Do you find the daily chore of denture cleaning and maintenance too cumbersome? Do you miss eating your favourite foods and enjoying the full taste?
If you are ready to make a change and improve the quality of your life, then it’s time to visit Rockcliffe Dental & Denture Centre to discuss a better alternative to traditional dentures – implant-supported dentures in Ottawa.
What Are Implant-Supported Dentures?
Implant-supported dentures, also known as “implant-retained dentures”, “implant overdentures”, or simply “denture implants”, are full-palate teeth prosthetics that combine dentures and dental implants.
Unlike traditional dentures, implant-supported dentures are anchored by dental implants embedded in your jawbone, rather than resting on your gums and being affixed with denture adhesives. Such dentures can be both removable and permanent: removable implant-supported dentures should be taken out for cleaning, while permanent ones can only be removed at a dental office.
Generally, implant-supported dentures are a great option when there are no teeth left in the jaw, but there is adequate jawbone to support the implants. Most commonly, this type of prosthetic teeth is used for the lower jaw, providing the required stability to the denture, since conventional dentures often feel unstable in the region of the lower jaw.
Nevertheless, you can receive implant-supported dentures for the upper arch as well.
Benefits of Implant-Retained Dentures
As compared to other replacement options for missing teeth, dental implants present the optimal solution for long-term teeth replacement.
Here are the top benefits of implant-supported dentures for full-arch tooth replacement:
- Aesthetics and function. Denture implants look and function just like natural teeth, which allows you to gain your confidence back and restore the structure of your face and the aesthetics of your smile.
- Comfort. Implant-supported dentures in Ottawa are a lot more comfortable and stable as compared to traditional removable ones. They are customized to fit the mouth of the patient precisely and allow for better distribution of the biting force, restoring comfortable biting and chewing ability.
- Easy maintenance. Permanent implant-supported complete dentures don’t need to be removed for cleaning, – you can brush them similar to the way you would brush your natural teeth.
- Bone preservation. Because dental implants replace some of the natural tooth roots, your natural bone will be better preserved in the long-term, as compared to conventional dentures.
- Shorter healing time. As compared to conventional implants, implant-retained dentures in Ottawa require a minimal total number of dental implants, which means that the procedure is less invasive with minimal postoperative discomfort.
- Long-lasting. Denture implants are created to last a long time. When they do require replacement, it involves a fast and easy procedure, since only the top part of the denture is replaced. Dental implants supporting the denture, on the other hand, can last a lifetime with proper maintenance.
Implant Overdenture Steps
If your dentist recommends you to go with an implant-supported denture, you can expect the following process over the course of several months:
- Implant surgery. First of all, you will have to undergo an in-office surgery, where Dr. Koniouchine will place the implants in your jaw. Dental implants look like small, metal screws that will act as an anchor to your denture. If you don’t have sufficient bones, an additional bone grafting procedure may be required.
- Healing. After the implants are placed, you will have to wait for your jawbone to fuse or osseointegrate with them. For lower jaw implants, the wait time is three to four months, while the upper jaw will take five to six months. Your dentist will place healing caps over implants and might give you a temporary denture to be worn over the implant site in the meantime.
- Abutment placement. After the jawbone and gums have healed, Dr. Koniouchine will replace the healing caps with implant abutments – extensions to which the denture will be attached.
- Impression. Your dentist will also need to make an impression of your gums and abutments in order to create a custom denture framework to fit your mouth precisely.
- Placement of a metal bar. Three to four months after your initial surgery, a metal bar will be placed over the abutments, and you will be able to try on your new artificial teeth to check how they fit.
- Denture placement. Finally, your denture will be placed on the metal bar temporarily. If it fits well, the replacement teeth will be attached to the denture framework. Depending on the type of your implant denture, either locator or bar attachments will be secured.
Soon after your implant-retained denture is attached, your ability to speak and chew will improve, and you will be able to smile with confidence again.
Positioning Your Denture Implants
With implant-supported dentures, implants are strategically positioned within the jaw to provide strong, fixed anchors to the artificial teeth. Dr. Koniouchine will determine the exact number, position, and orientation of denture implants required based on factors such as the size and shape of the jaw and the number of teeth being replaced.
The front part of your jaw bone has more bone than the back area. For that reason, denture implants are often placed closer to the front of the mouth. If your teeth are missing for a longer period of time, additional bone loss is another contributing factor to choosing the front part of the jawbone.
Furthermore, the front of the jaw does not hold any nerves or other structures that could possibly interfere with the position of implants.
Types of Implant Overdentures in Ottawa
There are two standard types of implant-supported full dentures: locator abutment denture and bar-retained denture. In either type, your denture will have an acrylic base that mimics natural gums and acrylic or porcelain teeth.
- Locator abutment dentures. This type of attachment is most commonly used for removable implant-retained overdentures. The locator system is specifically designed for self-correcting alignment, which allows the patient to easily position his overdenture by himself.
- Bar-retained dentures. Bar-supported implant overdentures include a thin metal bar that follows the curve of your jaw, which is attached to the implant posts in the jaw bone. Clips or other attachments are fitted to the denture, the bar, or both. The denture then fits over the bar and the attachments are used to clip it into place.
Complications that May Arise with Implant-Supported Dentures
Just like with any surgery, there are certain risks associated with getting implant-supported dentures. That is why it is important to spend your time learning about the procedure and discussing potential risks with experienced skilled dentists at Rockcliffe Dental & Denture Centre.
For example, with bar-retained dentures, it is crucial to make sure that the bar is evenly balanced between all the denture implants. This is called “passive fit”, and if it is not balanced, it can cause extra stress on the implants.
Choosing a highly-experienced dental professional specialized in dentures and dental implants will help to eliminate the risk of unbalanced fit that can cause loss of dental implants.
Implant Dentures FAQ
While the implants placed in your jawbone are permanent and can last you a lifetime, the actual denture will need to be replaced every 5 to 10 years, depending on how well you take care of it.
Over time, your dentures naturally experience wear and tear, while your mouth and jawbone change in shape. This can make your old teeth ill-fitting. Therefore, it is important to schedule regular checkup visits at Rockcliffe Dental & Denture Centre.
The total cost of an implant-supported denture at Rockcliffe Dental & Denture Centre ranges between $7,000 and $28,000 per arch. This includes 2 to 6 implants and a final denture.
Implant-supported dentures can be either removable or non-removable. With either type, the dental implants supporting the denture will be permanently embedded in your jawbone.
While fixed dentures largely restore your chewing and biting abilities, we recommend staying away from hard, sticky foods and foods like nuts, seeds, popcorn, or tough meats.
Restore Your Confidence with Implant-Supported Dentures
If you are missing all of your teeth but aren’t satisfied with the inconvenience of regular dentures, implant-supported dentures in Ottawa present the best solution for you.
At Rockcliffe Dental & Denture Centre, Dr. Koniouchine and his team of dental professionals are devoted to helping patients restore the comfort, function, and aesthetics of their smiles.