Implant-Retained Dentures: Rebuilding Self-Confidence and Psychological Well-Being

implant-retained dentures

Implant-retained dentures are a type of overdenture used to replace missing or compromised teeth. They differ from more traditional bridges, which can use adjacent teeth, suction, or adhesive because they use the jawbone as structural support. The treatment heavily depends on having sufficient bone in the jaw, as it derives most of its strength from there. The stronger the bone, the more durable the implant becomes. 

Traditional dentures can be quite uncomfortable as they slide and shift in the mouth; in some cases, they even slip off entirely. Implant-retained dentures offer unparalleled stability and comfort and are a long-lasting solution. Studies show that the implants have an almost 94% chance of success over ten years.

What Exactly are Implant-Retained Dentures

Implant-retained dentures, or “clip-on dentures” or “snap-on dentures,” as mentioned before, are a type of overdentures kept in your mouth using a small number of dental implants (often 2-4) surgically drilled into the jawbone to provide support to the dentures. A direct connection with the jawbone ensures that the dentures stay in place and have almost the same level of stability as natural, permanent teeth. These are permanent dentures, but a dentist can remove them for maintenance. 

After the implants are placed, the process has not yet been completed. All implant-based treatments depend heavily on a biological process known as osseointegration, the body’s remarkable ability to form a strong bond or fusion with the prosthesis. This process can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, depending on the individual. The implants get most of their strength due to this biological process, and only after this has been completed can the denture gain complete functionality.

Components

On the more technical side, these implants consist of three basic structural pieces. The implant’ posts’ will be drilled in and will act as the foundation for the dentures, the abutment or the connector piece, and the denture itself.

The implant posts are usually made using titanium, a strong and lightweight metal that is biocompatible (the body will not treat it as an invasive foreign element). They have the same function as natural tooth roots, i.e., support and stability. 

The abutments are connector pieces that will connect the implant and the denture. Abutments stick over the gum line slightly and have a threaded design that is useful in screwing securely with the top part of the titanium post. 

The denture is the most visible part of the implant and can be customized to resemble the rest of your teeth and gum line. 

Types of Implant-Retained Dentures

There are two types of implant-retained dentures, having individual characteristics and use cases.

Bar-Retained: A curved metal bar, usually made of titanium, follows the specific curves of your jaw and is securely fastened to the implants. The denture clips onto this metal bar with hidden metal clasps, offering more stability than its counterpart.

Ball-Retained: This consists of minuscule, ball-shaped connecter pieces that mate with corresponding sockets molded into the denture base. A ball-and-socket joint is formed and allows for a range of movement within a specific area. At the sacrifice of some stability, some flexibility in movement is offered in this type of implant-retained denture.

Benefits of the Implant-Retained Dentures

This type of denture offers several benefits, from the aesthetic to the functional.

No slipping or sliding: Unlike traditional dentures that slip and slide and rely exclusively on uncomfortable adhesives or suction, the implant-retained dentures stay securely in place due to the increased strength of fusion offered by the osseointegration process. The denture is more secure than ever.

They help preserve bone and reduce bone loss: The socket in which the tooth is placed requires constant stimulation; if it is deprived of this stimulation, the socket may shrink or, worse, lead to bone loss. Implant-retained dentures take care of this problem, stimulating the socket through chewing and biting. Due to this, further bone loss does not occur, and the current quality of the bone is preserved.

Look like your natural teeth: One of the major focuses of dentists is the aesthetics of dental prosthetics. Therefore, they go to great lengths to ensure that the implants you are getting look almost exactly like their natural counterparts. Technicians may use special acrylics that can help achieve a life-like, natural result by matching the shade variations of the gums and designing the shape of the denture base to follow your gum line. 

Impact on Self-Confidence and Well-Being

One of the dentist’s first and foremost responsibilities is restoring a natural, beautiful smile through prosthetics. 

Dental disorders such as tooth loss or trauma can affect a person’s dental self-perception. A 2017 study studied the effects of these conditions on the self-esteem of adolescents and reported a profound impact on their psychosocial behavior. The study also reported that decayed teeth and tooth loss can have substantial effects on a person’s well-being. 

The possibility of acquiring a dental prosthetic that looks and functions just like regular teeth can really boost people’s self-esteem. Another study reported that after patients who suffered from dental disorders saw the difference that their implants made in their biting and chewing abilities, their dental self-perception also increased. 

Highly trained in dealing with cases such as these, dentists employ a holistic approach, which includes psychological techniques used to address a patient’s emotional and mental health concerns. Implant-retained dentures and similar dental restoration techniques are most relevant in visible dental disorders that might lead to stigmatization or social withdrawal, as studies show that those who are suffering from perceived adverse dental conditions, such as severe tooth loss or dental trauma, also tend to exhibit lower self-esteem.

Conclusion

If you want more information about implant-retained dentures or to consult a highly experienced professional skilled in them, please visit or contact the NY Smile Clinic, a premier clinic located in New York City. Schedule a consultation now and take charge of your oral health journey now!

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