What are Implant Supported Dentures

When deciding to replace natural teeth, there are some important differences between traditional dentures and implant supported dentures.  Having all the facts about both options can help you decide on which option fits best with your individual situation regarding lifestyle and budget.

Unlike traditional dentures, implant-supported dentures do not rest on the gums.  Implant-supported dentures are attached to implants which support the dentures.  The initial investment for implant supported dentures is usually more than traditional dentures.

Here are some key points to consider when you and your dentist are deciding which option is best for you:

Bone Structure

Traditional and Implant supported dentures affect the bone in different ways.  Because regular traditional dentures rest on top of the bone and gums, sore spots are created.  The long-term affect is shrinking or resorption of the bone.

The bone shrinks because there are no teeth or implants to stimulate the bone. When the bone shrinks the shape of your mouth changes requiring ongoing denture adjustments.  The bone loss also, especially on the lower jawbone, causes the denture to slip because there is nothing to hold it in place.

Dentures that are not secured in your mouth will interfere with speaking and eating.  The situation is progressive and continues to get worse the longer you wear dentures.


Regular traditional dentures are less expensive and less effective.  Typically, regular dentures last between seven and ten years.  Depending how old you are when you get your first set of dentures, you may have to replace them several times during your lifetime.

Implant supported dentures have a higher initial cost but long term they are a better value.  The time investment for implant supported dentures involve one or two invasive surgeries followed by a four-month healing period.  During the healing period to achieve osteointegration, or the state in which the implant bonds strongly to the jawbone, a regular denture can be worn transitionally.


Since regular dentures need to be removed daily to properly clean them, the risk is higher that they could be dropped and broken.  They also must be removed and left out of the mouth overnight to give the gums a chance to recover.

Implant dentures that are properly cared for can last for many years, or even a lifetime. The health benefits of being able to eat a larger variety of foods compared to regular dentures should be considered. Having an upper regular denture that covers the upper palate (which contains thousands of taste buds) has an affect on how well you taste your food.

Some people are never able to wear a traditional denture.  Either they can never achieve a comfortable fit or they have a gag reflex that prevents them from keeping them in their mouth.

These are just some of the considerations to discuss with your dentist when deciding on the best tooth replacement option for your situation.  Along with your medical conditions, the need for additional procedures, and the results of a CT scan your dentist can direct you to the best option.