Whether you call them Implant-supported dentures, overdentures, hybrid dentures or implant-retained dentures, this type of smile restoration involves securing a full denture to a set of dental implants. Overdentures bring outstanding advantages compared to traditional removable dentures. Since they are firmly anchored in your jawbone, they deliver unrivaled stability – which means you can eat, speak and laugh the way you did with natural teeth. Another hidden, yet substantial, benefit is the prevention of bone loss. The implants stimulate your jawbone naturally, so you can avoid premature facial aging due to the resorption or atrophy of bone that typically occurs when teeth go missing.
Now that you feel confident about choosing implant-retained dentures for your full mouth restoration, let’s discuss how you should care for them once your treatment is complete. In general, you should treat your implant dentures just like you would your natural teeth. You’ll need to brush every day. This includes cleaning your denture as well as the surrounding gum tissues. While you may be exempt from decay without natural teeth, you are still susceptible to gum disease. If gum disease is allowed to progress, it can damage the underlying bone and render your implants (and your dentures) unstable.
If your implant-retained dentures have detachable components, you’ll need to remove the attachments and clean carefully around the abutments, artificial teeth and gum areas. It is unwise to sleep with dentures in your mouth, whether they are supported by implants or not. This can help you avoid infection and other unwanted dental issues.
One of the hallmark advantages of choosing implant-supported dentures is stability. Many patients return to eating the foods they want and need, including hard-to-chew proteins and fiber-rich vegetables. However, this durability in your new smile may tempt you to use your artificial teeth for things they cannot handle. Just like your natural teeth, your implant dentures can be damaged by hard candies, ice chomping and opening packages.
To keep your dentures and implants in optimal condition, don’t skip your dental appointments. Routine dental visits include a thorough examination of your mouth and careful evaluation of your gums, denture fit and denture condition. X-rays are still used to ensure that your implants, abutments and attachments are positioned correctly. Clips and other attachments can wear out over time and are typically replaced annually or bi-annually. This is also a time to discuss any concerns you may have with your dentist as well as diagnose and treat signs of gum disease at the earliest stage.
With proper care, your implant-retained dentures can provide many years of a rewarding and reliable smile. They’re much more stable than regular dentures, so you can avoid the challenge of speaking and eating. If you suffer from denture sore spots or bite problems, we can often correct these issues with ease. Call Dr. Wayne Suway to learn more tips on how to care for your implant dentures and protect your investment in restorative dentistry!