Having a healthy smile is a big part of living a full life. When you’re missing teeth, you may feel like you’re missing out on everyday things you used to love – eating your favorite foods, laughing and smiling with confidence, and speaking with ease. If you’ve replaced missing teeth with a denture but find that it’s uncomfortable or unstable, the team at Riccobene Associates Family Dentistry can fit you for implant-supported dentures. This denture option is more secure than traditional dentures and allows you to feel confident in your smile again.
What Are Implant-Supported Dentures?
For patients missing most or all teeth in either their upper or lower arch, implant-supported dentures provide a solid replacement option. Traditional dentures sit on an acrylic base and contain false teeth that look natural. An adhesive is used to keep the denture in place on the gums. But with implant-supported dentures, there is no need for an adhesive. Rather, the denture fits snugly onto strategically placed implants. This attachment method is stronger than using adhesives.
We offer two different kinds of implant-supported dentures.
- Bar-retained: A metal bar along the jaw attaches to two to five implants. The bar and denture both have clasps that snap together to secure the denture in place.
- Ball-retained: Implants placed into the jaw each feature a ball-shaped attachment on top that lines up to holes in the denture. The holes allow you to snap the denture into place on the implants.
The Implant Procedure
The length of your implant process depends on how many teeth are being replaced, the restoration being used, and the condition of your gums and jawbone. On average, the treatment from start to finish takes about five months for the lower jaw and seven months for the upper. No matter how long your procedure takes, though, we think you’ll be pleased with the end result.
- Initial consultation: Meet with one of our Raleigh-area dentists to go over your dental health and tooth replacement needs. We’ll also take X-rays and impressions to begin making your implants and restorations.
- Temporary dentures: If you don’t already have a denture, we’ll create a temporary one for you to wear while we prepare your implants. Not only does this give you better use of your mouth, but it also allows us to determine the placement of your implants.
- First surgery: We’ll place a series of implants into your jawbone. We strategically place the implants to give your implant-supported dentures the most stable connection possible. Over the course of the next three to six months, the implants will fuse with your jawbone.
- Second surgery: During this surgery, we’ll expose the implants to place what’s called a healing cap on top of each one. Two weeks later, we’ll replace the healing caps with traditional abutments – the piece that will attach to your denture. We’ll also take an impression so we can create your final denture and make sure everything lines up properly.
- Denture insertion: Once your new denture is ready, you’ll come in for a fitting. We’ll make any necessary adjustments, and then you’ll be on your way with a new, beautiful, fully functioning smile.
Implant-Supported Dentures Aftercare
Just like with traditional dentures, you’ll need to take out your implant-supported denture and clean it and all attachments every night. We’ll go over your cleaning instructions at your fitting appointment. Because the implant-supported denture is more secure than traditional dentures, you’ll find that you’re able to eat more foods than you could before. You’ll also be able to smile, laugh, and talk without fear of your denture slipping.
Are implant-supported dentures permanent?
The implants used to support the denture are permanently placed into your jawbone. The denture itself can be replaced if it’s ever necessary.
Are implant-supported dentures safe?
Yes! Implant-supported dentures are very safe, and they provide increased comfort and stability.
How much do implant-supported dentures cost?
The cost of implant-supported dentures varies depending on your needs, the condition of your gums and jawbone, and how many implants we use to stabilize the denture. During your initial implant consultation, we’ll go over your expected out-of-pocket costs and financial options.