Dental Education Lecture: Implants and Denture

After tooth extraction, our jaw becomes smaller and smaller. One day the denture is so loose that we have to turn to implants for stability.  Today we are going to use a model to show you how implants help denture stability.  Two implants are to be placed in the front portion of the lower jaw (Fig.1 two cross lines).  First, we drill a hole (1 in Fig.2) and insert an implant (2) into the hole (arrowhead).  #3 represents an implant that has been placed on the other side. In reality, we need to let the implants sit in the jaw for several months to heal.  Then we open the implant (Fig.3: 1) and place an abutment (2) into the implant (arrowhead).  #3 in Fig.3 represents another abutment already placed inside the implant on the opposite side.  The surgeon may at the same appointment place an attachment (denture stability apparatus; Fig.4: 2) into an abutment (1).  The other attachment is already in place (3).  Inside the pink attachment is a black rubber ring.  The latter will exert stability for the denture.  Next, we drill two holes in the undersurface of the denture corresponding to the attachments (Fig.5 arrowheads).  With two attachments (C: cap-like apparatus) in place, we place a special glue inside the holes (arrows) and seat the denture in the mouth (model in Fig.8).  When the glue is set, we separate the denture from the model.  The caps are now firmly embedded inside the denture (Fig.7 C), whereas the abutments (A) are in the model.  After adjustment, we seat the denture in the mouth again.  This time the denture is no longer mobile due to the fact that the black rubber ring is engaged into the slot of the abutment (Fig.8 insert: arrowhead).  This helps the wearer a lot in chewing.  After eating, he or she can remove the denture for cleaning (Fig.9).  To see how nicely the cap-like stability apparatuses are embedded in the denture, click here.

Xin Wei, DDS, PhD, MS 1st edition 11/27/2009, last revision 09/28/2012