Last week, we explored dentures as a viable treatment option for missing teeth. This week, we’re digging in deeper to understand lower dentures with implants and how they can also be a sufficient solution. So what’s the big difference between a standard denture and an implant-supported denture? That later receives enhanced stability from the implant and a standard denture sits over the gums and does not attach to an implant.
This form of treatment is typical for patients who are missing all teeth in the jaw but still have sufficient bone to support implants. Lower dentures with implants include attachments that snap onto the implant’s attachments. The attachments make it possible for you to remove the denture daily for cleaning, which is highly recommended. Just like standard dentures, you should never sleep in your implant-supported dentures.
Typically, implant-support dentures are created for the lower jaw to provide more support than a regular denture, which can be unstable in this area of the mouth. Also, a standard denture for the upper jaw is typically sturdy enough on its own and may not require the extra support of an implant.
The Process: Lower Dentures with Implants
The process of implantation is straightforward. However, you will need two surgeries to complete the procedure successfully. Here’s what you can expect:
- Schedule an initial consultation with a dentist who has advanced training in implant placement and restoration. During this examination, your dentist will go over your related medical history, order x-rays, and, in some cases, request a CT scan of your mouth to examine your sinuses and nerves. Testing will ensure that any implant placement does not cause damage to your body.
- Your dentist will make you a complete denture to replace any missing teeth if you aren’t already wearing one. This temporary denture helps your dentist decide on the best placement of the teeth in the final version.
- During the first surgery, your dentist will place the implant in the jawbone. After the procedure, you’ll want to avoid pressure to the implant. For lower dentures, you’ll need to wait about 4 months before you schedule the next surgery, and give your body time to fuse the implant and the jawbone.
- Before the second surgery, your dentist will confirm if the implant-bone fusion was successful. At this time, the dentist will take new x-rays to get a closer look at the implant. In the final surgery, your dentist will place a healing collar on the head of each implant. The healing collar will promote proper healing of the gum tissue. After 2 weeks, your dentist will replace the healing collars with regular abutments.
- Depending on whether you needed a new denture, you’ll wait 5-7 months to try on your dentures with the implants. During this stage, your dentist will take necessary steps to ensure the fit is just right for you.
- Once your dentist develops the dentures, you’ll want to manage them well and create a routine cleaning process every day. You will need to clean your denture attachments every 6-12 months to avoid wear and tear.
Have more questions about lower dentures with implants? Give us a call to schedule your next visit at Aesthetic Dental Clinique, conveniently located in Southfield, Michigan, and Detroit, Michigan.