If you have gaps in your smile, you’re not alone: More than half of the adults in the United States — or some 178 million Americans — have lost one permanent tooth, and an estimated 40 million adults are missing all their teeth.
Missing teeth don’t just make it more difficult to chew normally, speak clearly, and smile with confidence. They also put you at risk of developing serious oral health concerns, including:
If you’re looking for a comprehensive restoration solution for a full arch of missing teeth, you may think you have just two options: complete dentures or a full set of dental implants.
But there’s a third option — one that combines the best of both restorations into one effective solution — available at Manteca Dental Care in Manteca, California. Read on as Dr. Rick Tran and our skilled team discuss the ins and outs of implant-retained dentures.
Before you learn about implant-retained dentures, you should know something about conventional dentures, dentistry’s earliest restorative solution for a full arch of missing teeth.
Conventional dentures are removable dental prosthetics designed to restore full function and appearance to your mouth. Complete dentures replace a full set of teeth (top, bottom, or both), while partial dentures replace just a few missing teeth.
Made to match the contour of your jaw and rest snugly on top of your gums, dentures consist of an acrylic gum-colored base fitted with artificial teeth. A top set of dentures also features an acrylic plate that fits against the roof of your mouth.
More recent innovations in restorative dentistry have led to the development of the healthiest, most durable, and most realistic tooth replacement option to date: dental implants.
Made from medical-grade titanium, these artificial tooth roots are surgically inserted into your jaw and capped with an artificial tooth (dental crown) that fits your bite to perfection.
The prosthesis fuses with your jawbone as it heals, providing maximum strength and stability and keeping your bone tissue healthy.
As the preferred tooth restoration among patients and dentists alike, implants look, feel, and function just like natural teeth. With good oral hygiene habits, they can last a lifetime, too.
It’s easy to replace a few teeth with dental implants, but it’s challenging, time-consuming, and costly to replace every tooth in your mouth with an implant. This is why conventional dentures have long been the go-to solution for people who are missing all or most of their teeth.
Not anymore. Today, you can get the best of both worlds with implant-retained dentures, which offer a full-arch tooth replacement that’s stabilized by a few well-placed dental implants.
An implant-retained denture uses four to six implants to support a full arch of replacement teeth. A lower set of teeth requires two implants in the front of your jaw and two more angled implants a little farther back, while an upper set of teeth may require up to six implants for proper support.
Your custom overdenture uses special attachments to clip into place over the implants. Since implant-retained dentures are slimmer and made without an acrylic roof palate, they feel less bulky and more comfortable than conventional removable dentures.
While they’re still removable — you need to take implant-retained dentures out each night to clean and soak them — they’re considerably stronger and more stable than regular dentures and less invasive and more cost effective than a full set of implants.
Implant-retained dentures essentially bridge the gap between dentures and dental implants, providing a strong, stable restorative solution for patients who would otherwise only be able to get conventional dentures.
Even if your jawbone isn’t dense enough for standard implants, the implant-retained denture approach takes advantage of the fact that your jaw is naturally stronger and deeper toward the front. Even patients who’ve lost substantial jawbone density and volume after years of missing teeth can often get implant-retained dentures.
Are you wondering if implant-retained dentures may be right for you? We can help. Call Manteca Dental Care in Manteca, California, today, or use our easy online booking feature to schedule a visit with Dr. Tran.