Traditional Vs. Implant Retained Dentures

Two common treatment options for patients who are missing teeth include traditional dentures and dentures which are secured by dental implants. This article with review the differences between these two solutions and identify the pros and cons of each.

Prior to deciding which treatment option to pursue, it is helpful to have a good understanding of both solutions. Many dentists offer both tooth replacement options to their patients as they both offer certain benefits and challenges. For most patients, however, implant retained dentures are the preferred treatment solution.

Traditional Dentures

The upfront costs of traditional dentures are relatively inexpensive. However, while the initial cost is cheaper compared to other options which include implant retained dentures, traditional dentures can be more costly over time.

Because they can quickly show signs of wear and due to the changes in the bone structure, conventional dentures must be replaced after a certain amount of time. Extensive wear and the lack of stimulation from the missing teeth can result in a shrinking jaw bone. This can result in the denture feeling loose or uncomfortable. Dental implants, however can last a lifetime.

It can take time and practice to get used to wearing dentures. Because of how the dentures are secured in place, it can be difficult and time consuming to learn how to talk and eat. Traditional dentures cannot absorb as much force from biting or chewing. As a result, patients should work to consume softer foods and be sure to cut them up into smaller pieces.

Some of the main benefits of traditional dentures include a relatively quick treatment time and low cost.

Implant Retained Dentures

When compared to traditional dentures, implant retained dentures offer a variety of benefits including the following:

  • Adhesives are not required
  • Do not slip or fall out
  • Enhance bone health from implant stimulation
  • Increased comfort and minimal rubbing on the gums
  • More secure and comfortable when eating and talking
  • Slimmer design which often fits better inside the mouth

Because dental implants are stronger than the natural teeth, they can completely support the forces from chewing, talking and daily use. When patients eat and speak with an implant retained denture, it feels quite natural. In addition, patients do not need to worry about the denture slipping or coming loose.

Perhaps one of the biggest differences is found in the health of the jaw bone when patients have implant retained dentures compared to traditional dentures. When traditional dentures are used, the device will rest on the gums and places quite a bit of pressure on the jaw. With time, this results in the shrinkage and resorption of the bone. As the bone shrinks, it can cause changes to the patient’s facial appearance.

Dental implants actually add strength as they stimulate the jaw bone. During the process of the bone fusing to the implant, new bone is developed which permanently secures the implant in place and enhances the health of the bone. This also aids in preserving the overall appearance and structure of the face.