Simply put, traditional dentures do not function as well as dental implants.
If you have had traditional dentures before, you understand the struggle and limitations – biting and chewing issues, mouth sores, and difficulty talking.
Why Traditional Dentures Cause Problems
Traditional dentures sit on the gums. Traditional dentures are held in place only by suction, which is not a strong force. Denture adhesive is also a weak glue, but its primary function is to improve the seal between dentures and your gums to help the suction. Even with a good seal, you can easily dislodge your dentures when you try to chew or talk. When dentures slide around in your mouth, they can cause painful sores because of their rubbing.
In addition, dentures transfer bite forces to your gums. Your gums are soft and can’t withstand the pressure of biting and chewing the way teeth and bones can. Putting force on your gums that they can’t withstand causes mouth sores.
In addition, traditional dentures do not stimulate the underlying bone. Your natural teeth are embedded in your jawbone, and they stimulate the bone, so your body retains it. When your teeth are gone, there is no stimulation of the jawbone.
As a consequence, the bone will resorb or shrink over time. But there is a solution: implant-supported dentures.
What Are Implant-Supported Dentures?
Implant dentures don’t just sit on your gums; dental implants secure them. Dental implants are screws made of titanium that an implant dentist places in your jawbone. The bone attaches to the dental implant, bonding it securely in place.
We can further distinguish implant dentures between implant-retained dentures and implant-supported dentures.
Implant-retained dentures use dental implants to secure the denture in place. This keeps them from slipping out of place when chewing, talking, or laughing. However, much of the force of biting and chewing still presses on the gums.
Implant-supported dentures don’t just use dental implants to secure the denture. Instead, implant-supported dentures direct bite force into the bones. The tradeoff is that these require more dental implants than implant-retained dentures. Implant-retained dentures might require as few as two dental implants. Implant-supported dentures need four, six, or eight dental implants to provide support.
Implant-supported dentures also need to be stronger to withstand the increased bite force. You can often modify traditional dentures into implant-retained dentures, but implant-supported dentures often require an entirely new denture.
Note: not all dentists clearly distinguish between the types of implant dentures. Talk to your dentist about how your implant dentures will function, so you understand what to expect.
Benefits of Implant-Supported Dentures
Implant-supported dentures offer the following benefits over conventional dentures:
- Greater comfort
- Preservation of bone
- Secured fit
- Improved function
- Improved sense of taste
Implant-retained dentures also offer some of these benefits, but not all.
Many people experience pain with their traditional dentures. Bite forces on tender gums, as well as loose dentures sliding around, can all cause denture pain.
Implant-supported dentures are secure in the mouth, so they don’t cause pain from sliding around. In addition, implant-supported dentures direct bite force into the jawbone, taking the pressure without experiencing pain.
Implant-supported dentures don’t have to cover your upper palate fully and are free of denture adhesive. You’ll feel freer and more comfortable with implant-supported dentures.
Preservation of Bone
Implant-supported dentures preserve the remaining underlying bone by encouraging bone growth and preventing bone loss. Bite force stimulates the bone, so the body retains or builds up the bone around implants. The amount of bone your implant dentures retain depends on how many implants you have.
Traditional dentures just sit on the top of the gums, and they can’t do anything to prevent bone loss which eventually leads to premature aging, facial sagging, and loss of function.
Dental implants integrate with your natural bone, so they are very secure. Dental implants are essentially permanent attachments to your jawbone. Implant dentures attach securely to the dental implants.
An implant-supported denture won’t slip, slide, or fall off no matter how much you talk, laugh, or chew. This will give you more confidence to face other people. Most implant dentures are still removable. It’s relatively easy once you know how. However, some implant dentures can be securely attached to your implants so that only your dentist can remove them.
Excellent Restoration of Function
Because they’re more stable and secure than traditional dentures, implant-supported dentures can better restore function.
According to studies, implant-retained dentures restore as much as 95% of normal function (that is, the biting and chewing ability normally provided by natural teeth) versus the 25% of their traditional counterparts.
Improved Sense of Taste
Your sense of taste doesn’t just depend on your tongue. Your palate–the roof of your mouth–also plays an integral part in your sense of taste. Because implant-supported dentures cover less of your upper palate, you will have less interference with the taste of food. Plus, you can stop using denture adhesive, which interferes with your taste sense.
You can, therefore, enjoy a wider variety of food with implant dentures.
You can enjoy almost all the foods you used to eat when you had your natural teeth.
How Much Do Implant-Supported Dentures Cost?
It may be costlier to replace missing teeth with an implant-supported denture, but it pays off tremendously in the long run, given the benefits listed above.
There will be less need for relining, rebasing, or replacements with implant-supported dentures.
As long as you practice good oral hygiene and you visit your dentist regularly, your implant-supported denture can even last nearly a lifetime. Some implant-supported dentures show up to 80% survival after 30 years, and dental implants last 50 years or more.
Even with all the advantages of an implant-supported denture, some patients still feel that a traditional denture is more suitable for their case.
Ultimately, you should work with your denture dentist to determine which type of dentures is best for you.
Get Implant-Supported Dentures in San Diego
If you are unhappy with either the thought or reality of traditional dentures and want to learn about better options, make an appointment with an implant dentist at Irresistible Smiles in San Diego.
Please call (619) 656-6785 or email us with our online contact form to schedule an appointment at our office in San Diego.