September 1, 2018 What are implant-supported dentures? Are you tired of your dentures slipping when you eat, chew or even laugh? Are you missing multiple teeth and think dentures are your only choice? Now there are solutions. Implant supported and implant retained dentures offer two options for a more secure oral fitting while eating and talking. They serve to correct the slipping and grinding of a regular denture. What are the advantages of implant-supported dentures? These dentures are secured in your mouth by creating a foundational support on which your denture is anchored. At Caffaratti Dental Group, both Dr. Frank Caffaratti and Dr. Jason Doucette are board certified and trained to insert this type implant in your jawbone. These benefit your health by improving your ability to chew and eat without your denture slipping. Implant-supported dentures also provide an aesthetically pleasing smile giving you confidence in all social and professional settings. The implant supported-denture can be more expensive then the implant-retained denture. This is due to the number of implants required, stronger materials used and potentially bone grafting or tissue regeneration needed if the jawbone has deteriorated. However, the long-term benefits may outweigh the initial outlay since they allow for eating of chewier foods such as steak and do not require daily removal and cleaning. With implant-supported dentures, as you eat, the force of each bite is transferred through the gums to the jaw, duplicating the natural process. What are implant-retained dentures and how are they different? With implant-retained dentures, fewer implants are used. For this reason, the costs are usually less than the implant-supported dentures. Implant-retained dentures are frequently used in cases where bone loss dictates bone grafting or build-up and the patient and/or dentist chooses not to go that route. During your consultation, all options and fees will be discussed so that you have a complete picture of your choices as well as benefits of each solution. While retained implants offer a good solution and allow the patient to speak confidently and eat more comfortably they do not provide the most natural option to secure your dentures. Benefits of implant-supported dentures Restores natural chewing Improves speech and confidence Increases comfort Creates little or no irritation of gum tissue Eliminates cost of denture adhesives The implant-supported treatment and procedure Once you complete your consultation and have a clear picture of the treatment and outcomes, the patient coordinator will begin the treatment planning process. This includes X-rays and a CT scan of your mouth. Once we review the images, we again meet with you to discuss your treatment options. We will also take a digital impression of your teeth. At this time Dr. Caffaratti or Dr. Doucette will discuss the images as well as their recommendations and costs. If you are a candidate for implant-supported dentures and choose this option then your cosmetic dentist will construct these for either the upper or lower arch or both. If you choose implant-supported dentures your dentist will surgically implant 4 titanium implants in your jaw. Afterwards, a temporary denture is made and inserted and locked in place for a comfortable and natural fit. After approximately 6 months, the jawbone will have formed additional bone to fuse the implant in place. Once this process is complete, your dentist will make a final impression of your mouth and gums to create the permanent set of teeth. When complete, the new custom, implant-supported dentures will be placed and the temporary ones removed. How do you care for implant-supported dentures? Your new set of custom dentures not only function as natural teeth but they require the same care. Daily brushing, flossing and rinsing of your mouth and gums will help keep your new teeth in great shape. Dental check-ups and cleanings should be done a regular basis. If you ever notice any changes in your new dentures then you should schedule a visit to your dentist right away. Implant supported and implant retained FAQ’s What is the implant-supported denture process? A small incision is made through the gums to the jawbone so the dentist can drill a tiny hole in which the implant is inserted. Once sufficient implants are in place, the gum tissue is replaced and allowed to heal. The dentist may suggest temporary tooth colored restoration until the gums and tissue have healed. This process usually takes several months and allows the implant to adhere to the jawbone making for a strong support base. Once this process is complete, you will be fitted for your custom permanent implant-supported set of dentures. Are implant-supported dentures removable? No. They are securely fixed to the implants as the base. Only your dentist can remove them. Alternately, implant-retained dentures must be removed at night and when cleaned. How long do implant-supported dentures last? Since these dentures are permanent, fixed and not removed at night, they usually last much longer than regular ones that are prone to wear and breakage. Can I have implant-supported or retained dentures if I have sleep apnea? Yes, implant-supported is the better choice due to the fixed nature of the dentures. Sleep apnea patients benefit from the security of implant-supported dentures at night and find them more comfortable. With implant-retained dentures, since they must be removed at night, you are creating an even larger cavity in which the tongue can slip backwards. Can I benefit if I have TMJ? Yes, possibly. Just as with sleep apnea, being able to keep dentures in place at night provides a more comfortable base for support of their jaw and mouth. Hear what our patients are saying about their experience Call us today to schedule your consultation for implant-supported dentures and be well on your way to a new smile!