Even if dentures are molded to your mouth and even if the adhesive you’re using is considered extra-strength, your dentures can still move around or, gulp, pop out at exactly the wrong time. For that reason we offer our patients implant-retained dentures, which offer a more permanent solution to denture wearing.
Implant-retained dentures are dentures that are anchored to your jaw through the use of dental implants. The implants themselves look like tiny rods that are surgically placed into your jawbone. We tend to place implants in the front part of the jaw, as that is the section of the jaw that has the most bone mass with which to hold the implant in place. When you lose teeth, you also lose bone; but even if you’ve been missing teeth for some time, we can still usually find enough bone in front to keep your implant-retained dentures in place.
Placing the Implants
The process for placing implants and holding implant retained-dentures in place occurs over a span of several months and can involve at least two or more procedures. The shortest time frame for implant-supported dentures is around five months for the lower jaw and about seven for the upper jaw. This includes the surgical procedure and the placement of the implant-retained dentures.
Most of the time frame is spent waiting on your jawbone to heal after surgery; and for your body to acclimate to the dental implant. The best case scenario is that your body accepts the implant as a natural part of the bone and grows around it. This provides a sturdy foundation that will keep your dentures in place.
While we’re waiting on the bone to heal, you should be able to use your regular dentures like normal. If this is your first time wearing dentures, you will be provided with temporary dentures until your implants are healed or until your implant-retained dentures can be secured to the implants themselves.
How long the procedure will take, how many appointments and whether or not your bone will acclimate are questions that can only be answered on a case-by-case basis. If you have any questions about this procedure or if you are considering implant-retained dentures in the near future, call or come by Dentures Alaska and speak to Dr. Guy Burk today.