Implant Supported Dentures
Implant supported dentures (or simply implant dentures) are a type of full overdenture that is secured in place by dental implants instead of simply resting on the gums as conventional dentures. Implant supported dentures can be used in either the lower or upper jaw, but generally upper jaw dentures need a larger number of denture implants for adequate support.
Advantages of Implant Supported Dentures vs. conventional dentures
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Implant supported dentures provide several advantages over conventional dentures that worth their higher cost:
Patients with implant dentures can feel more confident in public because they are no longer afraid the embarrassment of a denture that might slip out of place when they eat, talk or laugh.
Implant supported dentures are much more comfortable for the patient, basically due to their secure placement that eliminates slipping or moving. The patient's comfort is also increased by:
Even with a perfectly fitting removable full denture, the patient has about 20% of the chewing efficiency of a person with natural teeth. The problem becomes worse with aging, because more jawbone is lost and dentures do not fit well, making it difficult to eat certain foods. Implant supported dentures can significantly restore the chewing efficiency over 50% and allow the patient to eat properly and follow a more normal diet without being restricted to soft foods. (very hard or sticky foods should still be avoided)
An implant supported denture does not cover the palate of the mouth. This alone can improve the sensation of taste and let the patient better enjoy his food.
Less Bone Loss
When the natural teeth are lost, the surrounding bone loses its role of supporting them and the body starts to resorb it as useless. The lack of stimulation provided by the teeth roots can lead to massive bone loss in the jaws, seriously affecting facial integrity and appearance. Dentures start to not fit well and have to be replaced or repaired every few years. Denture implants act as the teeth roots continuing to stimulate the bone cells and help the jawbone around them to stop deteriorating. If enough denture implants are used they can help the jawbone structures to remain healthy and intact.
Implant supported dentures look more natural than conventional dentures due to the less plastic needed for retention. Wearing implant supported dentures can help the patient's appearance also in the long term by preventing jaw shrinkage and facial collapse. Patients wearing conventional dentures suffer from severe bone loss that causes the jaws to shrink and the face to have a sunken-in look. Tooth implants can delay bone loss and prevent this condition.
Patients with conventional dentures have difficulty with speaking clearly. Slurred speech and clicking noises are common problems. Steady implant supported dentures help patients talk easily and relaxed with more clear and natural voice.
Less repairs (reline) due to less bone loss - No cost for adhesives use.
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