What is an Attachment Denture

Dentures are a great way to restore your smile whether you are missing teeth in one area of the mouth, in which case a partial denture is placed, or an entire arch which uses a full denture! When patients are looking at their options for restoring missing teeth, a conventional denture or an implant-supported attachment denture are two great options. The biggest difference between these two types of dentures is the method used to hold them in place.


What is an attachment denture?

An attachment denture is an implant supported prosthesis that utilizes dental implants for support and stability. A metal bar that attaches to the implants and the denture clips onto the bar, enabling the patient to remove the denture on their own for oral hygiene and maintenance.


This type of denture has the added benefit of bone support. Our tooth roots help encourage bone regeneration when we speak and chew and the jaw bone is stimulated. Dental implants are artificial tooth roots and work the same way to prevent bone deterioration. Without stimulation, the jaw bone begins to deteriorate and a traditional denture can become ill-fitting.


An attachment denture will cost more than a traditional denture but the longevity of an implant retained denture far outweighs that of a traditional denture which may need to be replaced every 10 years or so as the jaw bone resorbs and facial structures change.


How is an attachment denture placed?

An oral surgeon or periodontist will first extract any teeth that need to be removed. If you need supporting bone structure added, they will place a bone graft, likely at the same time as your extraction. If you are missing a tooth already and simply need the bone graft, that can be done on its own. Healing time for an extraction and/or bone graft is about three months.


If you had a bone graft, your implant will be surgically placed after it is fully healed. The doctor will make an incision in the gum tissue and drill a small hole into your jaw bone and place the implant directly into the jaw bone before stitching up the gum tissue, leaving a small portion protruding through the gum. A healing cap will be placed over the implant to protect it while it heals for up to six months.


Your dentist will provide you with a temporary denture to wear while you heal. Once your implants are ready for the attachment bar, it is secured onto the implants and your new denture will clip onto the bar. This type of denture provides an incredible amount of stability while still being as easy to clean and care for as a traditional denture!


If you need a denture, your dentist will help you determine what type will meet your needs and be best suited for your lifestyle. Dentures have come a long way and are much more comfortable and natural-looking than ever before!


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