Implant Supported Dentures vs. Conventional Dentures

Regardless of the cause of their tooth loss, edentulous patients may be curious about which treatment option is better for replacing their teeth: a conventional denture or one supported by dental implants. When choosing between the two options, it is important to understand the differences between conventional dentures vs. those employing dental implants. Read on to learn more about the differences between the two restorations along with their advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Conventional (Removable) Dentures

A relatively inexpensive option, conventional dentures tend to be less costly than other tooth replacement choices initially. However, given that the acrylic used in the devices wears down with time, conventional dentures will need to be periodically replaced. Replacement is also necessary to adapt to changes that occur to the bone anatomy. With prolonged wear, conventional dentures can lead to the jaw shrinking which can cause the prosthesis to loosen, rub, and be uncomfortable.
Patients may also find it takes significant time and practice to adapt to the denture. Because of the mechanisms holding dentures in place, patients will have to learn how to talk and eat with them as this will not be what they are normally accustomed to.

Dentures are weaker than natural teeth and therefore do not stand up to the same level of force when chewing or biting. As such, patients may find it helpful to cut food into smaller pieces or stick to a diet of softer foods to chew.
Conventional dentures can be quickly obtained so people that need an immediate, affordable option for replacing missing teeth may find them preferable. However, people seeking a more effective and longer lasting treatment option, may find implant supported dentures a better solution.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Implant Supported Dentures

Because they are designed to rest on the wearer’s gums, conventional dentures are prone to shifting and can be uncomfortable. Implant supported dentures alleviate these issues by providing a more sturdy and secure platform upon which dentures can be attached. Lacking natural tooth roots, metal implant posts are surgically embedded directly into the jawbone. The direct interaction with the jawbone allows the restoration to withstand the forces of chewing.

Implant supported dentures have several advantages over conventional dentures including:
* Can be a permanent or removable denture
* Stays securely attached during the day
* Eliminates rubbing or sore spots from developing
* Slimmer design
* Talking and eating is more natural
* Does not rely on denture adhesives
* More comfortable
* Enhance bone health

While the benefits of implant supported dentures are numerous, they are not without their drawbacks. One clear downside to implant supported dentures is the fact that surgery is required to place the implants. Given surgery is involved, the cost of the restoration is higher than conventional dentures.

Another downside is the time involved with obtaining the devices as there is a significant healing period required following implant surgery to allow the jawbone and implants to properly fuse together. Typically, patients can expect to need between two to six months to completely heal during which, they may not have full use of their new prosthesis.

What Are Implant Supported Dentures