Dentures and Implant Supported Dentures

A denture is an appliance that is inserted in the mouth, replaces natural teeth, and provides support for the cheeks and lips. There are traditional dentures and implant supported dentures. Implants help reduce shrinkage of surrounding bone and provide a secure fit for the denture. There are many different options with implant supported dentures. Some fit securely on the implants and are removable while others are permanently fixed to the implants. With implant supported dentures, you can enjoy a full diet of food that is not possible with traditional dentures.

Most dentures are made of acrylic and can be fabricated two different ways.

  • A conventional denture is made after all teeth have been extracted and the tissues (gums) have healed.
  • An immediate denture is fabricated and inserted immediately after the teeth are extracted and the tissues are allowed to heal under the denture.
  • An upper denture has acrylic, usually flesh colored, that covers the palate (roof of the mouth).
  • A lower denture is shaped like a horseshoe to leave room for the tongue.
  • In the case of implant supported dentures, the denture locks onto the implants and creates a secure fit.

The teeth are made of plastic, porcelain or a combination thereof. Dentures can be fabricated to fit over endodontically treated teeth and a complete denture can be attached to dental implants to allow for a more secure fit of the appliance.

Due to normal wear and tear, dentures need to be replaced or relined in order to keep the jaw alignment normal. The alignment will slowly change as the bone and gum ridges recede or shrink due to the extraction of the teeth. Regular dental examinations are still important for the denture wearer so that the oral tissues can be checked for disease and change.