Dentures vs. Implant-Supported Dentures – Which is Best for You?

If you are considering solutions to replace most or all of your teeth, traditional dentures and implant-supported dentures are popular options. Though both utilize a full-arch prosthesis or denture, only one is a permanent replacement for missing teeth. So, what’s the difference between dentures and permanent dentures?

Learn everything you need to know about the differences between dentures and implant-supported dentures. Compare the benefits and drawbacks to determine which full-mouth tooth replacement treatment is the best choice for you. And find out how long traditional dentures last vs. permanent dentures.

Dentures vs. Implant-Supported Dentures: What’s the difference?

Implant-supported dentures are an alternative tooth replacement to traditional dentures for patients missing most or all of their teeth. To understand the difference between the two options, you need to know how they work. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the best option because every patient has different needs, health considerations, and personal expectations.

What are traditional dentures, and how do they work?

Dentures date back hundreds of years, but they were only available to the wealthy until the turn of the 20th Century. By the mid-20th Century, dentures were easy and cheap to fabricate on a massive scale. Today, the quality of dentures has improved while remaining inexpensive and widely available.

Traditional dentures are prostheses that replace the visible part of missing teeth, including a portion of the gum line and crowns. The artificial crowns enable you to bite and chew by placing your bite force against the gums. Upper dentures are more stable than lower dentures because they have an acrylic palate that helps the prosthetic adhere to the roof of your mouth.

Drawbacks to Traditional Dentures

Though they look like natural teeth, traditional dentures are notoriously high-maintenance, and most patients experience similar drawbacks. As stated above, traditional dentures place your bite force against the gums. Over time, the bite pressure can become uncomfortable on the gums.

Patients with traditional dentures often restrict their diets to avoid embarrassing slippage and gum irritation. Furthermore, when eating, the acrylic palate on upper dentures hinders patients’ ability to taste and feel food texture. Most notably, patients with dentures risk resorption of their jawbone because the prosthetic does not stimulate healthy jawbone growth. Jawbone resorption will eventually cause premature signs of aging and alter the symmetry of a patient’s facial bone structure.

What is an implant-supported denture?

Implant-supported dentures work to fix some of the downsides of traditional dentures. The factor that makes all the difference is dental implants. The implant goes into the jawbone to replace the roots of a missing tooth, thereby stimulating the jawbone and enabling healthy bone growth.

Dental implants look like small screws with hollow centers. The implant screw is permanent and biologically fuses with your jawbone during osseointegration. Once the implant bonds with your jaw, it is an ideal foundation to support a full-mouth prosthetic restoration. Four to six dental implants support an entire row of teeth on your upper or lower jaw.

Benefits of Implant-Supported Dentures

Implant-supported dentures have superior stability, function, and longevity, enabling a higher quality of life. The dental implants transfer your bite force directly to the jawbone, just like natural teeth. Unlike traditional dentures, you will retain more of your natural ability to speak, eat, and smile without limitations or dietary restrictions. And you can clean your permanent dentures just like natural teeth by brushing twice and flossing once a day.

Choosing the Best Full-Mouth Restoration for You

Any restoration is better than nothing when you have missing teeth. Traditional dentures do not work to retain your jawbone. Implant-supported dentures actively support healthy jawbone growth and minimize jawbone resorption. Dentists recommend dental implant tooth restorations because they provide a complete replacement, all the way down to the jawbone.

Traditional dentures might seem like the more cost-effective choice at first. And it’s true, implant-supported dentures have a higher upfront cost. But, when you consider the costs over the next 10 to 20 years, the value looks quite different. Traditional dentures need to be replaced, on average, about every five to seven years, whereas permanent implant-supported dentures can last a lifetime with proper care.

Are implant-supported dentures right for you?

You should not be more worried about the costs associated with your procedure than the health repercussions of inaction. Our team at Tonka Smiles is proud to help you find the financial support you need to reach your best dental health. Call our office today and schedule a free consultation to learn how implant-supported dentures can help you achieve the highest quality of life possible.