Before we discuss removable implant dentures, let us cover traditional dentures so you can have a comparison when considering removable implant dentures.
Dentures are required when a person has lost many or all of their teeth. Partial dentures date back as far as the 7th century B.C. Full dentures were developed in Japan in the 16th century and were made of wood. And, we know that in the 18th century, George Washington wore dentures. His first set was made from hippopotamus and elephant ivory.
So, what are dentures made from today? There are acrylic dentures and porcelain dentures. Acrylic dentures are stronger than porcelain dentures. That is because acrylic adheres more securely to the denture base and is easier to adjust. Acrylic resin is also significantly less expensive than porcelain and much lighter in weight. However, the disadvantage of teeth made from acrylic resin is that they wear faster than porcelain teeth, which causes changes in the way the teeth make contact with one another. As a result, you may need to replace dentures made from acrylic resin teeth every five to eight years.
Difficulties with Traditional Dentures
While we’ve come a long way from the early forms of dentures, traditional dentures still present problems for some patients.
· Difficulty Chewing
Even with well-fitting dentures, your chewing efficiency is diminished by 50%. One of the causes of this problem is that dentures tend to move around when you chew. The upper denture is held in place by some suction but the lower denture just sits on top of the ridges of your gums. This makes it difficult to have a stable bite and you have to train yourself to keep them in place.
· Difficulty with Speech
Dentures particularly make speaking difficult while you are getting used to them. Pronouncing certain words may be difficult and require practice. Your dentures can slip when you laugh, cough, or smile and this can make you self-conscious.
· The Jaw Bone Will Shrink
There is always some jaw shrinkage with dentures. The reason for this is that when you lose your teeth, you lose the stress factor that your natural teeth put on your jaw bone when you chew. This stress factor is important to maintaining your jaw. When you replace natural teeth with dentures, you no longer have the same stress factor on your jaw bone. It is estimated that in the first 12 months of having dentures, there will be a 25% loss of bone. You will continue to lose bone mass over the years. Some people who wear dentures can experience a gradual collapse of the lower third of their face. This can cause deep wrinkles to appear around the mouth and the cheeks adding age to your appearance.
Modern Implant Removable Dentures
Removable implant dentures are designed specifically to be removable so that you can take them out at night for cleaning.
How Removable Implant Dentures Work
The dentist places dental implants or screws into your jawbone – usually two to four implants in each jaw. Snaps are then inserted into the screws for attaching the dentures. Once the implants are placed in your jaw, the dentures (often referred to as an overdenture) are set in place. The screws and snaps hold the snap-in dentures in place. Removable implant dentures are designed specifically to be removable so you can take them out at night for cleaning. Also, they can be easily removed by a dentist for any repairs.
Removable Implant Dentures versus Traditional Dentures
Here at Christensen Dental we highly recommend removable snap-in dentures for a number of reasons:
- Better chewing Abilities. Implant dentures are more stable than traditional dentures. This gives you a greater ability to chew and eat the foods you enjoy.
- Your food tastes better. The palate of your mouth plays a role in your taste of food. In addition to your tongue, your palate contains taste buds. Also, your palate plays a role in your sense of smell which affects your taste. Traditional dentures cover the upper palate which is more likely to result in loss of taste. Removable implant dentures do not cover your palate so you can retain your taste of food.
- More comfortable when speaking. Because implant dentures are more stable than traditional dentures, you will have less difficulty adjusting to implant dentures than traditional dentures. They move around less than traditional dentures, so with more stability, it is easier to speak.
- The jaw bone is better preserved. Research has found that with Implant Dentures there is less bone loss than traditional dentures.
When fitting someone with dentures, it is our goal to give them the best dental quality that can be achieved with dentures. We strive to give people back their self-confidence and also their enjoyment of eating foods they like. We have found we get the best results with removable implant dentures. To find out more about removable implant dentures, contact us to schedule a consultation.
Drs. Tyler Christensen and Ashley Anderson
Christensen Dental, Henderson, NV