What Are Implant Retained Dentures?

If you’re seeking a solution for missing teeth that offers enhanced stability, comfort, and a natural-looking smile, implant-retained dentures could be the answer you’ve been looking for. 

Implant-retained dentures, also known as implant-supported dentures or overdentures, are a modern dental solution for individuals with extensive tooth loss. They differ from traditional removable ones as they are anchored in place by dental implants that are surgically placed into the jawbone. 

In this article, we will take an in-depth look into implant-retained dentures in order to give you the information you need to make an informed decision. From the intricacies of implant-retained dentures to shedding light on how they work and their benefits, we will help  you to decide whether or not they are the ideal choice for your dental needs. 

The Purpose of Implant Retained Dentures

The purpose of implant retained dentures is to provide individuals who have lost a significant number of their natural teeth with a more secure and functional alternative to traditional removable dentures. These innovative prosthetic devices are designed to address several key concerns associated with tooth loss. Firstly, implant retained dentures offer enhanced stability and support by firmly anchoring to dental implants that are surgically placed in the jawbone. This stability eliminates the common issues of denture slippage or discomfort, allowing individuals to enjoy improved confidence in their ability to speak, smile, and eat without worry.

Secondly, implant retained dentures contribute to better oral health by stimulating the underlying jawbone. This stimulation helps prevent the bone resorption that often occurs after tooth loss, maintaining the overall structure and strength of the jaw. Additionally, by distributing the chewing forces more evenly, these dentures can enhance the efficiency of biting and chewing, which is particularly beneficial for individuals with compromised dentition.

In summary, the primary purpose of implant retained dentures is to restore both the aesthetic and functional aspects of a patient’s smile, providing them with a long-lasting and stable solution for missing teeth while supporting overall oral health.

The Benefits 

The benefits of implant retained dentures are numerous and can significantly enhance the quality of life for individuals who choose this advanced dental solution. Here are some of the key advantages:

Enhanced Stability

Unlike traditional removable dentures that may slip or move during daily activities, implant retained dentures remain securely in place, offering improved stability and confidence when speaking, laughing, or eating.

Improved Chewing Capabilities

The firm anchorage provided by dental implants allows for a stronger bite force, enabling individuals to enjoy a wider variety of foods without the fear of discomfort or dislodgment. This can lead to better nutrition and overall health.

Natural Appearance

Implant retained dentures are custom-made to closely resemble natural teeth and gums, providing a more lifelike and aesthetically pleasing smile. They eliminate the “false teeth” appearance often associated with traditional dentures.

Preserved Jawbone Health

The presence of dental implants in the jawbone stimulates bone tissue, preventing the bone loss that can occur with tooth loss. This helps maintain the structure of the jaw and facial features over time.

Improved Speech

Stable dentures can enhance speech clarity, helping individuals pronounce words more confidently and eliminating common speech difficulties associated with removable dentures.

Comfort and Convenience

Implant retained dentures eliminate the need for messy adhesives or creams, making daily maintenance more straightforward and comfortable.

Long-Lasting Solution

With proper care, new dentures can last for many years, providing a durable and reliable tooth replacement option.

Enhanced Self-Confidence

The improved aesthetics and functionality of implant retained dentures can boost self-esteem and self-assurance, leading to a more fulfilling and active lifestyle.

What Situations Are Implant Retained Dentures Best Suited in?

Implant retained dentures are exceptionally well-suited for specific dental situations and conditions, offering valuable solutions to individuals facing particular oral health challenges. Firstly, they are an excellent choice for those dealing with extensive tooth loss in either the upper or lower arch, as they provide a secure and stable solution for restoring a full set of teeth in such cases. Secondly, when a patient has experienced some degree of jawbone resorption or lacks sufficient bone density for traditional dental implants, implant retained dentures can often be utilised, as they require fewer implants and rely on the available bone for support. Additionally, individuals who have struggled with the instability and discomfort of removable dentures will appreciate implant retained dentures, which eliminate the need for adhesives and provide a secure fit that enhances confidence in daily activities. Furthermore, for those seeking to regain optimal chewing and biting capabilities, implant retained dentures offer superior stability, allowing for a more varied and nutritious diet. They are also beneficial for preserving the natural contours of the face and preventing the sunken appearance often associated with bone loss after tooth extraction. Lastly, individuals experiencing speech difficulties due to traditional dentures may find relief with the stability and improved articulation provided by implant retained dentures. 

Can Implant Retained Dentures Be Repaired?

Implant retained dentures, like any dental prosthetic, can sometimes require repair or maintenance over time. However, the repair options and feasibility depend on the specific issue and the type of implant retained denture in use.

In many cases, repairs involve addressing issues with the denture itself, such as cracks, chips, or wear and tear. These cosmetic and functional problems can often be fixed by a dentist or dental technician through methods like relining, reattachment of broken parts, or adjustments to ensure a proper fit.

For issues related to the dental implants or their attachments, repairs may require more specialised attention. Damaged implants or attachments may need replacement, which typically involves a surgical procedure to remove and replace the affected components.

The feasibility of repair also depends on the overall condition of the implant retained denture and the surrounding oral health. Regular dental check-ups and maintenance can help identify issues early, preventing the need for extensive repairs.

In summary, implant retained dentures can be repaired, but the type and complexity of the repair depend on the specific problem and the condition of the denture and dental implants. It’s essential to consult with a dental professional for a thorough evaluation and appropriate solutions when facing issues with implant retained dentures.

Medically Reviewed by:

Dip CDT RCS (Eng) Clinical Dental Technician
Determined to remain at the cutting edge of modern Dental Technology, David recently completed an intense training course in producing dentures that genuinely recreate the natural facial structures which are lost during the ageing process through tooth loss and gum regression. He, and his many patients, are overjoyed with the natural appearance and facial proportions which this new methodology offers.