Traditional vs. Implant-supported Dentures

By Frank Avason, DMD on October 02, 2018

An illustration of traditional vs. implant-supported denturesTooth loss can affect your overall appearance, and it compromises oral health and function. Patients who have been impacted by significant tooth loss can benefit from full or partial dentures at our Denver, NC practice.

Here, our team discusses traditional vs. implant-supported dentures and explores the pros and cons of each. Dr. Frank Avason offers both options, depending on the unique needs of the patient.

About Traditional Dentures

A traditional denture is a removable oral appliance used to replace missing teeth. While partial dentures replace multiple teeth in the upper jaw, lower jaw, or both, full dentures replace an entire arch. These prostheses rest atop the gums and are supported by the bone ridge underneath.

Dentures can be crafted from a wide range of materials. Most commonly, they consist of a gum-colored acrylic base with artificial teeth. Partial dentures also typically include special dental clasps that hook onto adjacent teeth for added stability.

Advantages of Traditional Dentures

The most significant advantage of traditional dentures is their affordability. This option is one of the most cost-effective tooth replacement options available. Replacing missing teeth with a conventional denture restores the aesthetics and function of your smile.

Disadvantages of Traditional Dentures

Patients who have worn dentures for a long time often complain that the appliance begins to shift or slip after a few years. This is due to the natural changes in the underlying jawbone.

For example, once tooth loss occurs, the bone ridge that once supported the teeth begins to atrophy. As a result, the jaw wears thin and the fit of the denture changes. For this reason, denture replacement is recommended every seven to 10 years.

About Implant-supported Dentures

By design, implant-supported dentures are quite similar to their traditional counterparts. The primary difference, however, is that implant-based appliances are supported by dental implants, rather than relying on the gum and bone for stability.

Both full and partial dentures can be supported by dental implants. Patients who choose this option will still be able to remove their appliance. However, the denture will “snap” onto the implant posts for optimal stability.

Advantages of Implant-supported Dentures

Implant-supported restorations offer a few significant advantages over conventional dentures. Most notably, the appliance stays put when placed in the mouth. Therefore, patients can eat and speak in full confidence, without worrying about a wobbly denture.

Another benefit of implant-supported dentures is that they actually preserve existing bone. Because implants replace the missing tooth roots, they prevent bone loss from occurring in the future. This helps maintain optimal oral health and prevent the “sunken-in” appearance common among conventional denture-wearers.

Disadvantages of Implant-supported Dentures

Implant-supported dentures have a higher upfront cost compared to their traditional counterparts. However, when you consider that conventional dentures need to be replaced at least once every decade, implant-supported options can actually save you money in the long run.

In addition, implant-supported dentures require a surgical appointment. During this visit, the implants are placed in the jawbone. After this step, a few months of healing are required before the final denture can be attached.

Treatment timelines can vary based on individual need, but on average, it takes about three to nine months to complete the process.

Contact Avason Family Dentistry

If you are interested in learning more about full or partial dentures, schedule an appointment at our practice. Contact Avason Family Dentistry.

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Denver Office

7476 Waterside Loop Rd
Ste 100
Denver, NC 28037

More Info Directions (704) 820-9797