Implant Retained Dentures versus Traditional Dentures
When faced with the choices available for replacing all of one’s missing teeth, the decision often comes down to two options: traditional dentures or implant retained dentures. For many people, traditional dentures are the more familiar choice; the one that their grandparents and even parents chose. It is important to note, though, that this choice was likely based on simple availability rather than on preference; now that implant retained dentures have become more commonly available to a wider range of patients, more people seeking to replace teeth are choosing them in place of the traditional dentures that their parents used.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Traditional Dentures
Traditional dentures are a single-piece tooth replacement appliance that is made of acrylic and dental composite resin. Upper and lower arches differ somewhat in construction, given that the lower arch is a simple horseshoe shape that fits over the gumline and the upper arch is somewhat larger, with a thin piece of acrylic that covers part of the upper palate to help retain the appliance in place.
The main benefits of traditional dentures include a substantially lower cost point as compared to implant retained dentures as well as a speedier process to make the dentures. There is also no need for surgical intervention with traditional dentures, which also means that there is no need to go through a long healing process after implants have been installed.
The main drawbacks of conventional dentures revolve around comfort and durability. Conventional dentures have a bad reputation for not being somewhat moveable in the mouth, which can cause some difficulties in eating and talking. To remedy this problem, oral adhesive gels are often used to help keep traditional dentures in place, which can introduce other problems.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Implant Retained Dentures
Implant retained dentures, on the other hand, use surgically implanted implant fixtures to hold the dentures in place. Because of this built-in support system, the dentures themselves tend to be smaller and more streamlined than traditional dentures.
Often referred to as “snap in” dentures, implant retained dentures are less moveable in the mouth, creating more ease in terms of eating and talking. They are also easily removed at night for cleaning and, also like traditional dentures, can be removed for repairs if that should ever become necessary. Increasingly, fixed or permanent implant supported dentures are also possible, creating an even more natural tooth replacement solution for patients. Cemented on to the implant fixtures instead of snapping into place, this kind of implant denture feels and acts just like one’s natural teeth, which some patients prefer.
While implant retained dentures do require more time and money to be created and installed, they are also more durable, attractive, and comfortable to wear in the long run. They do require good bone health in the jawbone, though, so this is something that you will need to establish with your dentist before proceeding in making plans for implant retained dentures. If your bone health has been compromised, mini dental implants might be a good alternative, as they are smaller in profile and yet still able to support the structure of implant retained dentures.