If you are planning to receive dentures, your dentist may have recommended the extraction of your natural teeth. Due to dental infections and periodontal disease, many people who require complete dentures need to have all of their teeth removed prior to the fabrication of their appliance.
Still, the dentist may recommend that a denture patient receive dental implants. Here are a few reasons why.
A traditional top denture is held in place primarily by the suction created as the appliance rests against the roof of the mouth. Even though the suction helps keep the denture in position, the device may still slip about as the denture patient eats certain foods or speaks. The slipping of a bottom denture is even more common, since the amount of stabilizing suction that is available is limited.
In order to keep the denture in place and maximize the comfort of the denture patient, the dentist may suggest the strategic placement of dental implants along the palates. The dentures can be fitted with connectors on their underside to attach to the implants for stabilization.
Dental implants are positioned in the bone of the jaw, where they integrate with the bone cells through a process called osseointegration. As the bone cells grow around the implant, the device becomes increasingly secure within the jawbone. Once osseointegration is complete, a dental implant can withstand about the same amount of bite pressure as a natural tooth. Thus, it can serve as a great anchor for a denture.
A natural tooth transfers bite pressure to its roots and subsequently to the jawbone as you chew or bite. However, once the natural tooth is lost or extracted, the amount of bite pressure that is received by the jawbone declines. Since adequate pressure is needed to stimulate the production of new bone cells in the jaw, the jawbone may begin to atrophy after the loss of a tooth.
A denture rests primarily at the gum ridge. However, a supporting implant resides in the bone and can still transfer stimulating pressure.
Many denture patients who have traditional dentures that are not supported by dental implants suffer significant changes to their gum ridge as the jawbone shrinks. The presence of dental implants can help minimize the amount of bone loss.
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of using dental implants with dentures, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area.