Patients missing all of their teeth who may be wearing full dentures make great candidates for dental implants. As any patient who has had dentures for a long period of time will attest, dentures become less and less stable with time. The reason is because of bone loss. The jaws are subject to the rule “form follows function” meaning if there are no teeth the bone is not being loaded. If the bone is not being loaded, the body assumes it is no longer needed and it resorbs/shrinks away. When the bone shrinks away there is less ridge to secure the denture. This is especially noticeable in the lower jaw.
Implant supported dentures snap/lock onto the implants in a similar fashion as Lego bricks, thereby providing stability. There are two main ways implant supported dentures attach. The first way is through a Hader bar, which is secured to the implants. A matching slot is made inside the denture with clips to attach to the Hader bar. This gives the patient solid function and stability.
The second way implants can support a denture is through an implant ball attachment. It works in a similar fashion as a trailer hitch where a ball attachment on the implant fits into an O-ring housing.