Implant Supported Dentures vs Conventional Dentures

Over time, many people will experience weakening or the loss of their natural teeth.  When it comes to restoring the appearance and functionality of the mouth, patients often turn to using dentures as a means of replacing lost teeth.  There are two different types of dentures that will be discussed in this article:  traditional dentures and implant supported dentures.

When most people think of dentures, they likely have in mind traditional dentures as the primary option for replacing lost teeth.  Traditional dentures are designed to conform to a patient’s mouth and are supported by the underlying bone and gum structure.  Using adhesives or clasps/fasteners, these removable dentures rest on top of the bone and gums.  While traditional dentures are easy to obtain, do not involve surgery, and are less costly than implanted dentures, patients may find that traditional dentures rub against their gums which can lead to sore spots.  This is especially problematic for the lower jaw since there is nothing holding them in place which can make chewing difficult.  Additionally, the surrounding bone is susceptible to shrinking over time since there are no implants or teeth to stimulate it.  As such, patients using traditional dentures will find that the shape of their mouth changes over time which could necessitate regular visits to the dentist for adjustments.

Implant supported dentures on the other hand, are surgically embedded directly into the jawbone rather than simply resting on the gums.  Typically using four or more dental implants, these prostheses draw strength from the bone to hold them in place.  Because they are secured directly to the bone, implant supported dentures do not slip or create the sore spots associated with traditional dentures.  And since the implant stimulates the underlying bone, bone loss is less likely than with their traditional counterparts.

Implant supported dentures will require consultation with your dentist for X-rays, measurement and assessment.  The surgical procedure for implanting first involves using a local anesthetic to numb the area.  The dentist will then cut down the gums in order to expose the underlying bone.  Holes are then drilled into the bone in order to allow the implant to be screwed into place.  Through a natural healing process, the implant settles into place and the underlying bone is strengthened.  Patients may require additional visits to the dentist to ensure proper alignment of the implant and to eliminate any discomfort.

While the processes for the two types of denture are clearly different, there are other differences as well.  Cost is one such difference.  Generally, traditional dentures are less costly than implants.  Implant costs can vary greatly depending on the number of implants needed, the quality of material used, experience of the dentist, and how many visits to the dentist are needed.

Another key difference between traditional and implanted dentures is durability.  Because they simply rest on top of the gums, are not as strong as natural teeth, and do not have bone supporting them, traditional dentures do not last as long as implants.  Patients should expect to replace traditional dentures every five to eight years whereas implanted dentures can last 20 years or more with proper care.

For More information on implant supported dentures : How to Clean Implant Supported Dentures


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