Dental implants and dentures are a match made in heaven. Thanks to dental implants, Dr. Charles Parker is able to give our patients a set of teeth that fit better, are more secure, and provide them with a much stronger bite force compared to a traditional removable prosthetic. Of course, as with all things, technology continues to press forward and refine. Now, Dr. Parker can place a lower overdenture using something called locator abutments, which will help the implant-retained denture function even better within the mouth as well as last longer. How do they work? Are they right for you? Read on to learn more.
What Are Locator Abutments?
An implant-retained denture is a dental prosthetic that is anchored directly to the jawbone in order to replace multiple missing teeth. While the implants themselves are located within the jawbone, they are typically topped using metal supports called abutments, which the implant-retained denture actually snaps onto. Traditionally, these abutments are rigid, and while this gives the denture tremendous stability, they do have some drawbacks when used for a denture on the lower jaw.
You see, when a person chews, their jaw doesn’t simply go up and down. It moves up, down, left, right, forward, and backward in order to help the teeth thoroughly break down food. Because of traditional abutments’ rigidity, they prevent the denture from effectively following all of the natural chewing motions. Over time, this could cause the denture to become uncomfortable, loosen, and eventually pop out of place.
To solve this problem, our practice now offers locator abutments for lower dentures. These abutments, while just as strong as their rigid counterparts, also have a moveable segment that enable them and the denture to better follow the natural movement of the jaw. The result is a better, more comfortable fit, and the denture is more likely to stay in place over time.
Locator abutments are actually held in place using two points of retention: one on the dental implant itself, and another where it snaps onto the denture. This allows them to be extremely secure as well as mobile.
Do I Need Them?
Locator abutments are only available for those patients hoping to get an implant-retained denture on their lower jaw. They are not needed to replace upper missing teeth. If you already have a denture, we may be able to retrofit it onto locator abutments depending on the condition of the denture as well as your mouth.
In the end, locator abutments are just another way we can help our patients rebuild their smile to last a lifetime. With them, we can take an already fantastic solution, an implant-retained denture, and improve it.
If you are interested in replacing missing teeth on your lower jaw or upgrading your dentures to something more secure, please contact us today.