There are two types of implant-supported dentures: bar-retained and ball-retained.
In both cases, the denture will be made of an acrylic base that will look like gums.Porcelain or acrylic teeth that look like natural teeth are attached to the base.
Both types of dentures need at least 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.
Holes will be drilled in the copy of the denture so
that the surgeon can see where the implants should be
The first surgery involves placing the implants in the jawbone. During the first surgery, an incision is made in the gum where the implant will be placed. A hole is drilled in the bone, the implant is placed into the hole, and the incision is stitched closed. After this surgery, you should avoid putting pressure on the implants. The temporary denture can be made so that direct pressure is placed on other areas, not on the implants. It may also be given a soft reline (new lining next to your gums) to help to reduce the pressure on your gums. After the first surgery, the dentist will wait till the bone and the implants integrate (attach and fuse).
Once the implants have become fused with the bone, the second visit can be scheduled. Your dentist will confirm whether the implant is ready by taking an X-ray. A healing cap (collar) is placed on the head of each implant after it is exposed. This guides the gum tissue to heal correctly. The collar is a round piece of metal that holds the gums away from the head of the implant. After about two weeks, the healing caps will be replaced with regular abutments. Your gums should now be healed enough for your dentist to make an impression of your gum tissue and abutments. The impression is used to make a working model of your abutments and jaw. This model is used to make the denture framework and teeth.
this point, the metal bar is placed on the abutments.
You will have the first try-in of your new denture
framework to see if it fits properly. Once the metal bar
and the denture framework have been fitted together
properly, the teeth are temporarily placed on the
framework in wax. The whole denture is then tried in
your mouth. If everything works well, the teeth are
secured in the denture framework permanently. The bar or
ball attachments also will be secured. You will have to
return to your dentist for another visit to have the
completed denture inserted. When the denture is
inserted, the denture is clipped onto the bar or snapped
onto the ball attachments. At this point, your temporary
denture will be given a new reline. This will allow it
to be used as a backup denture in case you lose or break
your new overdenture. If you are using the "temporary"
denture as a permanent denture, the bar or ball
attachments are placed in that denture.
Caring for Your Implant-Supported Denture
You will need to remove the denture at at night and
for cleaning. You also should carefully clean around the
What Will X-Rays Show?
An X-ray will show the implants in the jaw and any
attachments to them x-rays help the dentist to see that
the implants, abutments and attachments are in the right
What Can You Expect From Your Implant-Supported Denture?
Your implant-supported denture will be more stable than a regular denture. You will find it easier to speak and you won't have to worry about the denture becoming loose or falling out of your mouth.
You generally will be able to eat foods you could not eat before. If you have an implant-supported denture in your upper jaw, it can be made to cover less of your palate (roof of your mouth) than a regular denture.
That's because the implants are holding it in place instead of the suction created between the full denture and your palate.