Traditional vs Implant Supported Dentures

Photograph of a senior couple smiling in a home setting.

Do you need to have the majority of your teeth replaced? If your teeth are beyond restoration, you may need a full mouth replacement. In this case dentures are likely your best and most affordable option. 

Dentures are a complete set of false teeth attached to a base that resembles your natural gums. How they are anchored inside your mouth is where the difference comes in between the different types of dentures.

Traditional Dentures

A full set of traditional dentures will be anchored by a combination of suction and some type of denture adhesive. They attach to the existing jaw bone over the gums and are fully removable for cleaning and are not typically worn at night.

Implant Supported Dentures (Fixed)

As the name suggests, implant supported dentures are anchored in place by dental implants. A dental implant is an artificial tooth complete with a metal root that screws into the jaw bone to hold it solidly in place. Once the implant bonds with the jaw bone it is very secure and can last many years. The denture is then attached to the implants (either 2 or 4 in each jaw) and held securely. The fixed version is permanent and can only be removed by your dentist.

Implant Supported Dentures (Removable)

Removable implant supported dentures are anchored the same way with dental implants placed first. The denture attaches to the implants to keep it secure while eating and drinking, but it is removable to clean and is not worn overnight. 

Pros and Cons of Traditional Dentures

Pros: 

  • Less expensive.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Looks natural.
  • Implants can be placed later and retrofitted to existing denture in many cases

Cons: 

  • Susceptible to slipping and dislodgment
  • Can contribute to bone loss in the jaw.
  • Can damage gums. 
  • May need relining or replacement after 5-7 years.

Pros and Cons of Fixed Implant Supported Dentures

Pros:

  • Stay in place.
  • Looks natural.
  • Increased confidence.
  • No need to remove them for cleaning or sleeping. 
  • Help to preserve the jaw bone. 

Cons: 

  • Only the dentist can remove them. 
  • Cost more than traditional dentures.
  • The process of getting them takes longer because implants have to be placed first.
  •  A special 3D image called a CBCT is needed to evaluate the amount of bone.
  • Bone grafting may be required first if there is not sufficient jaw bone to support the implants.
  • May need replacement of denture teeth after 5 years.

Pros and Cons of Removable Implant Supported Dentures

Pros: 

  • Stay in place.
  • Looks natural.
  • Increased confidence.
  • Can be removed for cleaning and sleeping. 
  • Implant posts help support jaw bone.

Cons: 

  • Not as supportive to the jaw bone as fixed dentures. 
  • Cost more than traditional dentures.
  • The process of getting them takes longer because implants have to be placed first.
  • A special 3D image called a CBCT is needed to evaluate the amount of bone.
  • Bone grafting may be required first if there is not sufficient jaw bone to support the implants. 
  • May need replacement of denture teeth after 5 years

Making Your Decision

Which type of dentures would be best for you really comes down to 3 basic factors:

  1. Cost. If cost is the main concern for you, traditional dentures are the way to go. However, there are always financing options available to make implant supported dentures more affordable. The cost of the procedure may not have to prevent you from getting better quality dentures.
  2. Jaw bone density. If you’ve been missing teeth for a while, there’s a good chance your jaw bone has resorbed or dissolved some. If that’s the case, additional procedures such as bone grafting and sinus lift may be necessary to place dental implants. Those procedures may be worth the time and cost for you, or they may not. 
  3. Security. If you want dentures that will stay in place and won’t slip, implant supported dentures are the way to go. While denture adhesives have improved greatly, they are not fool-proof and may still allow your dentures to slip or move around when you’re trying to eat. It is also possible for food to get trapped underneath.

Golia Dental Can Help You Choose the Best Denture Option

If you’re still not sure which option would be best for you, let the experts at Golia Dental help you decide. Dr. Golia will evaluate the current condition of your teeth and jaw and make a recommendation, also taking into consideration your personal preferences. 

Golia Dental provides a complete range of restorative services. Call (203) 248-7400 today to set up a consultation or schedule an appointment. We look forward to fitting you with a brand new smile.

About

Dr. Golia and his team are dedicated to providing you with superb, personalized care and service from the time you first call, to the time we say good-bye. We are here to serve you and to acquaint ourselves with your needs, your problems, and your hesitations. We treat people, not patients; where experience meets compassion.

ROBERT T. GOLIA, DDS, FAGD

2319 Whitney Avenue, Suite 1C
Hamden, CT 06518

Phone: 203-248-7400

Office Hours:

Monday: 9:00am-6:00pm
Tuesday: 8:00am-5:00pm
Wednesday: 8:00am-5:00pm
Thursday: 7:00am-4:00pm