Science and medicine are constantly evolving, and the field of dentistry is no exception. Dentures have been around since 700BC, but it wasn’t until the 1950s that a major breakthrough was made. Titanium dental implants and implant-supported dentures have made it possible for denture wearers to have a smile as secure as it is beautiful.
What are traditional dentures?
Traditional dentures are what most people envision when they think of dentures. They are prosthetic teeth that rest directly on the wearer's gum with the use of adhesive or denture paste. If you wear traditional dentures, you already understand their limitations. Traditional dentures are often uncomfortable and unstable. They cause food issues, mouth sores, and problems talking. The denture paste is messy and often unreliable.
These issues, while embarrassing and uncomfortable, don’t have much of a long-term impact on the physical body. However, there is one major problem with traditional dentures that goes beyond comfort: bone loss. Think of bones in terms of “use it or lose it.” Since traditional dentures sit directly on the gum, they fail to stimulate the underlying bone. If the jaw bone is not “exercised” through stimulation, it begins to dissolve and shrink. There is an alternative to traditional dentures, though - implant-supported dentures.
What are implant-supported dentures?
Unlike traditional dentures which rest directly on the gum, implant-supported dentures are anchored by permanent dental implants. Implant-supported dentures snap into place on the implants without the need for an adhesive or denture paste.
Think of a dental implant like an artificial tooth root, holding a denture in place. Dental implants are titanium posts (similar in size and shape to a screw) that are surgically placed into the jaw, where they serve as an anchor for the denture.
The bone around the implant heals through a process called osseointegration. Literally meaning “combines with the bone,” osseointegration allows the implant to become as strong as natural teeth because the bone actually grows around the implant to hold it in place. Dentures then snap or clip onto the dental implants, providing a secure, natural-looking smile.
Implant-supported dentures have many benefits over traditional dentures, including the following:
Prevent bone loss
From a dental standpoint, one of the most important benefits of implant-supported dentures over traditional dentures is that they prevent bone loss in the jaw. Implant-supported dentures exercise the jaw bone encouraging bone growth. Traditional dentures rest directly on the gums and do not stimulate the bone.
Traditional dentures are known to slip around in the mouth, often causing difficulty eating and talking, and embarrassment for the wearer. Implant-supported dentures lock onto implants so they function more like natural teeth.
Traditional dentures cover the roof of your mouth, which can limit how much you can taste.
Traditional denture wearers are restricted as to which foods are safe to eat. Some foods may dislodge the dentures from the gums and cause them to slip. Implant-supported dentures are more secure and return up to 95 percent of the natural biting and chewing ability, compared to only 25 percent with traditional dentures.
Traditional dentures rest directly on the gums, which can cause them to rub or cause pain. What’s more, as the underlying bone shrinks, it can lead to even more pain and discomfort.
Knowing your dentures won’t slip can give you the confidence to talk, sing, eat, and laugh again.
Find out more
Whether you’ve been wearing dentures for years or think you may need dentures soon, call our office, connect with us on social media, or use the contact form below for a consultation. We can help you determine if implant-supported dentures are right for you.