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What Are Implant Dentures?

Implant dentures—sometimes called implant overdentures—are an innovative method of tooth replacement that offers a number of unique advantages over traditional removable dentures. Since traditional dentures are only held in place by suction and/or an adhesive, they can potentially move along the gums. As a result of this movement, patients may experience discomfort, impaired speech, food limitations, and troublesome gum irritation. Implant overdentures, however, are designed to stay securely in place using dental implants for retention and stability, resolving many of the inconveniences associated with removable dentures and offering additional advantages.

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What Are the Benefits of Implant Dentures?

The key to the success of implant overdentures are dental implants that are strategically placed along the gums to lock the denture in place. Made of titanium, the dental implants fuse to the jawbone and provide exceptional stability for the denture. Each denture is custom-made to fit precisely in the mouth for a secure, comfortable fit and beautiful smile.

The advantages of this method for full arch tooth replacement can include:

Most patients who opt for implant overdentures experience a boost in self-esteem as they can eat, speak, and smile with renewed confidence.

Who is a Candidate for Implant Dentures?

While many patients choose implant overdentures to replace an entire set of missing teeth, others may choose to upgrade from traditional dentures to implant overdentures in order to avoid many of the frustrations traditional dentures can entail. In some cases where patients find they have insufficient jawbone volume to support an entire arch of implant supported fixed tooth restorations, implant overdentures can become a preferable alternative.

Since the dental implants that secure the overdentures in place must fuse to the jawbone, ideal candidates for implant overdentures need to have an adequate degree of jawbone density to support the titanium posts. Some patients who do not have adequate jawbone density may require a bone grafting procedure prior to receiving implant overdentures. During the consultation process, one of our prosthodontists will perform an oral exam and discuss your personal goals and expectations to determine which method of tooth replacement is best suited for your needs.

What Can I Expect During the Implant Denture Procedure?

To achieve the highest quality results for our patients, implant denture procedures at Schweitzer & Schweitzer, PC are generally performed in phases. For your convenience, every phase of your implant denture treatment plan will be performed in-house. This process ensures continuity of care between each step and helps us attain the quality results we are known for. Even your prostheses will be designed and fabricated on-site in our state-of-the-art dental lab.

The procedure begins with surgical placement of the dental implants that will hold your overdentures in place. Prior to the start of this phase of treatment, you and your prosthodontist will decide on the most suitable method(s) of sedation/local-anesthesia to prevent any anxiety and discomfort during the procedure. Once you have been anesthetized, your prosthodontist will place the titanium implant posts into your jawbone according to the details of your treatment plan. These implants are then allowed to heal for three to six months, until the jawbone tissue has fused with the titanium posts through a process called osseointegration. As the implants are healing, you will be able to wear a temporary denture. When the implants have completely healed and your final denture is ready, your prosthodontist will check the fit and aesthetics to ensure proper function and a natural-looking appearance.

How Long Do Implant Dentures Last?

With proper care, implant dentures can be a long-lasting tooth replacement option, oftentimes enduring for decades. Since the implant posts fuse with your jawbone, they are considered a permanent part of your mouth. Your custom denture is then secured onto the posts, typically resulting in a secure, natural-looking fit with enhanced durability and longevity.

In order to extend the lifespan of your dentures, it is important to carefully follow your prosthodontist’s post-operative care instructions. Your implant dentures will benefit from proper maintenance and homecare. You should also make sure to schedule routine exams with your dentist to evaluate your overall oral health and ensure the dentures and implants are in good condition. Avoiding habits such as smoking, nail-biting, and teeth-grinding can also help reduce the amount of wear your dentures sustain over time.

Why Choose Schweitzer & Schweitzer for Implant Dentures?

At Schweitzer & Schweitzer, PC, every member of our team is dedicated to providing high-quality service and results worth smiling about. Each of our board-certified prosthodontists have received years of advanced training in aesthetic restoration and implant dentistry techniques. They have extensive experience creating healthy, functional, beautiful, and natural-looking results for their patients, and take a special interest in complex cases.

In addition to years of education and experience, Schweitzer & Schweitzer, PC also performs every stage of your implant treatment in-house. Our on-site lab custom-fabricates all of our dental appliances and prosthetics, allowing you and your prosthodontist to have near-complete control over your treatment. Streamlining this process helps us produce top-quality, long-lasting results for all of our patients.

