Implant Retained Dentures vs Implant Supported Dentures

Patients who are missing their teeth often experience challenges with conventional dentures as they can be uncomfortable and cause issues with eating and talking. As a result of these challenges, the use of dental implants as an anchor for dentures is gaining popularity. While there are various benefits of implant supported dentures compared to implant retained dentures, both solutions improve the stability and bite function of the dentures. In many cases, determining which treatment option is ideal for the patient is based on numerous factors.

Implant Supported Dentures

Implant supported fixed dentures absorb the full force of the bite through the implants and into the jawbone. This solution offers patients the most natural and effective bite. One disadvantage of this treatment option, however, is that the procedure is typically more expensive as more implants are required and mini dental implants typically cannot be used. In order to use implant supported dentures, the patient must have good, healthy bone to support the implant, which is not always the case. In addition, some patients do not want to participate in additional procedures, including bone or soft tissue regeneration, which may be required for a successful outcome. In this case, implant retained dentures may be a better solution for the patient.

Implant Retained Dentures

When implant retained dentures are used, the gums receive more of the force from the bite. Because fewer dental implants are required to secure the denture, this treatment is less expensive. In many cases, mini dental implants can be used which also helps to reduce the cost. The dental implants are strategically placed in order to take advantage of the available bone where it is thicker and stronger. This helps to eliminate the need for bone grafts. While this treatment option aids in restoring the ability for a patient to speak and eat, it does not produce a natural bite and the dentures need to be removed at the end of the day to be properly cleaned.

Some of the various factors which can impact the treatment options for a patient and the dentist’s suggestion are outlined below and include the patient’s general and dental health, diet, lifestyle, and cost.


Patients who have sleep apnea or a TMJ disorder typically want to wear their teeth at night. As a result, they are better suited for implant supported dentures as they offer the necessary support with strong, well-secured teeth.


Some patients have no issues with modifying their diet or consuming softer foods as needed with implant retained dentures. However, some patients do not want to give up certain foods which may be difficult to chew, such as steak or biting into an apple.


Some patients want to avoid the use of removable teeth as they would prefer to have a more permanent solution. In this case, implant supported dentures are a better solution.


In most cases, cost is an important factor for patients when considering their treatment options. While implant supported dentures are more expensive, some patients consider them to offer benefits which outweigh the increased cost.

Work with your dentist in order to determine which tooth replacement option is ideal for your specific situation.