Wondering what type of materials are used to make dentures? Also known as dental prosthesis and false teeth, dentures are necessary for those who are missing some or all of their teeth. A healthy mouth is one that has a full set of teeth, making it necessary for those who are missing teeth to learn…
How Implant Supported Dentures Can Improve Oral Health
Among the options available to replace missing teeth are implant supported dentures. These are similar to regular dentures in that both types consist of acrylic or porcelain teeth fixed into an acrylic base resembling the gums. However, while regular dentures sit directly on top of the gums, the implant-supported variety attach to implants placed in the jawbone itself. This holds the dentures more firmly in place and prevents them from slipping.
Oral health benefits of implant supported dentures
In addition to improving functionality, implant supported dentures also offer benefits to a person's oral health.
Avoidance of gum sores
Regular dentures sit directly on a person's gums but do not always fit securely. This can cause the dentures to rub on the tender flesh of the gums and cause painful sore spots. With implants, dentures no longer sit directly on the gums. As a result, they are unlikely to cause sores.
Reduction of tooth and gum disease risk
The irritation that can result from dentures rubbing on the gums is not only uncomfortable, but it can also cause the skin to break open. This could allow bacteria an entry point to the gums and the jaw, as well as any remaining teeth, and start an infection. Preventing the sores and closing the gaps left by missing teeth helps prevent exposure to harmful bacteria.
Stimulation of the jawbone
When a permanent tooth is missing, the lack of support causes the bone that surrounded the tooth root to weaken and break down. When all or most of the teeth are missing, the bone density of the entire jaw decreases. This causes the jawbone to change shape over time. Metal implants into the jaw provide the support and stimulation needed to prevent loss of bone density, allowing the jawbone to keep its shape and reducing its risk of fracture.
Types of implant supported dentures
There are two basic types of implant supported dentures. Each requires at least two implants to work. However, the number of implants required may depend on several factors. The maximum number of implants needed to support dentures is usually five.
Both the dentures and the implants have attachments that fit together to hold the dentures in place. The attachments on the dentures usually contain sockets that fit over ball-shaped attachments on the implants. For this reason, this type is also called ball-retained dentures.
Once the implants have been placed into the jawbone, a thin metal bar is placed in the patient's mouth and attached to them. The metal bar follows the curve of the jaw. The dentures and/or the metal bar have attachments that allow them to fit together.
Because dental implants help prevent the shape of the jaw from changing, it may not be necessary to craft new dentures to accommodate. However, no dentures are expected to last forever, and it may eventually be necessary to create new ones for other reasons. Nevertheless, in many regards, implant supported dentures represent a better long-term tooth replacement solution than regular dentures.
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