Unlike a regular denture, which rests on your gums, implant supported dentures are anchored in your mouth by dental implants. Most often, this form of denture is placed in the lower jaw because dentures tend to be less stable in the lower jaw. However, implant supported dentures can be placed in the upper jaw as well. In this type of denture, your implant supported denture snaps into place on the implants surgically placed in your jaw. This prevents the denture from slipping or coming loose in the mouth. It also removes the need for denture paste or adhesives. The implant supported denture can be removed at night for cleaning or, if you have a fixed implant supported denture placed, your dentures will act as permanent teeth.
There are two types of implant supported dentures, bar-retained dentures and ball-retained dentures. Both types of dentures require two or more dental implants to be placed and both will provide you with a beautiful, natural smile.
In the bar-retained type of denture, three or more implants are surgically placed in the gums. Attached to these implants is a metal bar that runs along the gum line. The denture then rests on the metal bar and is attached using clips or other types of attachments. This type of implant-supported denture holds the denture in place without the steel studs used in ball-retained dentures.
Many patients prefer this type of denture to a traditional denture because it alleviates much of the discomfort and rubbing of traditional dentures. The denture is held in place far more securely and is less likely to come loose.
Ball-retained dentures, also called stud-attachment dentures, use a ball-and-socket design to attach the dentures to the implants surgically placed in the gums. Traditionally, the denture is fitted with sockets and the implants have a ball on top of them. The denture and implants snap together where the ball and sockets meet.
This form of denture is considered exceptionally secure and will allow for an open upper palate denture. Ball-retained dentures are less likely to slip or move in the mouth, and will allow denture wearers to eat more foods they love and speak more clearly!