Removable Dentures vs. Implant-Supported Dentures

Sep 11, 2023
misc image

Removable Dentures vs. Implant-Supported Dentures

You already know that dentures can transform your life, giving you a brilliant smile and restoring your ability to chew and enjoy food again. But did you know there are different types of dentures and you have choices to make?

During your consultation at Dentistry With a Smile in Livingston, New Jersey, Maria Victoria Sebastian, DDS, and our team guide you through all the details, explaining the differences between removable dentures and implant-supported dentures. Here, Dr. Sebastian gives you a head start with information about both types.

Removable dentures explained

Most people are familiar with removable dentures because they’re known as the conventional dentures. You can get removable dentures to replace all your teeth (full dentures) or you may only need a denture containing a few teeth to fill a gap (partial dentures).

Partial and full dentures are made from teeth (of porcelain or a natural-looking composite) attached to an acrylic base that looks like your gums. Partial dentures have a metal frame that snaps onto your existing teeth.

We customize full dentures to fit over your gums. The suction between the base and your gums holds them in place, but some people also apply a denture adhesive.

Implant-supported dentures explained

Implant-supported dentures look like conventional full dentures (teeth implanted in a base resembling your gums). However, the base doesn’t cover your gums because they don’t need the suction to hold them in your mouth. Instead, these dentures are anchored by dental implants.

A dental implant is a small, titanium post that we place into your jawbone, just like a natural tooth root. New bone grows around the post and, as the two bond together, the post becomes firmly anchored in your jaw.

We typically use 2-4 implants for each upper and lower denture, the number depends on your jaw health and dental needs. We can permanently attach dentures to your implant, or your implant-supported dentures can be removable and you simply snap them onto your implants.

Even if you have removable implant-supported dentures, being attached to implants stabilizes them, holding them securely in place. You never need to worry about them slipping or irritating your gums.

Both types of implant-supported dentures feel comfortable and function like your natural teeth. Compared to conventional dentures, their stronger biting force combined with being securely anchored means you have the freedom to eat the foods you enjoy.

Implants also deliver another unexpected benefit: They keep your jawbones strong and healthy. Bones stay strong by continuously eliminating old bone and replacing it with new bone.

Your jaw only rebuilds bone when it’s stimulated by tooth roots, which means the bone deteriorates if your natural teeth are gone. Since dental implants replace your roots, they maintain your jaw health.

Other differences to consider

Beyond the basic differences between removable and implant-support dentures, there are other variables to consider when choosing dentures, including:

The process

The process for getting implant-supported dentures requires surgery to insert the posts. As a result, it takes longer to get your dentures because you need to wait several months for your bone and implant to fuse before moving to the next step. 

The extra time is well worth the results for patients who choose implant-supported dentures, but many people don’t want to wait.

The costs

Cost varies depending on whether you get removable or implant-supported dentures, need partial or full dentures, and the materials used to make your dentures (porcelain vs. composite).

However, implant-supported dentures cost substantially more than traditional dentures. We give you all the cost details and talk about financing and payment plans during your consultation.

Get help navigating your denture choices

If you need dentures, it’s great to know you have choices and can find a solution that restores your brilliant smile and meets your personal needs.

While there’s a lot of information to learn about dentures, we’re here to support your journey, beginning with explaining your choices and continuing with helping you adjust to your new teeth and teaching you how to care for your dentures.

If you have questions about dentures or need to schedule an appointment, call our office or book online today.