Implant Supported Dentures
Implant supported dentures can also be called snap-in dentures. These are a type of permanent denture that replaces your natural teeth. They have better functioning and comfort than traditional dentures, though the process is a bit more complicated. After implants have been placed and healed completely, you will receive a customized implant-supported denture from your dentist. Oral & Facial Surgery details the entire process.
How Dentures Are Constructed
There are multiple parts of each set of dentures to consider. The dental implants that support the dentures are constructed with titanium, so these are not a viable option for patients with metal allergies. The dentures, themselves, are constructed with a plastic base to mimic the gumline. Artificial teeth are placed on this artificial gumline and these can be made with composite resin, porcelain, or glass ionomer. Dentures may also have metal clips or wires to provide additional support.
How Implant Supported Dentures Are Placed
The dentures are customized for each individual patient. To do this, your dentist will obtain x-rays and a dental mold to get a full picture of your remaining teeth and gums. A dental lab uses these to create your dentures. The x-rays are also useful to our oral & maxillofacial surgeon, who can check if there is enough stable jawbone material to support implants. If not, we may need to perform additional procedures to prepare your jawbone. These could include sinus augmentation and ridge modification. A sinus augmentation is a way to lift the sinus floor which lets us place additional bone tissue into the upper jaw. Ridge modification lets us graft and regenerate sections of the jawbone to increase available bone tissue.
After these procedures are complete, we can schedule you for implant surgery. Anesthesia options for this surgery will be thoroughly discussed. Our oral & maxillofacial surgeon begins the surgery by incising the gums and drilling into your jawbone. The hole this creates will house the dental implant. Tissue may need to be removed or reshaped at this point as well. After placing the implant, we can suture the incision and leave the implant to heal. This process is repeated for every dental implant we place. The implants then take several months to fuse with the natural bone tissue, meaning that the implant takes on the role of a tooth root.
A fixed or removable denture will then be placed by your dentist, the type depending on your personalized treatment plan. Fixed dentures are affixed to the implants with dental cement while removable dentures can be clipped on and off as desired. Dentures are not placed until the tissues have healed fully.
How Dentures Are Maintained
Fixed dentures can be brushed as you would with natural teeth, with a basic toothbrush and toothpaste. Brush twice daily and floss the spaces in between artificial and remaining natural teeth. Also, eat soft food only while you heal so that you do not irritate your gums and cause more swelling.
Removable dentures must be washed each time you take them out using soap and warm water. When you are not wearing them, you will need to keep them in water or a denture cleaning solution.
Call Oral & Facial Surgery in the Lewiston/Clarkston region at 208-743-1640 or in the Moscow/Pullman region at 509-330-5020 to learn more about implant supported dentures.