Why Your New Dentures Need Some Support
It may be clear that you need dentures. You could have had multiple missing teeth for years, with your remaining teeth demonstrating signs of extreme decay, meaning extraction is now unavoidable. This extraction will leave you in a state of edentulism (toothlessness), so dentures are the most appropriate way to replace an entire upper or lower set of teeth. So why is your dentist trying to convince you that implant dentures are your best option?
Conventional unsecured dentures sit upon your mucosa (the soft tissues that line the interior of your mouth). The denture base plate is manufactured to mimic the contours of this mucosa, making the dentures as stable as possible. The natural presence of saliva creates suction, but this is about the extent of any stability that conventional dentures have.
Because your mucosa is living tissue (and so is your jaw), some subtle changes to its surface outline are to be expected over the years. These changes can mean your dentures won't always fit so well. Conventional unsecured dentures must be relined to reflect any changes, with a new layer of resin added to their base. This means your dentures will continue to fit and are as secure as they can be—even though conventional dentures aren't as stable as you might like them to be.
Dental implants are the strongest artificial tooth replacement option that's available. A small metal screw (made of a titanium alloy) is implanted in your jawbone, which then begins to heal around it. As the implant and your jaw essentially integrate with each other, the implant develops the same level of stability as a natural tooth root. A single prosthetic tooth is then attached to the implant and looks totally realistic while being able to withstand the same level of bite pressure as a natural tooth. But how does this help when you need to replace an entire set of teeth?
Your dentist isn't planning to replace each tooth in your mouth with a dental implant. Implant-supported dentures use a small number of implants to secure a denture. Once your dentist attaches the denture to your new implants, it's intended to be permanent. You leave your dentures in your mouth (they can now only be removed by a dentist) and care for them as though they were natural teeth. They'll look far more natural than detachable dentures, and will be stronger too, courtesy of the implants supporting them. You may need as few as two implants to secure a denture.
If your dentist is recommending implant dentures instead of a conventional, detachable set of dentures, it's wise to explore the option. When permanent teeth are replaced with a dental prosthesis, the goal is to replicate natural teeth as much as possible. For more information, contact a company like Kurrajong Denture Clinic.