For the benefit of your oral health, it’s usually best to replace a lost tooth. These gaps in your smile can impact your “bite” and how well you can chew and speak. Losing teeth can make your remaining ones have to work harder and cause headaches and muscle pain in your jaws. Not to mention the effect it will have on your appearance. Below you’ll find important information concerning the replacement of missing teeth with an implant retained denture.
While some patients are not bothered by an upper denture, some find it difficult to eat with the presence of lower dentures. There are a few implant-supported replacement options if you’re missing all your lower teeth.
One alternative is to have two implants placed in your lower jaw and fabricate a denture that snaps onto them. This alternative lets your lower denture remain stable while chewing, as opposed to without implants. However, your lower denture may move slightly. This may result in you getting some sore spots if any food particles, such as seeds, are caught underneath. Just like any other type of removable teeth, periodic appointments will be required to make necessary adjustments.
Another alternative is to place four to six implants into your lower jaw. The number of implants will depend on the size and shape of your jaw. After your healing period, a custom-made support bar will connect all implants. Your denture is then fabricated with special retention clips that will attach to the support bar, snapping it into place. This is known as an “overdenture.” This option is much more stable than the first alternative because it doesn’t allow much denture movement. Your denture will still be removable for cleaning and maintenance purposes.
A third alternative requires the placement of five or more implants into your jaw and attaching a permanent denture. This denture is held in place by screws or clasps that hold it to the support post or bar. There is no contact with the gum tissue, which lets you clean underneath the denture without having to remove it. This denture will serve as a replacement for all your lower teeth and won’t have to be removed except for maintenance appointments. That being said, cleaning underneath your denture without removing it will require more time and finesse. Lots of patients who prefer a permanent denture tend to go with this option.
For your upper jaw, similar treatment options are available. One difference is that the bone in your upper jaw is not as strong as the lower jaw. As a result, more implants are needed in your upper jaw to support new teeth placement. Depending on the number of implants, it may be possible to not have to cover the roof of your mouth with a complete denture. This would give you a better sense of temperature without affecting the taste of your food. All in all, it’s a more natural feeling. Your denture will still be removable so cleaning it along with the support bar will still be easy.
Depending upon the number of implants to be placed, it may be possible to eliminate the need for covering the roof of your mouth with a complete denture. This option allows you to fully taste your food and gives you a better sense of its temperature. Your denture will feel more natural. You will still have a removable denture, which makes cleaning the support bar and denture much easier.