Reviewed by Dr. J. Thompson, DDS

Reading time: 5 minutes.

Modern dentistry provides several options for tooth replacement. Implant-retained and implant-supported dentures are both practical and aesthetically pleasing alternatives to conventional dentures. While both types use dental implants, they differ in how they use them for support and retention.

In this blog, we will explore the key differences so you can decide which option is best for you.

Table of Contents

What Are Dental Implants?

A dental implant is a small titanium post that is surgically placed into the jawbone. This post acts as a replacement for a missing tooth root. When the implant fuses with the jawbone, it acts as a stable foundation for artificial teeth. 

For a detailed explanation of what to expect from dental implant surgery, read our blog, Dental Implant Procedure Step-by-Step: Your Guide to a Confident Smile.

Key Takeaway

The primary difference between implant-retained and implant-supported dentures lies in the number of implants used and how the dentures are attached. Both offer excellent solutions for missing teeth with unique benefits and considerations. Your dietary preferences, lifestyle, overall health, and budget will guide your decision in selecting the best option for your unique situation.

What Are Implant-Retained Dentures

This type of denture involves strategically placing two to four dental implants in the jawbone to support the dentures.

Unlike removable dentures, the restoration receives support from the gum tissue and bone structure. When the implant integrates with the jaw bone, it provides a strong foundation for the denture. This foundation ensures a secure fit and reduces movement or slippage. 

This type of implant can be particularly beneficial for patients with bone loss in the jaw. Implants are strategically placed to compensate for the lack of natural bone structure. The implants provide a strong and durable foundation for the denture.

The Pros

Implant-retained dentures offer numerous advantages.

  • They provide a more natural feel while eating, speaking, and smiling confidently.
  • Strategic implant placement ensures optimal support for the denture.
  • They improve overall comfort and chewing efficiency.

The Cons

While implant-retained dentures have many benefits, there are also some limitations.

  • Require a sufficient amount of jawbone for successful implant placement.
  • Are more costly compared to traditional dentures.
  • Can be time-consuming, as the implants need time to fuse with the jawbone before attaching the denture.

What Are Implant-Supported Dentures

In this approach, eight to ten dental implants are strategically placed in the jawbone. A metal bar is then attached to these implants to provide a secure foundation for the denture base. The denture base is securely fixed to the metal bar.

Although not removable, many patients find that the improved stability and security they provide are well worth it. This eliminates concerns about denture slippage or movement while eating, speaking, or smiling.

The Pros

Because they are fixed, implant-supported dentures offer several advantages.

  • Maintain just like natural teeth.
  • Are suitable for harder-to-chew foods.
  • Provide a more natural look and feel with no risk of slippage or movement.

The Cons

While implant-supported dentures have many benefits, there are also some limitations.

  • More expensive than traditional dentures and even some other dental implant options.
  • Surgical procedures can take longer to complete compared to other options.

Which Implant Dentures Are Best for You?

These treatment options combine the best of both worlds – the stability of traditional implants and the convenience of dentures. The main difference between implant-supported and implant-retained dentures is how many implants are used. 

When it comes to choosing which is the right option for you, several factors should be taken into consideration.

  1. Diet: Implant-supported dentures may be ideal if you enjoy hard-to-chew foods like steak. With more implants providing increased bone support, these dentures function like natural teeth. They give you the chewing power you had before tooth loss.
  2. Lifestyle: If you don’t like the idea of removing dentures every night, permanent implant-supported dentures offer a solution. These dentures remain in your mouth like natural teeth, allowing you to wake up with them and brush them as you would natural teeth.
  3. Overall health: Your overall and oral health are factors to consider when selecting implant dentures. For individuals with TMJ or sleep apnea, wearing dentures at night can be beneficial, making implant-supported dentures the best choice. However, if limited health prevents bone graft surgery, implant-retained dentures offer additional support without extensive procedures.
  4. Cost: While cost should never be the sole factor influencing your dental decisions, it is an essential consideration. If affordability is a concern, implant-retained dentures are a lower-cost option as they require fewer implants.

Oral Facial & Implant Specialists

Dental Implants in Deer Park, IL

If you are looking for a reliable and comfortable solution to replace missing teeth, implant dentures may be the answer! With various options available for prosthetic teeth, these implants provide many benefits that make them a great option to restore your smile.

At Oral Facial & Implant Specialists, we are committed to delivering high-quality dental implant services to our patients. Our skilled dentists, Dr. Thompson and Dr. Martin, take pride in helping you achieve a beautiful smile. If you are considering implants, book your free dental implant consultation.

Your ideal smile could be just one call away! Call Oral Facial & Implant Specialists at (847) 381-0106 or complete the online booking form.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between all-on-four and implant-supported dentures?

All-on-4 is a type of implant-supported denture that uses four dental implants to support an entire arch of teeth. In the All-on-4 procedure, the implants are placed at a 45-degree angle, so they can use fewer implants.

Can implant dentures be removed like traditional dentures?

Implant-retained and implant-supported dentures are not removable. However, they can be easily cleaned and maintained like natural teeth.

How do you take care of implant dentures?

Follow a daily oral care routine for your implants just like you would your natural teeth. This includes brushing twice daily, flossing daily, and using an antibacterial mouthwash. Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and check-ups.

If you are searching for ‘dental implants near me,’ call the experts at Oral Facial & Implant Specialists.

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