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A Brief Guide to Implant-Supported Dentures for Students in Denturist Training

Smiling female dentist in uniform talking to teenage girl at dental clinic
An overdenture is a removable denture that can be either complete or partial and replaces some or all of the teeth in an arch. When there are teeth in the arch to attach the overdenture to, they can be used to support the prosthesis, with the denture resting on the gums. If there are no teeth, but enough bone in the jaw, implants can be used to attach an overdenture using special snap-on attachments. These are called implant-supported dentures. Most of the time, implant-supported dentures are used on the lower jaw, as opposed to the upper jaw where more stability is available without implants – though they can be made for the upper jaw in some instances.

If you’re considering a denturist career, read for a guide to implant-supported dentures and how they help people maintain beautiful smiles!

Help People Care for their Implant-Supported Dentures in a Denturist Career

You can advise patients on how to care for their dentures, ensuring that they last as long as possible and avoid issues with hygiene. Implant-supported dentures should be removed each day, by detaching the snap-on attachments. The denture and the gum should both be cleaned. Patients should not sleep with their dentures in at night.

Young male dentist and mature patient discussing dentures during exam in a dental clinicYou can help patients by explaining proper denture care to them

Regular dental appointments are also important to allow for thorough examination. In a denturist career, you will appreciate patients who keep up to date on their oral health. Periodically, x-rays will be taken to ensure that implants are positioned correctly. Attachments will wear out and be replaced, usually once or twice a year. The health of mouth tissues around the denture and the fit of the denture itself also need check-ups to keep patients comfortable and healthy.

Ball-Retained vs. Bar-Retained Implant-Supported Dentures

Implant-supported dentures are made to resemble natural gums and teeth, with the base made of acrylic and the teeth made of either acrylic or porcelain. They usually require a minimum of two implants to securely attach to the jaw. These implants are structured in one of two ways: bar-retained or ball-retained.

Bar-retained dentures use a curved, thin metal bar that runs along the jaw. The bar is connected to implants that have been inserted into the jawbone. The denture then either fits over top of the bar, or fits over top of the bar with the addition of clips or other attachments.

Ball-retained dentures are also sometimes referred to as stud-attachment dentures. In this structure, each implant in the jawbone holds a metal ball or socket. These connect to corresponding balls or sockets on the denture itself.

Tooth implantation, dentureBall-retained dentures use ball and socket attachments

After Denturist Training, You’ll Know Why Patients Might Choose Implants

You’ll be prepared with denturist training to measure, insert, fit, and repair dentures for those who need them. But what is the benefit of choosing implant-supported dentures over conventional dentures?

Conventional dentures can cause friction against the gums, as they are not as fixed in place. Also, without teeth or implants in the jawbone, it can weaken as it is not being stimulated regularly. The addition of implants into the jaw line keeps the bone stimulated and some people can find that chewing is more comfortable.

On the other hand, conventional dentures are lower cost and sometimes make more sense for patients. However, more appointments are often needed to adjust these dentures, as the bone is not holding them in place and the jawbone is more likely to change shape.

Are you interested in a denturist program?

Contact Oxford College for more information.

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