Patients with missing teeth or poorly fitting dentures face a number of hardships. It can be difficult to eat many kinds of foods, and to speak and smile with confidence. Tooth loss also compromises jawbone integrity, which can lead to facial collapse and more missing teeth. Fortunately, implant-supported dentures can restore dental function and appearance as well as maintain jaw structure. In Ridgewood, NJ, Drs. Jin Ha Joung, Mark Samani, and Min-Hee Cho can place dental implants that anchor your denture securely in place so it will never move around, even if you eat foods like apples and corn on the cob. Because the implants act like tooth roots, they encourage the body to send nutrients to the jaw to keep it healthy. The all-on-four technique has increased candidacy for implant-supported dentures and has drastically improved many of our patients’ everyday lives.
How Implant-supported Dentures Work
As opposed to traditional dentures, which rest on the gums, implant-supported dentures are fixed to dental implant posts. The posts are surgically placed in the jaw, and they fuse with the bone to firmly anchor the denture and offer unrivaled strength and stability.
The all-on-four technique has increased candidacy for implant-supported dentures and has drastically improved many of our patients’ everyday lives.
Implants can retain a denture directly, or with a supporting bar. If the denture is retained directly, it is known as a fixed denture and it is not removable by the patient. The denture has holes for the implants, and your dentist covers the holes up after the denture is attached. You come back to our office for periodic cleaning and maintenance. If you have a supporting bar, then it will be custom made to fit your implants and your denture. The bar will attach to the implants, and the denture will snap or clip onto the supporting bar. With this system, you can remove your own denture for cleaning.
The All-on-Four Treatment Concept
The all-on-4 technique is an innovative treatment concept that allows a full arch denture to be stabilized with just four to six implants. It is a direct, screw-retained denture that we can attach on the same day as your dental implant surgery. The technique was conceptualized for patients with bone loss who are not candidates for bone grafting. While normally implants are placed vertically, with the all-on-4 technique they are placed at strategic angles to maximize the existing bone. Proper placement is critical, and we perform a careful evaluation of the patient’s jaw during the planning stage with our 3D cone beam scanner. The all-on-4 treatment concept is a less invasive procedure with a shorter recovery time. In addition, the use of fewer implants with no bone grafting reduces cost while still providing superior support.
Designing and Placing Implant-supported Dentures
Once your dentist confirms your candidacy for implant-supported dentures, you will need to have your implants placed. Depending on your unique dental condition, you may need prior treatments and procedures to ensure the best success of your implant-supported denture. If you lack sufficient jawbone density, a graft can increase your bone mass and density to sufficiently support the implants. We have a periodontist on site who can handle any implant case.
Dental implant surgery is required to place the implants within your jaw. To design your denture, your dentist will take preliminary impressions and measurements so that our laboratory can create a wax-up. We will also determine the correct shade for the denture using your natural teeth or your existing denture. The wax-up is a model that you can try on so that your dentist can check the fit, appearance, and comfort of your denture.
When your jaw has completely healed, you will return to our office to receive your permanent denture. Though every case will be inherently different based on each unique patient and smile, the process generally takes between six and eight appointments. After your treatment is complete, you will experience the most stable and secure tooth replacement available today.
Benefits of Implant-supported Dentures
Dental implants are self-supporting, meaning they do not rely on other teeth or the bony ridges of the gums to hold your full or partial denture in place. This not only results in superior support and comfort, but also promotes jawbone health. Traditional dentures actually wear down the bony ridges under the gums over time. In contrast, an implant-supported denture helps maintain jawbone mass, which supports the facial structure for a natural appearance. Maintaining a healthy jaw bone will also help preserve any remaining teeth.
Traditional dentures usually require denture adhesive to keep them from moving around. However, adhesives can cause discomfort, and many patients find them messy to use. Implant-supported dentures function much the same way that real teeth do. The dental implants simulate tooth roots and hold the denture firmly in place. In addition, implant-supported dentures look and feel natural, and they will never move around when you speak or eat. Traditional dentures need to be realigned or remade every three to five years as your gum tissue changes, but an implant-supported denture is a permanent solution.