Choosing The Best Implant-Supported Dentures For Your Missing Teeth

Posted on: 31 October 2022

There are different options for replacing an entire upper or lower set of teeth (or both) with implant-supported dentures. Whatever the chosen option, the approach is more or less the same, and you'll have a sequence of dental implants placed in your jaw. These implants will then be connected to a denture, which contains an entire upper or lower set of teeth. The implants mean that the dentures are supported by your jawbone, instead of simply sitting on your palate. So how do you know which option is best for you? 

Two Outcomes

The different options for implant-supported dentures can be cut down to two basic outcomes—whether the dentures are detachable, or whether they're fixed in place. Either type of implant-supported denture can be removed by a dentist, but the detachable option can also be removed by you at home. But first, you should know how implant-supported dentures are different from single-tooth dental implants. 

Single-Tooth Implants

Standard-orientated dental implants are to support a single tooth only, with the implant becoming an artificial tooth root for an individual prosthetic tooth. When implants are used to support dentures, they can be spaced out and angled where the jawbone has the most density. This is extremely useful when the bone has lost density, which can be a side effect of tooth loss. Standard-oriented dental implants can sometimes only be placed after the relevant parts of the jaw have been reinforced with bone grafting. This isn't the case with implant-supported dentures.

The Detachable Option

You have the option of a detachable overdenture. This is when you can remove the prosthesis yourself. When your gums have healed, you'll be able to see the sequence of dental implants—looking like small metal protrusions from your gums. The overdenture just clicks into place and is removed for cleaning. Although it's going to be supported by the strength of your jaw, the strength of its connection to your implants could be less than ideal. In some circumstances (such as while eating certain foods, or an injury to the jaw), it might be possible for the overdenture to disconnect from its implants.

The Non-Detachable Option

Detachable implant-supported dentures are arguably less sturdy than fixed dentures. Receiving these dentures is known as the all-on-4 dental implant procedure because only four implants are needed to secure the entire upper or lower set of prosthetic teeth. The prosthesis is added immediately after implant placement, and then effectively becomes your new permanent teeth. They're fixed in place, with a sturdy foundation offered by your jaw—just like natural teeth. Also like natural teeth, you brush them while they're still in your mouth. These are the strongest, most comfortable, and most natural dentures available.

Using dental implants to support a denture is always going to offer more stability than a standard denture. But choosing an all-on-4, non-removable system results in the strongest possible denture system for replacing missing teeth.

Contact your dentist to learn more about the all-on-4 dental implant procedure