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Implant supported dentures are a permanent tooth replacement solution for patients who have lost their upper or lower teeth.
Usually, four to eight implants are surgically placed deep in your jawbone. Then, your dentist attaches the dentures to the implants. They stay firmly in place and allow you to eat foods that traditional dentures do not.
Implant supported dentures are sometimes known as snap-in or snap-on dentures.
Candidates need a large amount of high-quality bone in their jaw. Not all patients will be able to get this surgery. Additional procedures, such as a bone graft may be necessary.
The cost of implant supported dentures varies greatly. You can expect to spend at least $6,000 to $8,000 per arch on implant supported dentures. However, this price can vary and may increase significantly.
Factors that affect the price include:
Additional costs may include sedation, additional oral health procedures, and preparatory procedures such as bone grafts (if necessary).
Some insurance plans will cover part or all of the procedure, while others do not. Check with your provider for more information.
Most insurances do not cover dental implants, but this varies from plan to plan. Insurance is more likely to cover traditional dentures than implants supported dentures.
Both implant supported and implant retained dentures aim to replace missing teeth effectively. However, the two types of dentures have various differences:
Implant supported dentures are also known as fixed implant supported dentures. On the other hand, implant-retained dentures are also known as removable dentures.
This difference in terminology can help you differentiate the two dentures from each other.
Implant-supported dentures provide the most natural and effective bite. This is because the jawbone absorbs the full force of the bite. This reduces pressure on the gums.
Implant-retained dentures put more pressure on the gums as they absorb more bite force.
Implant supported dentures usually require four to eight dental implants. This increases the price of the procedure.
Some dentists now offer a technique called “all-on-4” which only requires four implants to support a full arch.
Implant retained (removable) dentures typically require two to four implants. Dentists may use mini dental implants when there may not be sufficient quality bone for endosteal implants.
These are called subperiosteal implants. If your dentist uses subperiosteal implants, it can eliminate the need for a bone graft.
Implant supported dentures stay fixed in your mouth. Only dentists can remove these dentures for cleaning remove them for cleaning.
Implant retained dentures can be removed and cleaned every night. They allow you to eat and speak normally. However, your gums will absorb more of your bite, which can cause discomfort or gum damage.
The entire process for implant supported dentures can take two to seven months. Here's what you can expect during the procedure:
First, you will undergo implant surgery. Your surgeon will open your gums to expose your bone. The implants will then be placed deep within the bone.
The healing process for this can take two to six months. During this time, the implants and the bone will bond together. This is called osseointegration. It allows the implants to become a strong anchor for your dentures.
Depending on your surgeon’s procedure, you may need a second surgery. The surgeon will uncover your implants and add extensions called abutments. This will complete the foundation for the false teeth. This step may not be necessary if the implants already have extensions attached.
Once the implants are healed, your dentist will take a mold of your arch. Then, they will send it to the lab that creates your full set of dentures. When they're finished, they will be shipped to your dentist, who will place them in your mouth.
If your dentures are fixed in place, only your dentist will take them out. Your at-home routine will be very similar to people with all their teeth.
Here are some ways to care for your implant supported dentures:
Food particles and bacteria in your mouth can lead to staining, plaque, and gum disease. Daily maintenance will help keep your mouth healthy, your dentures functional, and your smile pearly white.
If your implant retained dentures are removable, you should remove them to sleep. You can keep them clean by brushing them daily and soaking them in a denture solution. Sleeping with them can cause bacteria build-up, infection, and/or pain.
The cleaning process is the same for fixed implant dentures. The only difference is you brush your dentures as you would your natural teeth since they're not removable. You can purchase implant brushes and flossers to help maintain your oral health.
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