Keep Dentures Secure with Implant Supported Dentures
Our expert team of Dublin dentists will secure your smile with the help of implant supported dentures
Why should I get dentures instead of fixed porcelain teeth?
Many people do not like the idea of dentures because they are removable, but a supported denture offers some advantages over fixed dental implants, such as:
- Better cosmetically, especially in cases where a lot of gum or bone has receded
- Easier to clean and maintain
- More affordable than porcelain crowns and bridges
Are implant supported dentures right for me?
As long as you are in good health and do not smoke, you will likely be a successful candidate for dental implant-supported dentures. Your age will not affect your suitability – in fact, senior patients may find the sturdier fit of a supported denture the most beneficial.
How do implant supported dentures work?
Implant-supported dentures are available in two types: bar-retained and ball-retained. In both cases, the denture will be formed of an acrylic base matching the natural shade of your gums, while the attached teeth will be made from porcelain or acrylic, for a realistic appearance.
At least two implants will be fitted for effective support. One of the following methods will then be used to attach your denture.
A thin metal bar following the curve of your jaw is attached to two to five implants placed in your jawbone. Clips (or another type of attachment) are fitted to the bar, the denture or both. The denture fits over the bar and is securely clipped into place using the attachments.
Ball-retained dentures (or stud-attachment dentures)
Each implant placed in the jawbone holds a metal attachment that fits into another attachment on the denture. This works similarly to a press-stud mechanism and keeps the denture secure in the mouth, while allowing removal for cleaning.
Ball-retained dentures are the preferred method at Portobello Dental Clinic for their simplicity and reduced cost.
What is the process for implant dentures?
The dental implants are usually placed near the front of your jaw because there is typically higher bone density in the front of the jaw than in the back. Once you lose teeth, you begin to lose bone in that area, however, the front is still usually stronger even if teeth have been missing for some time. An added bonus is that the front of the jaw doesn’t have as many nerves or obstacles that would prevent the easy placement of implants.
The timeframe to complete your new dental implant depends on many factors. The shortest timeframe is about five months for an implant in the lower jaw and seven months for an implant in the upper jaw. These time estimates include surgeries and the placement of the denture. However, the process can last a year or more, especially if you need bone grafting or other preliminary procedures.
Two surgeries are usually are required. The first one places the implants in the jawbone beneath your gums. During the second surgery, an abutment is fixed on top of the implant which shows above the gum line. The second procedure takes place three to six months after the first.
Occasionally, this procedure can be done in one stage, a method which offers a high success rate. In this case, the implants and supporting bar are fitted in one visit.
Before any procedures go ahead you’ll receive a thorough consultation where we’ll do the following:
- Review your medical and dental histories
- Take x-rays of your teeth and gums
- Create impressions of your teeth and gums so that models can be made
In some cases, we may order a computed tomography (CT) scan of your mouth, which shows us where your sinuses (located above your upper teeth) and nerves are. This ensures that these delicate areas will not be affected by the implant placement. A CT scan will also reveal how much bone is available and will help us establish the best locations for the implants.
If you do not already wear a complete denture for your missing teeth, we will make one for you. This temporary denture can be used until the implant-supported denture is ready to be fitted. It will take about four visits spanning several weeks to complete this denture. Using the temporary denture, we can determine the best position for the teeth in your final denture. The temporary denture can also be used as a spare if anything happens to the implant-supported denture and can even be fitted instead of a revised final denture to reduce the overall cost.
First Surgery – Month 1
The first surgery will be to place the implants in the jawbone. During this procedure, the implants are positioned in the bone under the gum and are then allowed to heal.
Following this surgery, you should avoid putting pressure on the implants. The temporary denture can be designed so that direct pressure is placed on other areas, instead of on the implants. It may also be given a soft reline (a new lining next to your gums) to help reduce the pressure on your gums.
After the initial surgery, there is a waiting period of three or four months for lower jaw implants, and five or six months for upper jaw implants. Once the gum has mostly healed, the second surgery is scheduled. By this time, the bone and implants will have attached and fused to each other.
Second Surgery – Month 4 or 5
As soon as the implants have fused with the bone, the second surgery can be scheduled. We will check if the implants are ready for the second surgery by taking an x-ray. This follow-up procedure is less intrusive than the first.
A healing cap (or ‘collar’) is fitted to the head of each implant once it is exposed. This encourages the gum tissue to heal correctly. The collar is a round disc of metal that keeps the gums away from the head of the implant and will be in place for 10 to 14 days. About two weeks after the second surgery, we will replace the healing caps with normal abutment.
By this point, your gums should have healed enough for us to form an impression of your gum tissue and abutments. The impression is used to create a working model of your jaw and its abutments. This model is then used to make the framework for your new denture.
Completion – Month 5 or 6
At this stage, press stud attachments are connected to the implants and the new denture is made. When the denture is inserted, it will clip onto these attachments. We will test every part of your new denture to make sure it is secure. Additionally, we will check your gums and how well your top and bottom teeth connect (your bite) after insertion of the denture.
How do I care for my implant-supported denture?
It goes without saying that you should still remove the denture at night and in order to clean it daily, making sure to work carefully around all the attachments and your gums.
The clip or other attachments in your denture will normally need to be replaced every 6 to 12 months. Attachments are made from nylon (or another plastic material) and will wear with use. The cost for these replacements is included in the overall price of your treatment for two years after you receive your denture. The abutments (the studs attached to your dental implants) can also wear out and will need to be replaced every 3-5 years.
What can I expect from my implant-supported denture?
Your implant-supported denture will provide many benefits, such as:
- More stability than a regular denture
- Increased ease talking
- Less chance of becoming loose or falling out
- Greater chewing ability (although extremely hard or sticky foods should still be avoided)
If you have an implant-supported denture in your upper jaw, an added benefit is that it can be designed to cover less of your palate than a regular denture. This is because the implants will be holding your denture firmly in place instead of the suction created on the roof of your mouth.
What People Are Saying
I would recommend the Portobello Dental Clinic because I felt the price was reasonable, the service was excellent, all the staff were incredibly friendly and helpful and the end result looked great.
I am so glad I found the Portobello Dental Clinic and have no hesitation in recommending them to my family and friends. Everyone at the Portobello clinic is professional and friendly and the follow up phone call after treatment, to inquire how I was feeling was much appreciated.
I recently got implants at Portobello. I am very satisfied with the results and I have confidence that if any problems do arise, that they will be dealt with. I have been going to Portobello for about nine years.