The number one complaint for patients who wear a traditional denture is the instability that comes along with it. Patients often avoid eating some of their favorite foods because the denture can slip and move around in their mouth. A lot of patients choose traditional dentures because they are much less expensive than other restorative options, especially for patients who need to replace the majority of their teeth. Dental implants are one of the best ways to restore missing teeth but can get pretty costly if you are missing most of your teeth and since traditional dentures are a fraction of the cost, that is the route many patients choose to take.
Denture adhesive can have a slightly weird taste that a lot of patients want to avoid so they skip the adhesive altogether which can contribute to the denture slipping around. A traditional denture sits on top of the gums and has no rooted support in the mouth. This can actually lead to deterioration of the jaw bone since there is no stimulation for bone regeneration. This deterioration can lead to changes in the facial structure and cause the denture to become ill fitting.
Even though a patient may not have any natural teeth remaining, there is still bone structure available to support implants. In the event that the patient does not have enough bone structure, a bone graft can be performed before implant placement. A bone graft uses either synthetic bone material or a piece of bone harvested from another part of the patient's mouth or hip to build up jaw bone structure and give dental implants the foundation they need to support a denture. Once placed, dental implants act as the root of a tooth and help stimulate bone regeneration so deterioration of the jaw bone is no longer a risk.
What is denture stabilization?
Dental implants can be used to stabilize a denture, omitting the need for denture adhesive and providing the wearer with a secure way to wear their denture. Implant supported dentures are growing in popularity because of their stability and natural looking aesthetics. Dental implants are placed into the jaw bone and the denture is screwed or cemented down onto the implants. Implant supported dentures or a permanent restoration that can only be removed by your dentist.
This can be very beneficial for patients when cleaning their denture, they no longer have to take the denture out to clean it and soak it overnight. Permanent dentures are cared for just like natural teeth and adding a WaterPik to your routine can make it even easier! A WaterPik is a great tool to help clean the gum tissue under the denture.
Other benefits of stabilizing your denture include:
- Better nutrition due to better chewing and digestion
- Much more comfortable
- No gum irritation or mouth sores
- Speaking is easier
- Home care is easier
- They are a permanent solution
How does denture stabilization work?
There are two types of denture stabilization available to patients: ball-retained and bar-retained dentures. A ball-retained denture uses metal attachments on the implants that fit into attachments on the denture. Implant attachments are usually ball shaped and the denture attachment is socket shaped, giving the denture a ball and socket joint (like your shoulder!).
A bar-retained denture requires the use of 2 to 5 implants in your jaw bone. A curved metal bar that fits over the entire arch of your jaw attaches to each implant. The denture then goes on the bar which also has attachments to hold them in place on the implants.
Why should I get a stabilized denture?
Not replacing missing teeth is never a good option because living spaces can lead to other, more serious problems. Without teeth, the jaw bone can begin to deteriorate and cause your facial structures to disintegrate causing the patient to look older. Patients can also have a much more difficult time eating and speaking with missing teeth. Not replacing one missing tooth can also have a negative effect on surrounding teeth. Without a tooth route to stimulate bone regeneration, the jawbone begins to deteriorate and can cause neighboring teeth to become loose and fall out. This cycle of losing teeth can be avoided by simply having your teeth restored.
Stabilized implant supported dentures can be costly but dental insurance may help defer some of the cost and your dental office may offer financing options that will enable you to receive the treatment you need without the burden of paying one lump sum.
Dental implants and implant supported dentures can greatly improve the quality of life for the patient. Without treatment, the mouth will only deteriorate further and cause other health issues in the long run. Poor nutrition can be a direct result of untreated missing teeth which of course can lead to weight loss or weight gain, heart issues, and other medical maladies. Not to mention the low self-esteem that can come with a mouth full of missing teeth. An implant supported denture can greatly improve your self-esteem and overall health by bringing your mouth back to a healthy, fully functioning state.