Tooth loss can have a far-reaching effect on your dental health and personal appearance. When you lose one or more teeth, your remaining teeth can drift out of position. This can lead to a change in your bite, the loss of additional teeth, decay, and even gum disease.
Dental implants can be an effective method to replace one tooth or several teeth. Each implant consists of a titanium anchor that is inserted into the jawbone, and an abutement, which is then fitted with an artificial tooth to simulate a natural tooth. Implants can also be used to help support a bridge, replace a partial denture or even secure a fixed denture.
A fixed denture, or overdenture, is an implant-supported denture that is attached to implants to give additional support and comfort. Traditional dentures rest on the gums; an implant-supported denture is used when a person doesn’t have any teeth in the jaw, but has enough bone in the jaw to support implants. An implant-supported denture has special attachments that snap onto attachments on the implants.
Implant-supported dentures are usually made for the lower jaw because traditional lower dentures tend to be less stable on the bottom. A traditional top denture is usually quite stable on its own and doesn’t need the extra support offered by implants. However, you can receive an implant-supported denture in either the upper or lower jaw.
You can remove an implant-supported denture easily. Some people prefer to have fixed (permanent) crown and bridgework in their mouths that can’t be removed. Dr. Dao will consider your particular needs and preferences when suggesting a fixed or removable option.