How Long Do Implant Retained Dentures Last?
Unlike traditional dentures, the process of getting implant retained dentures can take anywhere from four months for lower dentures and up to seven months for uppers. The reason this process takes so long is because is because your jawbone needs time to fuse with the titanium posts. By the time the process is complete, you will end up with a much stronger, more durable and aesthetically pleasing solution.
In general, your implants should last around fifteen years, provided you practice good oral hygiene habits. Your dentures may start to show a little wear and tear around seven years, but if you follow good oral hygiene habits, eat a healthy diet, avoid smoking, and schedule regular dental examinations, you will maximize the longevity of your implant retained denture. These regular examinations are especially important because they allow your periodontist to evaluate the overall condition of your implant retained denture and ensure they are clean and disease free. These visits are also an opportunity to tighten your implant retained denture if they have become loose.
Because of the cost and time involved, it is natural for patients to wonder if implant retained dentures are worth the hassle. Implant retained dentures tend to have a very high patient satisfaction rate, and many patients express that they wish they would have had the procedure performed sooner due to improvements like the following:
- Improved stability ensures your dentures will not become loose or slip out while you are talking or eating
- Improved ability to bite and chew will expand the types of foods you can enjoy and improve your overall nutrition
- Significantly more comfortable than traditional dentures
- Will not rub against the gums and cause sore spots
- Far less daily maintenance compared to conventional dentures
- Looks and feels like your natural tooth
- Having a fully restored smile will increase your self-confidence
- Halts the progression of jawbone deterioration
- Minimal surgical risk
- Multiple procedures are necessary to complete the process, including potential preparatory procedures such as tooth extraction or a bone graft
- Costs more than conventional dentures but less than fixed dentures
- Procedure may not be covered under some insurance plans
- Over time the denture will break down and need to be replaced. Also, attachments will need to be tightened occasionally
Practicing Proper Care for Your Implant Retained Dentures
The best way to ensure your implant retained dentures last as long as possible is to practice good oral hygiene self-care. It is important to remove you denture each night and place it in water. It is also important to brush your gums, tongue and the roof of your mouth before reinserting your implant retained denture and to rinse your denture off to remove any food or debris that has accumulated.
If you develop any of the following issues, schedule an appointment with your periodontist to have your implant retained denture evaluated:
- Swollen gums
- Gum recession around the implant site
- Pain or discomfort, especially while biting or chewing
- Loss of taste
- Tingling sensation
- Implant feels loose