For centuries, dentures were the only solution for missing teeth. Yet denture wearers are all to familiar with the pinching, slipping, and difficulty chewing that dentures often present. Today, there is another option. Here are the major differences between traditional and implant-supported dentures.
The earliest dentures were used around the 7th century BC. By the early 19th century, they were common among those who were able to pay for them. The 20th century brought prices down through mass production, while advances in technology created a far better-fitting and more realistic appearance. Today, highly life-like dentures placed by a skilled dentist can be reasonably comfortable and provide a good deal of chewing ability. They are affordable and many patients find them acceptable.
Still, traditional dentures have a number of problems. Since they rest on your gums, bite force is limited, and slippage is always a risk. Upper dentures are more stable than lower dentures, as an acrylic palate uses suction to adhere to the roof of your mouth. But this palate affects the taste and texture sensations of food and can feel irritating. Some people even find that their gag reflex is triggered by the palate.
In addition, when tooth roots are lost, the body begins to lose bone density in the jaw through a process known as resorption. This can cause facial sagging and wrinkles, and lead to a constant cycle of denture readjustment.
Instead of resting on the gums or relying on an acrylic palate, implant-supported dentures are anchored by titanium dental implants. These tiny screws actually integrate into the jawbone, taking the place of tooth roots. This provide a strong, stable foundation for the dentures, virtually eliminating slippage and restoring nearly full bite strength. In addition, the implants reverse the process of bone loss, ensuring that the jawbone remains strong.
Implant-supported dentures are available in two main types. Removable overdentures, also known as implant-retained or snap-on dentures, can be supported by as few as two dental implants. Using clasps or similar devices, the denture snaps onto the supports. You can remove the denture for cleaning or sleeping, but while it is in your mouth, the implants help to provide stability and bite force. This is a cost-effective solution for many patients.
Fixed implant-supported dentures, or fixed implant bridges, are permanently attached to implants. This type of denture is somewhat more expensive, as it requires more implants to secure the bridge. However, it is also the most similar to natural teeth. It will restore nearly all of your original bite force, is not removed for cleaning or sleeping, and is virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth.
Benefits of Implant-Supported Dentures
Whether you choose a fixed or removable implant-supported denture, you will notice the difference right away. Your teeth will feel strong and stable, and you will regain the confidence to speak and laugh naturally. You will be able to eat foods you might have long since given up on, and your face will appear younger and fuller. While traditional dentures are certainly better than missing teeth, why not consider investing in a solution that is more comfortable, more natural, and more secure?
Married dentists Chad and Alexandra Schnabel welcome you to Savannah Dental Solutions. From caring children’s dentistry to high-tech cosmetic procedures and even full-mouth reconstruction, we blend the latest technology with traditional customer-oriented values. To start your journey to better oral health, call us today at (912) 354-1366.