Removable Bridges Supported on Dental Implants

Jamie J. Alexander on September 18, 2015

With the interdisciplinary help of an expert oral surgeon who places a minimal number of dental implants, I have been able to help many of my denture-wearing patients (and even those with missing teeth who have never worn dentures) improve their quality of life.

One life-improving method of replacing missing teeth is a removable denture. However, dental implant stabilization of a denture is even more beneficial. Let me explain…

The Problem of Removable Dentures

If you have no teeth and wear a removable denture, you quickly realize it is not always easy or comfortable to wear. When you eat, it sometimes slips and never provides the full chewing function of natural teeth. When you talk, it sometimes slips. When you laugh, it sometimes slips. If you wear a lower denture, your tongue easily dislodges it.

No doubt, you feel self-conscious. You aren’t capable of eating a full range of nutritious foods or all of your favorite foods. If you wear both upper and lower dentures, your discomfort is compounded. And…all the while that you are wearing your denture(s), the bone tissue that once held your teeth is no longer stimulated by tooth roots. Your jawbone loses height and breadth. This affects your face and the fit of your denture(s).

An Alternative: Stability Through Dental Implants

Due to implant technology and the success of this technology, there are now alternative ways to replace your missing teeth. One way is with a permanently retained hybrid denture. Another way is to stabilize a removable denture on dental implants.

A lower removable full denture can be stabilized on as few as two dental implants. An upper removable full denture can be stabilized on as few as four dental implants. Once attached to the implants, slippage stops, more biting and chewing strength is possible, and your titanium implants help to preserve the volume and density of your jawbone. An implant-supported removable denture is removed for cleaning, sleeping, dental exams and maintenance. You will easily learn how to attach your denture(s) to your implants.

Some patients prefer to have a denture that is permanently retained on dental implants. A full hybrid overdenture can be retained in this way, but this treatment costs more than a full removable denture stabilized on implants.

Feel free to discuss with me the comparative advantages of the different types of treatment now available.