Patients can become exasperated by dentures that repeatedly slip out of place or those that require dental adhesives with an unpleasant taste. Understandably, many patients who started out with conventional dentures are now interested in using dental implants to secure those appliances.
An oral surgeon can insert the screw-like implants into the jaw, and the denture then slides atop the implants, which anchor the denture in place. Because the dental implants are made from titanium, they fuse with the bone and become permanent fixtures in the mouth. Implants can hold a denture in place for decades with proper care.
When exploring implant-supported dentures, some patients wish to keep their existing denture rather than have a new prosthetic arch created for them.
It may be possible to retrofit an existing denture to work with dental implants, but each patient’s unique case must be taken into consideration. Every effort can be made to use an existing denture, but some appliances may not be able to be converted to accommodate the implants.
Bone loss may present another problem when it comes to dentures and implants. If the shape of your jawbone has changed extensively since you were first fitted for your dentures, you may need to have the denture re-lined or have a new appliance crafted in order to fit the changed shape of your jawbone.
Regardless of whether you are able to use your existing denture or must be fitted for a new appliance, you will benefit significantly from dental implants. You’ll enjoy greater stability and improved fit over time, and of course your denture will be more secure. If you had to give up some of your favorite foods due to diminished chewing function when you got dentures, you may very well find that you can expand your diet with your new implant-supported appliance.
If you are interested in getting dental implants to support an existing denture, consult with Drs. Steven D. Sherry and John D. Wallace to see if this will be possible in your specific case.