When looking at options for dentures, a dentist typically presents two solutions: Traditional or implant-supported.
Traditional dentures sit on top of the gumline, while implant-supported dentures are anchored to the jawbone through implants. As a result, this newer option provides a greater degree of stability and functionality.
If you’re currently evaluating both denture solutions, consider the benefits of implant-supported dentures.
What Are Implant-Supported Dentures?
Generally speaking, implant-supported dentures are built on the structure and technology of dental implants.
Titanium posts are inserted through the gums into the jaw. Through a process known as osseointegration, they bond to the existing bone. Instead of individual teeth, a full set of dentures are attached to the implants.
Typically, doctors recommend implant-supported dentures when patients no longer have teeth along their lower jaw but enough bone to support the posts. The dentures may be fixed or can be removable for cleaning and care.
Why Choose Implant-Supported Dentures?
Implant-supported dentures offer the following benefits over their traditional counterparts.
Implant-supported dentures are essentially anchored to the jawbone, creating a sensation and functionality similar to a full set of teeth. This arrangement has a positive effect on quality of life:
- You can eat more foods, including hard and chewy choices. With traditional dentures, many patients are told to stick with softer foods and liquids.
- The dentures are less likely to slide around and slip out of your mouth.
- You’ll have an easier time talking with implant-supported dentures, which allow for more natural annunciation.
With traditional dentures, an adhesive must first be applied to keep the pair in place. The posts create a greater sense of security for implant-supported dentures. Yet the adhesive has potential to irritate the gums, resulting in general discomfort and potential mouth sores.
Building off stability, implant-supported dentures let you eat food without making any adjustments. Not only can you enjoy a wider variety of items but you’re still able to use a natural chewing motion, rather than having to worry about your dentures sliding around. For older adults, traditional dentures have been known to change appetite and digestion in relation to how easy certain foods are to chew.
A Natural-Looking Smile
Aesthetics are only one factor: Long-term use of traditional dentures has been known to wear down gum tissue. This becomes apparent whenever you smile.
The friction is far less with implant-supported dentures, helping preserve gum tissue and decrease discomfort. Their fixed, stable nature creates a more natural smile and works to prevent jawbone loss that can further change facial characteristics.
Based on the type of implant-supported dentures recommended, care may be as simple as brushing and flossing your teeth every day – a routine you should already be used to.
Traditional dentures require you to fully remove the set to clean and sterilize, including scrubbing off any adhesive and food deposits from the day. It ends up being a more intensive process that reminds you that you no longer have a set of natural teeth in your mouth.
With traditional dentures, you risk additional jawbone loss. This can alter your facial structure and affect how you chew. Long term, your dentures need to be adjusted to accommodate these changes.
By contrast, implants are designed to stimulate bone growth and preserve the jawbone’s structure. As a result:
- You retain your facial structure
- You experience fewer difficulties eating and speaking
- Your jaw provides a consistent amount of strength
- You can continue using the same set of dentures without adjustments
Aside from bone, the wear and weight from a set of traditional dentures can further contribute to gum tissue loss, resulting in a receded appearance. Because implant-supported dentures are fixed and sit just above the gumline, more gum tissue is preserved.
To learn more about implant-supported dentures, contact our Shelton office today.