractured or cracked abutment
- Abutment screw failure
- Dislodged attachments
- Clips may loosen
- Clip fracture
- Ball socket malformation
- Prosthetic fracture or crack
- Prosthetic wear