How Much Do Implant Dentures Cost?

At Schweitzer & Schweitzer, PC, the overall price for implant dentures can fluctuate based on the unique details of each patient’s custom treatment plan. The total cost for your care is determined based on a variety of factors:

We are a specialty practice of prosthodontists, and we deliver high-quality work. Though our prices tend to be a bit higher than the average dentist, you will find that we are not the most expensive in town either. We believe the value of our services and the reliable work we provide is well-worth any additional cost you may perceive when comparing providers. Since we offer the full range of state-of-the-art and traditional prosthodontic options, we are able to fully customize your treatment to suit your priorities and goals.

If you are interested in learning more about how much your implant overdentures would cost, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced prosthodontists. At the end of your appointment you can review a detailed price quotation and look into the payment types we accept, our in-office payment plans, and available financing options through CareCredit®. If you have dental insurance, it is possible that your plan could cover a portion of your treatment, though dental implants are usually considered an elective procedure by most companies. We are happy to review and explain your dental care benefits and calculate any out-of-pocket expenses you would be responsible for.

Additional Frequently Asked Questions about Implant Dentures

How do I care for my implant dentures?

Once your implants have fused with your jawbone, they are considered a permanent part of your mouth. Implant dentures are designed to mimic natural teeth, and they should be cared for similarly. Maintaining good overall oral health will help extend the life of your implant dentures while also protecting your gum tissue and any remaining natural teeth. It is also important to schedule routine dental visits—typically about twice a year—so that any remaining natural teeth can be professionally cleaned and examined. During your visit, your prosthodontist will also evaluate your implants and the fit of your dentures for comfort and function. With proper care, your implant dentures can be a long-lasting and easy to maintain tooth replacement solution.

How do implant dentures compare with traditional dental implants?

Both traditional implants and implant dentures provide functional, beautiful, natural-looking tooth replacements, while also stimulating jawbone growth and mitigating the negative side-effects of missing teeth. However, whereas single implants are designed to replace individual teeth, implant dentures are a multi-tooth and/or full-arch replacement technique that can provide the added stability of implants utilizing a few strategically placed support posts. They are also generally a more accessible option, as patients without the adequate jawbone density for a full mouth of single-implant restorations can oftentimes still be good candidates for implant dentures.

Will my implant dentures look natural?

At Schweitzer & Schweitzer, PC, we custom-fabricate all of our patients’ dental appliances in-house in order to ensure both quality and comfort. During your consultation and throughout the treatment process, your prosthodontist will work with you in order to design a denture that is closely matched in appearance to your natural teeth and gums. If for some reason the prosthetic is unsatisfactory, our on-site lab technicians can make the necessary adjustments in order to provide you with the beautiful, natural-looking result you desire.

Are implant dentures comfortable?

Implant dentures are designed to look, function, and feel like natural teeth, and they are generally considered a comfortable and attractive tooth replacement option. In comparison to traditional dentures, implant dentures are firmly fixed in the mouth and do not require pastes or adhesives. Implant dentures also allow patients to enjoy a broader variety of foods, exert a greater degree of bite force, and minimize the potential for prosthetic slippage and gum irritation, often resulting in increased confidence and comfort.

Will I need a bone graft before my implant surgery?

While some patients may require a bone graft prior to receiving implants, many others will not. During your consultation, your prosthodontist will conduct a thorough oral examination and take diagnostic images of your jawbone in order to determine whether you have adequate jawbone density to receive implants. One of the benefits of implant-supported dentures in comparison to a full mouth of single-implant restorations is that fewer individual posts are needed. This means that patients who lack the necessary jawbone density for traditional implants may still be eligible to receive implant dentures.

Patients who have experienced significant jawbone deterioration may require bone grafting prior to receiving implant treatment. Luckily, Schweitzer and Schweitzer, PC offers in-house dental bone-grafting treatments, and we are happy to go over treatment options with you during a consultation.

How many implants will I need to secure my implant dentures?

The number of implants needed to secure your dentures will vary based on several factors, including your existing jawbone density and the type of implant being used. Your prosthodontist will conduct a thorough examination and take X-rays of your jawbone in order to determine how many implants are needed. Each implant will then be strategically placed to provide optimal support to the dental appliance, with the goal of giving you the most comfortable and secure fit possible

For more information about replacing missing teeth with implant overdentures, please contact our practice to schedule a consultation today.