One of the most frequent types of cases I am asked to evaluate is a patient who has been wearing conventional dentures for many years. Due to this long-term denture wear, they have lost the supporting bone in their mouth to retain a denture. This problem can occur in the upper or lower jaw or in both jaws.
The two ways we use implants to secure a denture is by using two or four implants in the in the jaw and having retentive attachments on the denture that clip onto the implants. This allows the patient, when they are wearing the implant-retained denture, to have a secure denture that enables them to eat or smile naturally. These dentures also have the benefit that they can be taken out to be cleaned and then clipped back on to the implants.
One of the best ways of using implants, though, is to support a fixed bridge, one that is screwed onto the implants and cannot be removed except by a dentist. The fixed bridge is the most predictable and, by far, the best and most natural way of giving teeth back to people who have lost all the teeth in their jaw.
Another great benefit with either type of implant-supported denture is that patients can eliminate the use of dental adhesives. This benefit is made possible because implant-supported teeth are securely attached to the implants and there is no need for messy denture adhesive. People who wear conventional dentures often worry that their denture is going to fall out when they laugh or when they eat. These worries are justified because even the best denture adhesive cannot hold a conventional denture in place the way that implants can secure a denture.
We always review options with patients and work with the patient and their dentist to determine the best type of implant-retained denture that will best suit the patient.
Dr. Leonard Spector