What is an Implant Locator?
If you have experienced multiple lost teeth, damaged gums, or constant dental repair and reconstruction needs, you may be guided towards dentures as a more effective way to manage your dental care. Dentures are a common solution to these dental issues, and they have been improved over the years to be more efficient. Many long-term traditional denture wearers have experienced frustrations with loose-fitting dentures or misalignment. These issues are corrected with denture locator implants.
Common Problems with Traditional Dentures
Even though there have been many advancements made in the design, construction, and materials used to make dentures, there are still limitations in their form and function that prevent them from being the perfect solution for you. These limitations stem from the fact that as your gums, jaw, and bones continue to change over time, your dentures will eventually begin to not sit properly on your gums. This requires your dentures to be re-made from time to time to sit correctly on your gums and avoid problems with irritation, soreness, and discomfort.
When your gums and jaw change and your dentures no longer fit securely, you will end up with visual misalignment and it will impact the appearance of your smile. These common problems are all but inevitable because there is no way to prevent the changing shape of your gums and jaw as you age. The only way to deal with the situation using traditional dentures is to have them re-made so they again fit properly. This can be an ongoing frustration and can also be costly overall.
What Are Denture Locator Implants?
Today traditional dentures are not the only option that is available for you when you need replacement teeth. Denture technology has evolved dramatically, and there are now new methods of attaching dentures within your mouth that have been designed to affix your dentures more securely and more consistently with the use of denture locator implants.
Denture locator implants are specialized dental implants that are surgically placed by a dentist at strategic points in your jaw to provide solid, fixed-position anchors. These anchors are used to physically connect the denture appliance to your jaw. Dentures that are secured and stabilized to your jaw using this type of implant connection are known as overdentures.
How Do Denture Locator Implants Work?
Denture locator implants are surgically placed in specific locations within your jaw to hold the overdentures securely and effectively in place. The number of implants required depends on several factors, like the number of teeth being replaced, as well as the size and shape of your jaw.
In addition to dictating the number of implants that will be needed, the shape and size of your jaw will also direct the angle and orientation at which the implants will be inserted into the jawbone. The objective of your dentist will be to provide you with a very secure and long-lasting connection for your overdentures. They will carefully plan their treatment on how many implants to be placed, and their positions to provide the best results.
The end of each locator implant is designed to match solidly with the connections in the overdenture appliance. These connections are usually designed with a soft material that provides some shock absorption and flexibility to your overdenture through pressure or movement to avoid pain or discomfort while talking, eating, and drinking.