What are the options for implant dentures?

By Dr. Joe Meng
September 19
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REMOVEABLE IMPLANT PROSTHETICS- IMPLANT DENTURES

Implants Used to Secure Dentures

Implant overdentures are dentures which utilize dental implants for retention and support.  Typically, 4 or 6 single implants can be used to support and secure an upper overdenture, while 2 or 4 implants will be utilized to secure a lower denture.  Commonly, use of 4 or 6 implants on the upper jaw, will allow removal of the palate portion of the denture, which offers a more comfortable feel for the patient, and allows more taste sensation.



4 Implant Overdenture with Supporting Bar

The diagrams shown depict implant overdenture supported by an implant bar.  This method was commonly used years ago before implant technology became more advanced as it is today.  Occasionally, this method will be used in compromised situations, where a single implant would not be as successful used individually.



Lower 2 Implant Overdenture

The Lower 2 Implant Overdenture image depicts a common lower overdenture scenario.  Use of 2 dental implants to support a denture offers a much more serviceable prosthesis than without implants.  This is the minimum definitive treatment that we advocate to our patients who are missing their lower dentition, as numerous studies indicate that a minimum of 2 implants remarkably improves patient satisfaction. 



Upper 4 Implant Denture

The Upper 4 Implant Denture image shows an upper jaw with 4 implants and attachments, used to support and retain the upper overdenture prosthesis (left).  Metal reinforcement in these situations is critical for the strength of the prosthesis, as bite forces are dramatically increased with implant support.



Upper Implant vs. Conventional Denture

The Upper Implant vs Conventional Denture image shows an implant retained overdenture (right) and conventional denture (left).  The implant overdenture is able to have the palate portion removed to allow a less cumbersome prosthesis, as well as improved taste to the patient. 



Upper 4 Implant Overdenture with bar

The Upper 4 Implant Overdenture with bar image demonstrates an implant overdenture retained by a bar, which splints the implants together.  This approach is done less commonly now than in the past but is necessary for certain compromised situations.  A palete-less denture prosthesis is almost always used in this situation.



Fixed Complete Denture

The Fixed Complete Implant Denture, also called “hybrid prosthesis” or “fixed-detachable prosthesis”.  This is a prosthesis which is removable only by the prosthodontist but stays in place for the patient.  This prosthesis is typically supported with 4-6 dental implants. Daily hygiene under the prosthesis is accomplished by the patient with proxy brushes, floss threaders, or water picks.  This prosthesis typically works best on the lower jaw, although may be utilized on the upper jaw as well.  Recently this treatment modality has received a lot of media attention and has also been referred to as the “Teeth-in-a-day” treatment.

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