The image shows an implant post for a tooth or dentures.

Implant-Retained Dentures vs. Implant-Supported Dentures: What’s the Difference?

If you need a new set of teeth, it is important to remember that you have choices. You can always go with the traditional dentures that you attach to your gums with an adhesive and soak every night. But with dental implant technology, there are now several other options. Below, we explain the differences between implant-retained dentures vs. implant-supported dentures.

What Are Implant-Retained Dentures?

Implant-retained dentures are a type of removable denture that attaches to your gums via dental implant posts. They usually have two to four implants (metal posts) per set and are easy to remove for daily cleaning. They should be soaked every night in a denture-cleaning solution to prevent infections, pain, and bacteria buildup. 

It is a good idea to wear a mouth guard at night while your implant-retained dentures are out soaking, especially if you have been told that you clench or grind your teeth at night. The expense related to implants can be costly, and the last thing you want to do is break them. Clenching or grinding your teeth can put added stress on the implant, causing them not to last as long or even injuring your jaw so they do not heal properly. 

What Are Implant-Supported Dentures?

Implant-supported dentures do not sit on your gums but are fully supported by the implants that have been surgically implanted in your jaw. The implants act like the roots of your teeth, allowing for more bite force and more dependability for talking and chewing. There are both removable and permanent types of implant-supported dentures. However, you must have enough jaw bone and bone density to qualify for this treatment.

Implant-Retained Dentures vs. Implant-Supported Dentures

When considering implant-retained dentures vs. implant-supported dentures, there are some key considerations you should discuss with your dentist. Let’s take a look at some of the main differences.

Stability and Support

  • Implant-retained dentures get part of their support from the gums. 
  • Implant-supported dentures receive their stability directly from the implants, so no gum support is needed.

Comfort and Functionality

  • Since implant-retained dentures are supported partially by the gums, more movement can cause gum irritation and pain. 
  • Implant-supported dentures are very stable, have less movement, and are much more comfortable. 

Cost of Implant-Supported Dentures vs. Implant-Retained Dentures

  • Implant-retained dentures are generally less expensive because they are less complex. 
  • Implant-supported dentures are more expensive up front, but in the long term, the investment is worth it due to their durability and functionality.

Maintenance and Care

  • Both types of dentures should be brushed and thoroughly cleaned daily. However, permanent implant-supported dentures may require more dental visits for professional cleanings.

What Are the Benefits and Risks of Implant-Supported Dentures?

This treatment involves a surgical procedure, so recovery will take extra time. If you have bone loss, you may also need bone grafts to build up your jaw structure enough to support the implants. As with every dental procedure, there are risks involved. Talk with your dentist to determine whether the risks outweigh the benefits.

Benefits of Implant-Supported Dentures

  • The implants imitate your natural teeth roots, so there is less chance of bone loss to your jaw.
  • They are more durable and last longer than traditional dentures.
  • They appear more natural than traditional dentures.
  • They do not move around or slip in your mouth like traditional dentures.

Risks of Implant-Supported Dentures

Some risks come with implant-supported dentures. However, complications are rare. Risks include: 

  • Food will inevitably get underneath the denture.
  • Esthetics of the teeth and gingiva must be considered. They will likely not look exactly like the previous natural teeth.
  • Infections and loss of implants could render the denture unusable.

Choose Copper Creek Dental for Implant-Supported Dentures

At Copper Creek Dental of South Jordan, Utah, we will support you in making tough decisions about your dental health. If you have questions regarding implant-retained dentures vs. implant-supported dentures, we’d be happy to meet you for a consultation. 

Our dedicated team is here to help with all your dental needs. If you are interested in all-on-4 hybrid dentures or have any questions or concerns about your dental health, contact us to schedule an appointment.

Images used under Creative Commons license – commercial use (7/2/2024). Image by Bernard Rosser from Pixabay.

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