This message from Mark A. Miely DDS in Upper Arlington answers the most common questions about implant dentures.
Many people know that a dental implant is an ideal tooth restoration. A single implant can support one artificial tooth, while two or more can support a partial or full denture.
A fixed implant denture is called an “implant-supported” denture. A removable one is called an “implant-retained” denture.
What Are Implant Dentures?
Like standard dentures, implant-supported dentures replace missing teeth. The difference is that they are attached to titanium posts which are surgically inserted into the jawbone.
Each post is called an implant. The implant fuses with the surrounding bone structure to create an incredibly stable restoration. These posts are similar to the implants that hold a crown, except instead of a crown, they have a clip that attaches to the denture, partial denture, or metal bar that holds the denture connectors. Implants can be used for both upper and lower dentures.
Bar-Retained and Ball-Retained Systems
There are two types of implant stabilization methods: bar-retained and ball-retained. For both, the denture is produced with gum-colored acrylic for the base to which porcelain (or acrylic) false teeth are attached. The denture necessitates, at a minimum, two implants for stabilization.
With the ball-retained system, each post holds an attachment (male or female) that fits into a corresponding adapter on the denture. These are sometimes called “stud-attachment.”
With bar-retained dentures, a metal bar is anchored to two to five implants. The bar holds the clips that connect to the denture.
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