Is it possible to combine dental implants with dentures? Absolutely! If you have multiple missing teeth, adding a biocompatible “tooth root” (dental implant) at certain points in your mouth can help stabilize your denture prosthesis.
Even though dentures have been around for centuries, they continue to be adapted and updated. Especially now that dental implant treatment is so accessible!
What are Retained Dentures?
Retained dentures or “overdentures” are essentially full dentures that replace all of your missing teeth at one time. Each one has special “locators” on the underside of the denture, which correlates to a specific, single implant in an area of your mouth. Usually, we use four implants, but two isn’t uncommon. Each of the dental implants has a special attachment that allows your dentures to “clip” onto them. This secure fit keeps your dentures in place and allows your prosthesis to be removed at the end of the day.
Retained dentures are the perfect middle ground between conventional dentures and a full-arch All-on-4 system. And since your jaw bone is so strong, we won’t need one implant for each one tooth that’s missing. Many patients can restore up to 14-16 teeth at a time with about four dental implants in total.
How Many Implants Hold the Dentures in Place?
Thanks to their strength, implants provide an extremely high level of integrity and support. Even for an entire arch, we can place as few as 2-4 dental implants to support a removable snap-on denture. The improved oral function it allows gives you more confidence and comfort than what you’ll see from a conventional denture design. For someone who wants to replace their missing teeth but isn’t ready for a permanent All-on-4 system, dental implants can enhance the stability and chewing power of an adapted denture design.
The shape of your jaw and any bone loss can affect how many implants are needed. Sometimes surgical guides can be used to place the implants, eliminating the need for additional grafts or surgery.
Overdentures vs. Traditional Dentures
If you were to compare conventional dentures to an overdenture, they almost look identical. The only difference is that you overdenture—also called an “implant stabilized denture” or “implant-supported denture” clips/snaps onto four dental implants (sometimes two, if you have good dental health and don’t need a bone graft.)
Traditional dentures rest directly on top of your gums, so there’s always a risk that they rub or slip, irritating your gum tissue. When you want the security of something keeping your existing denture in place, dental implants eliminate the need for messy pastes or adhesives. The underside of retained dentures is fitted to attach to the implant posts, preventing it from moving around throughout the day.
Instead of replacing one missing tooth, both of these denture options profile full mouth teeth replacement in your home dental office.
If you have a new denture that doesn’t fit comfortably, it might be possible to retrofit it into an implant retained denture. We encourage new patients to request an appointment and bring their prosthesis to discuss whether or not this method is an option for them.
Overdentures vs. All-on-4
If you want a completely new and stable bite, both implant stabilized overdentures, and All-on-4 implants are great options. Both attach to titanium posts and offer better stability than conventional dentures. And in either case, somewhere around four dental implants are used (give or take, depending on actual patients, their medical history, if they need bone grafting, etc.)
The main difference is that overdentures/implant-stabilized dentures are removable. And they still cover your full upper arch of teeth like a “plate” denture does. But All-on-4 dental implants act more like a hybrid, extended dental bridge. The U-shaped denture isn’t removable, and it doesn’t cover the roof of your mouth. Our dentist affixes it into place so that once it’s installed, it isn’t going anywhere. Whereas you’ll still need to take an implant stabilized denture out at night for oral health purposes.
Home Care for Overdentures
Your new smile will be fully healed within just a short period of time. To keep your jaw and gum tissues healthy, you’ll want to thoroughly clean your implant supported denture, the implant posts that support it, and any surrounding teeth elsewhere in your mouth. Good oral health is still important with dental implants!
Quickly Replace Missing Teeth
Since dental implants act like tooth roots, they gently rest under your bone and gum tissue to predictably replace missing teeth. If you’ve experienced tooth loss and want to consider implant supported dentures, this dental treatment is extremely predictable and efficient. It can even help prevent bone loss where the implants are installed. If you do have other teeth/adjacent teeth but are restoring your entire arch, additional extractions may be necessary.
A typical implant retained denture can usually be completed start-to-finish in less time than a permanent implant denture. And our Leawood implant dentist will work to make sure you always have something to smile with, even if you require dental extractions.
Boost Your Self Confidence
When you invest in a dental implant retained denture, you have the confidence to know that you can go about your day-to-day activities. Talking or sharing a meal with friends isn’t embarrassing. And since you’ll have a beautiful smile (you can choose what your new teeth look like), you’ll feel great showing it off or taking photos with your family. The newfound confidence can boost your self-esteem, spilling over into your personal and professional life.
Are You Near Leawood, KS and Looking to Restore Your Bite?
Contact Gordon Dental for full-mouth implant supported restorations near Kansas City. We offer a wide variety of dental implant services including both implant placement and final restoration in one dental practice. Our focus on implant dentistry allows you to enjoy quality care with a dental home and team you can trust! If you have several teeth to replace or already wear removable dentures, we encourage you to give us a call.