Implant dentures are a fixed version of regular dentures. They are held in place by dental implants that are embedded in the jawbone. This keeps them firmly in place and allows the wearer to use them as comfortably as they used their natural teeth.
Implant dentures are a permanent way to replace lost teeth, so they remain in the mouth almost all the time, but this does not make them any less vulnerable to damage. Dentists and prosthodontists spend sizeable chunks of their time helping patients that have broken implant dentures.
To learn what to expect from a broken set of implant-supported dentures, you should start by learning the various components that make up these prosthetics.
The different components of implant dentures
Traditional dentures are held in place by the gums as well as the roof and floor of the mouth. With time, they get loose and uncomfortable, limiting the wearer’s ability to use them. Implant-supported dentures overcome this shortcoming because of how they are designed. Specifically:
- The dentures are held in place by dental implants embedded in the jaw. This keeps them from slipping
- The implants are connected to abutments, which are connectors that sit above the gum line. An abutment connects to an implant below the gum line, and to dentures above the gum line
- The dentures have a base, which is made to look like the wearer’s gums
- The teeth/crowns of the dentures are attached to this base. They can be made of porcelain or acrylic resin, a type of durable plastic
- The dentures also have screws that allow them to attach to the abutments
- They also have a framework, usually made of metal or zirconia, which holds the different parts together
Any of these parts can break. Depending on the type of damage, a prosthodontist will either fix the dentures in their office or send them to a dental lab for extensive repair. Sometimes, broken dentures will need replacement altogether.
Problems that the prosthodontist can fix on their own
When damage to the dentures is minor, the prosthodontist corrects the problem themselves. This allows a patient to leave the dentist’s office with their newly repaired dentures. A prosthodontist will often replace a tooth that has fallen from the gum/base of the dentures. They will also weld a broken metal framework.
When dentures need to go to a dental lab for repair
Although it is rare, the metal framework of a set of dentures can also break. A prosthodontist cannot fix this problem. The same goes for loose or broken screws and screw sockets –– a second set of rare occurrences. In such cases, the implant dentures are sent to a dental lab, where the screws or broken framework are replaced.
If the acrylic base or ‘gums’ of the dentures crack or break off, the dentist will also send the dentures for specialized repair.
If your implant dentures are broken get help now
A person with broken removable dentures can take them off and experience some peace. This does not always apply to a person with implant-supported dentures, though. They likely have to live with the discomfort of broken dentures until they see a dentist. If this describes you right now, get in touch with us and speak to our prosthodontist.
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