If you are considering implant dentures to replace your lost teeth, you need to understand that there are several ways to approach the placement of dentures on dental implants. The biggest difference is between implant-supported dentures and implant-retained dentures.
What Are Implant-Supported Dentures?
Implant-supported dentures are dentures that are designed to take the force of your bite and direct it fully through the dental implants into your bone. They are really designed to ensure you have the most natural and effective bite possible.
In general implant-supported dentures are more expensive as they require more dental implants and have to be made out of higher quality materials. They often cannot use mini implants, so people need a good amount of bone to support them. These dentures are less likely to be removable dentures.
What Are Implant-Retained Dentures?
Implant-retained dentures are dentures that are held in place by dental implants, but put most of the force of your bite on your gums. They require fewer dental implants, can often be secured with mini implants, and can be made from a wider variety of materials.
These dentures have the benefit of not coming out while talking or eating, and giving somewhat improved bite force, but they don’t fully replicate your natural bite. They should be taken out at night for cleaning.
Which Is Right for You?
Both types of dentures can give great cosmetic and functional results, so picking the right type of implant dentistry for you depends on some related factors that can determine how each will fit into your lifestyle.
Are You a Candidate?: First, you have to consider whether your jawbone is compatible with implant-supported dentures. If you don’t have enough jawbone to support a full complement of dental implants, you may not be able to get an implant-supported denture.
Diet: If you are a big fan of some hard-to-chew foods like steak, you’ll probably get better results from implant-supported dentures.
Health: If you have conditions like TMJ or sleep apnea that will benefit from the support of having your dentures in at night, you should look at permanently affixed implant-supported dentures, which have the strength to help with your conditions and won’t have to be removed at night.
Lifestyle: If you don’t like the thought of having removable dentures or want to make sure your teeth are always in place when you wake up first thing in the morning, then implant-supported dentures are the right choice.
Cost: Never make a health decision exclusively on the basis of cost, but it’s an important factor to consider. Implant-supported dentures tend to be significantly more expensive.