For patients missing one or both rows of teeth, traditional dentures have proven to be an effective means of restoring the function of the mouth. However, there are many inconveniences associated with wearing traditional dentures. At The Center for Cosmetic Dentistry, AACD-accredited cosmetic dentist Robert Rioseco, DMD offers state-of-the-art implant dentures that can provide a number of unique advantages over traditional dentures.
What Are Implant Dentures?
Implant dentures, also called anchored dentures or implant-supported dentures, are securely held in place by dental implants. Since the dental implants fuse to the jawbone, these removable dentures feel more stable and can improve comfort on the gums. Each implant denture is custom-made to look beautiful and natural, improving the aesthetics of your smile as well as oral function.
What Are the Pros of Implant Dentures?
With traditional dentures, pastes or adhesives must be used to hold the denture in place, which can be troublesome as well as messy. Even after traditional dentures have been adhered to the gums with an adhesive, “slippage” often occurs, leading to physical discomfort, difficulties eating, or fear that the dentures will shift while speaking. Implant dentures allow patients to leave these worries behind and can provide the following benefits:
- No pastes or adhesives
- Optimal comfort
- Secure, precise fit
- Improved bite strength
- Ability to speak with confidence and ease
- Natural feel and look
Compared to traditional dentures, implant dentures may also reduce wear to the gums and minimize loss of jawbone density. Some of our patients who are not good candidates for a full set of single-implant tooth replacements choose implant dentures as an alternative with many of the same advantages.
What Are My Implant Denture Options?
During the consultation process, Dr. Rioseco will perform an oral exam and design a customized treatment plan for your implant dentures that is suited for your needs. There are several techniques available for performing the implant denture procedure. Depending upon factors such as jawbone density and the arches that need to be replaced, one of the following options may be used:
- All-on-4®: With the All-on-4® technique, each implant denture is held in place by four dental implants per arch. Two of these dental implants are located toward the front of the mouth on either side of the arch, and two additional implants are placed toward the rear of the arch and angled posteriorly.
- All-on-6: This implant denture technique is a variation of the All-on-4® method, but uses six dental implants per arch rather than four. “All-on-6” is typically a good choice for patients with minimal jawbone density and can be used to avoid the need for bone grafting.
- Full Mouth Restoration: This full mouth replacement technique is used for patients who need to replace both the upper and lower arches simultaneously. The result is a brand new, beautiful, and fully-functional smile.
Implant-Retained vs. Implant-Supported Dentures
Implant dentures can either be implant-retained or implant-supported, and understanding the differences between the two is important:
- Implant-Retained Dentures can be removed from the mouth by the patient and require fewer dental implants (potentially mini-dental implants can be used). This option can be suitable for individuals who have areas of diminished jawbone density, are looking for a less costly tooth replacement solution, and/or who want a shorter implant healing period. The downsides of this method are that implant-retained dentures do not mimic a natural bite as closely, and much of the bite forces are absorbed by the soft tissue rather than the jawbone.
- Implant-Supported Dentures require about four to eight standard dental implants placed evenly throughout each jaw to hold each denture in a fixed position. Good jawbone density is necessary to support these dental implants and some patients may require bone grafts to create a more stable foundation for implantation. Unlike implant-retained dentures, implant-supported dentures can closely replicate a strong, natural bite in which the jawbone (rather than the gum tissue) absorbs the bite forces. These dentures cannot be removed by the patient, instead they must be removed with the help of a skilled dentist. Implant-supported dentures are designed to remain in the mouth, making them easier to maintain than implant-retained dentures that are removed nightly for cleaning.
How Is the Implant Dentures Procedure Performed?
The first step of the implant denture procedure involves oral surgery to place the dental implants into the jaw according to your customized surgical plan. These titanium implants can then fuse to the jawbone and serve as anchors for your new dentures. A temporary denture may be worn during the time it takes for the dental implants to fuse. Then you can return to our office and your permanent denture can be secured in place. Each implant denture is custom-made to fit comfortably in the mouth and look natural.
How Long Do Implant-Supported Dentures Last?
Implant-supported dentures are crafted from high-quality materials that are designed to last for decades, or even a lifetime, with proper care. Compared with dentures fabricated from acrylic or resin composite, dentures with replacement teeth made of zirconia or another type of high-quality porcelain/ceramic material will usually provide the longest-lasting results.
Regardless of the material used, occasional maintenance may be necessary to keep your dentures in optimal shape. It is also critical that you maintain good oral hygiene and attend twice yearly exams/cleanings at our office—this allows Dr. Rioseco to detect any potential problems with your dental implants (or dentures) early so that he can administer prompt, effective treatment or repair solutions.
How to Clean Implant Dentures
Implant dentures should be cleaned daily with a very soft bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste. If your denture is removable, you should keep it in a special solution or water to keep it from drying out. Those with implant-retained dentures should also clean the tongue, gum tissue, and pay special attention to the areas around the implants.
How Much Do Implant Dentures Cost?
Since each implant denture procedure is customized for the individual patient, the cost will vary. Factors that may influence the price of implant dentures include the technique used, the number of arches that need to be replaced, and laboratory fees for manufacturing the denture. Dr. Rioseco can give you an accurate quote for your custom-tailored implant denture procedure at the conclusion of your initial consultation. Patients who might benefit from low monthly payments or low to no interest may take advantage of one of our dental financing options.
To learn if you are a good candidate for implant dentures, please contact The Center for Cosmetic Dentistry to schedule your consultation.