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When it comes to a healthy smile, protecting your natural teeth is your number one concern. This is why you brush, floss and see your dentist regularly to keep tooth decay and gum disease at bay. But if you do lose one or more teeth, there are options available to restore your smile back to health. While many people turn to complete or partial dentures, Dr. Anne Nicholas recommends against it, because traditional dentures do nothing to prevent facial bone loss.

When you lose a tooth, the supportive bone material beneath it is no longer stimulated through normal chewing, so it starts deteriorating. Traditional dentures don’t allow for the bone to be stimulated, so it actually accelerates bone loss! Implant-supported dentures offer secure support so that your smile can look, function and feel normal again. These allow for a screw to be implanted in the jaw to function as a tooth’s root. It is attached to an abutment that extends above the gum line and snaps into the denture. This kind of denture comes with special attachments that snap onto attachments on the dental implant and can be placed on your upper or lower jaw.

As long as you still have enough healthy gum and bone material to hold the implant’s titanium screw, your denture can be held in place by a dental implant. As the bone grows into the titanium screw’s grooves, or in a process called osseointegration, it fuses into the natural bone. This provides a sturdy and secure solution for lost teeth.

Implant-supported dentures come in two forms, bar-retained or ball-retained. Bar-retained dentures have a metal bar that accommodates the curve of your jaw. It’s attached to implants that have been installed into your jawbone. The denture fits over the bar and is snapped into place by attachments that are fitted to the bar, the denture, or both of them. The ball-retained form works as the implant is placed into the jawbone and holds a metal stud attachment that fits into an attachment that is connected to the overdenture. The overdenture is typically made of acrylic material that simulates gums, and the teeth appear to be natural with the help of a porcelain or acrylic material.

With implant-support dentures, your gum tissue and jawbone are preserved because of continued stimulation. Your dentures won’t make odd noises or shift around in the mouth, and you’ll never need messy denture adhesive to secure them. You can forget about gum sores from an ill-fit denture as well! Your speech will sound normal and you can eat most of your favorite foods (some restrictions). Best of all, your self-confidence will skyrocket because your smile looks natural again.

At the Palm Desert Center for Advanced Periodontics, Cosmetic, Sedation and Implant Dentistry, we look forward to helping you maintain your natural, beautiful smile! To learn more about our implant-supported dentures, please give Dr. Nicholas and our team of specialists a call at 760-851-0314 or visit our dental office here in Palm Desert, California.