smiling old women

Implant Supported Dentures – What Are They & Do I Need Them?

If you’re missing teeth, you may find it difficult to flash a confident smile. Luckily, there are various options to improve your smile and make you feel like yourself again.

Conventional dentures are a popular option for teeth replacement, but if you’re considering something more secure, you may want to consider implant-supported dentures. But what exactly are implant-supported dentures?

Keep reading to learn what implant-supported dentures are and why you should consider them to give you your smile back.

What Are Implant-Supported Dentures?

Implant-supported or implant-retained dentures, also called snap-in dentures, are a form of dentures that are supported and attached to dental implants that are screwed into your jaw.

Implant-supported dentures are for those with no teeth in their jaw but enough bone structure to support the implants. The implant-supported denture has special attachments that snap onto the implants, thus the name “snap-in dentures.”

Implant-supported dentures can be created for the lower jaw, upper jaw, or both. Typically, two or four implants are used in each jaw, depending on the support you need. The denture itself can either be fixed into place or removable.

You might wonder: What’s the difference between dental implant-supported and conventional dentures? Let’s find out.

lower implant supported complete denture

Implant-Supported Dentures vs Conventional Dentures

The main difference between implant-supported dentures and conventional dentures is how secure they are.

Typically, conventional dentures sit on your jaw and are held in place by an adhesive material. As mentioned, implant-supported dentures require implants that snap into place, making them more secure and less likely to fall out during wear.

That said, caring for both types of dentures is similar in that they should both be removed (in the case of removable implant-supported dentures) every day to be adequately cleaned.

Implant-Supported Dentures Procedure

Getting implant-supported dentures can be lengthy, as it requires surgery for the implants and custom creation of your dentures.

After your consultation, the first step is getting your dental implants. This involves surgery and healing time for your gum tissue and jaw to bond to the implants. Depending on your circumstances, the healing time post-surgery can be anywhere from three to six months.

Be prepared for a potential second surgery to uncover your gum tissue if you require a longer healing time. Your dentist will then add a connecting device to connect your dentures to your implants.

The last step is to create the dentures themselves, which will require your dentist to take measurements of your mouth to create your custom dentures. Your dentures will be made-to-measure and should easily snap into place where the connective device on your implants are.

To ensure that your dentures last, you must care for them from the beginning, including:

  • Cleaning your dentures before inserting them
  • Brushing your gums and the roof of your mouth daily
  • Placing them in water when not in use

Now that you know what implant-supported dentures are, let’s check out the benefits they offer denture patients.

Benefits of Implant-Supported Dentures

There are several benefits to implant-supported dentures, especially when compared to conventional or traditional dentures. Here are some of the top benefits of these dentures:

  • Stability: Implant-supported dentures are more stable than conventional dentures because they snap into place. They’re less likely to loosen while eating or speaking.
  • Eating: Implant-supported dentures are easier to chew with since they’re more stable. You can eat harder and chewier foods without worrying about them shifting or falling out.
  • Less friction: Due to the implants, snap-in dentures cause less friction in your gums than conventional dentures. This causes them to be a much more comfortable choice.
  • Preserve jaw bone: The implants preserve your jaw bone and prevent further damage or deterioration, which could happen without having implants.

Lastly, one of the top benefits of implant-supported dentures is that they restore your smile naturally, boosting your confidence.

However, to make an informed decision on whether these dentures are for you, it’s essential also to consider the drawbacks of implant-supported dentures, including:

  • Lengthy process: Implant-supported dentures require surgery to install the implants. While complications from this surgery are low, it requires at least local anesthesia and a couple of weeks to recover. In contrast, conventional dentures require no surgery.
  • Cost: Implant-supported dentures can be pricey due to the need for surgery to install the implants. They may also not be covered by your insurance.
  • Longevity: While implant-supported dentures usually last a long time, they are still subject to wear and tear and may need to be replaced over time. Moreover, the attachment implants may come loose over time and require occasional tightening.
smiling senior woman new dental implants

Wrap-Up: Are Implant-Supported Dentures Right For You?

To conclude, implant-supported dentures are best for people who are missing most of their teeth and like the convenience and stability of a snap-in device rather than a loose conventional denture or removable denture.

While implant-supported dentures have a few drawbacks — particularly the need for surgery and the cost — these drawbacks make the future convenience worth it for the denture wearer.

Ready to discuss whether implant retained dentures are right for you? Contact our Belleville office today to book a consultation.