Implant-supported dentures, like conventional dentures, replace lost teeth. They are fastened to titanium implants that have been surgically placed into the jawbone.
These implants will then contain a clip or locator that connects to the denture, partial denture, or metal bar that holds the denture connections. The use of these implants for both upper and lower dentures is possible.
Instead of the denture or teeth being screwed down into the implants the denture is ‘clipped’ on to the implant via the use of a ‘locator’. This gives the denture a lot more stability. The denture is still able to be removed (with some force) which means greater accessibility for cleaning underneath the denture which helps to facilitate hygiene.
At this appointment we will place the implants in the mouth. The dental implants will then be left to heal for around 3-4 months. During this period of time the bone slowly ‘fuses’ to the implant. This is painless procedure which is done under local anaesthetic. You generally do not feel any sharpness or pain during the entire process. For our more anxious patients, IV sedation is available and so is Nitrous oxide.
We will conduct a review around 1-2 weeks after the placement of the implants. At this appointment we will check to ensure the healing process is going smoothly and also to remove any stitches that may have been placed.
After 4 months we will ‘expose’ the implants. The implants are buried under the gum and as such, we make a small little incision to attach a healing cap so that it stick out above the gum. This allows us to attach the future locators to the implants which helps hold the denture in place.
One of the key advantages of implant-retained removable dentures is the ability to have a horseshoe-shaped top denture. With conventional dentures, the upper denture must have a plate that covers the entire palate, i.e., it must cover the roof of the mouth. This provides suction that maintains the denture’s position when speaking and eating. However, it also makes speaking a little weird and eating requires some adjustment. Furthermore it makes it harder to taste any foods well.
With a horseshoe upper denture, the dentures do not cover the palate, Implants make it possible to firmly retain the top horseshoe denture in the mouth. This means your food will taste the same, your tongue won’t have to adjust to something on the roof of your mouth, and you won’t experience the discomfort of something rubbing on the roof of your mouth.