Permanent crown and bridge work — i.e., bridgework that cannot be removed — is a great option for some people. For others, an implant retained denture may be a better choice.
Sometimes called a Bar-retained Denture, it has a thin metal bar that follows the curve of your jaw and is attached to two to five implants that have been placed in your jawbone. Clips are fitted to the bar or to the denture, or possibly to both. The denture fits over the bar and is securely clipped into place by the attachments.
(stud-attachment dentures) This is very similar to Hader Bar Dentures except the
attachment is a series of balls instead of a bar. Each implant that has been placed in the jawbone holds a metal attachment that fits into another attachment on the denture. In most cases, the attachments on the implants are ball-shaped ("male" attachments), and they fit into sockets ("female" attachments) on the denture. In some cases, these attachments are reversed, with the denture holding the male attachments and the implants holding the female ones.
By using implants to secure the denture, we can eliminate the acrylic in the roof of the mouth. We only need acrylic covering the ridges where the original teeth were. This allows better taste and less gagging.
After you have made your choice and decided to begin treatment, your first appointment would probably be with a radiology lab for a CT Scan. From the digital image a Guide would be constructed (no messy impressions). Then we would schedule you for placement of the implants. The use of the Guide allows a degree of precision that is not possible with invasive surgery.
The implants usually are placed in the jawbone at the front of your mouth because there tends to be more bone in the front of the jaw than in the back, even if teeth have been missing for some time. Once you lose teeth, you begin to lose bone in the area. Also, the front jaw doesn't have many nerves or other structures that could interfere with the placement of implants.
Time frame varies with each person, but often the implants and the
denture can be placed and delivered in a single appointment.
You will need to remove the denture at least twice a day for cleaning. You also should carefully clean around the implants and attachments.
For the first year, you should visit your dentist every three months for a cleaning and checkup. Your dentist will test all the parts of your new denture to see if they are secure. Even though your denture is stable, it still can move slightly when you chew. This slight movement can cause the denture to rub against your gums, which can cause sore spots. Your dentist will check your gums and also will check the way your top and bottom teeth come together (your bite).
The clip or other attachments on the bar-retained denture usually will need to be replaced every 6 to 12 months. They are made of a plastic material (nylon) and will wear after continued use.
In addition to the risks of surgery and of the implants failing, a bar-retained denture carries certain risks of its own.
A bar-retained denture needs space on the denture framework for the special attachments that are fitted to the bar. This means that less space is available on the denture framework for the teeth to be fitted. Because of this the teeth sometimes can come loose from the base. This problem is easily fixed.
Also, when attaching the bar to the implants it is important that the bar is evenly balanced on each implant. Dentists call this a "passive fit." If the fit is not passive, the extra strain on the bar can cause the screws to loosen. If you grind or clench your teeth, it's more likely that parts of the denture will break or that your implants will come loose.
Your implant-supported denture will be more stable than a regular denture. You will find it easier to speak and you won't have to worry about the denture becoming loose or falling out of your mouth. You generally will be able to eat foods you could not eat before. However, you will not be able to chew hard or sticky foods because they can damage the denture.
If you have an implant-supported denture in your upper jaw, it will feel more natural than a regular denture because the denture will no longer cover the roof of your mouth.
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