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Implant-Supported Dentures

Implant-supported dentures, also called overdentures, are special dentures attached to implants through a button-like mounting. If patients have few or no teeth in either their upper or lower jaw, a special dental implant is inserted and used to improve the retention of the denture. A series of appointments over the course of several weeks will be required to take molds of your mouth, manufacture your dentures, and adjust them to ensure a proper fit.

These dentures are typically made for the lower jaw, as regular dentures tend to be less stable there. Regular dentures made for the upper jaw are quite stable on their own and don’t need the extra support offered by implants. However, implant supported dentures are available for both the upper and lower jaw.

How it works:

Two types of implant-supported dentures are available: bar-retained and ball-retained. Both variations are made with an acrylic base that will look like gums as well as porcelain or acrylic teeth. These two types will need a minimum of two implants for support.

  • Bar-retained dentures – A thin metal bar that follows the curve of your jaw is attached to two to five implants that have been placed in your jawbone. Clips or other types of attachments are fitted to the bar, the denture or both. The denture fits over the bar and is securely clipped into place by the attachments.
  • Ball-retained dentures (stud-attachment dentures) – Each implant in the jawbone holds a metal attachment that fits into another attachment on the denture. In most cases, the attachments on the implants are ball-shaped (“male” attachments), and they fit into sockets (“female” attachments) on the denture. In some cases, the denture holds the male attachments and the implants hold the female ones.

To complete this procedure two surgeries are standard, however one-stage procedures are available with high success rates. With a two surgery procedure, the first stage will place the implants in the jawbone under the gums. The second stage will expose the tops of the implants and a healing cap is placed on the head of each implant for your gums to heal. Once the gums are fully healed,  a metal bar is placed on the abutments and a denture framework is fitted by one of our Calgary dentists.

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