Implant retained dentures and normal dentures are two of the different options available for those who need dentures fitted. Which type of dentures are right for you?
Most people take for granted the normal, everyday activities of talking and eating. However, these simple tasks can prove to be a challenge for anyone who has lost all of their teeth. Whether this is down to an accident, tooth decay, side effects from cancer treatment, or any other reason, it makes oral activities far more difficult.
Modern dental technology is able to help these difficulties. By using dentures, any patient can easily have their missing tooth or teeth replaced, allowing them to regain normal functions when speaking and eating. There are two main types of dentures that are used for this process – implant retained dentures and normal dentures.
Both of these types of dentures have their own pros and cons, and it may be confusing choosing which is right for you. Here is a brief guide comparing implant retained dentures and normal dentures to help you make the right choice.
Normal dentures sit on the top of the gums and can easily be inserted or removed. Usually made of acrylic, nylon or metal, they are designed to fit snugly over other gums and fill out any gaps. Complete dentures are a full set of artificial teeth which replace all of your upper and/or lower teeth, whereas partial dentures replace just the one tooth or a few missing teeth. While most dentures should stay secure without assistance, there is a chance that patients will have to use denture adhesive in order to keep them in place for daily activities.
Having normal dentures means that you do not need to undergo any surgery or other invasive treatment. A mould will be taken of your existing teeth and gums, and you will be able to easily insert the artificial teeth as and when you need them. There is often little irritation with normal dentures, however, and most people find them very easy to adapt to. Normal dentures are also far cheaper than implant retained dentures.
Implant Retained Dentures
An implant retained denture means the physical dentures are securely hooked onto implants. These implants are made from titanium and are embedded into the jawbone of the patient. By having this hook and latch system, the dentures stay locked in place and function like normal teeth.
As the implants are placed in the jawbone, this requires invasive surgery. Another kind of surgery must be performed to expose the tops of the implants so that they are ready to attach the dentures. The second surgery is often done around three to six months after the first, meaning that implant retained dentures can take a longer time to be fully usable than their counterpart.
However, this wait is offset by a number of benefits including the dentures not slipping when they are in the mouth, as the hook system makes them far more secure than normal dentures. Implant retained dentures also have the added advantage of working the jawline muscles directly, which allows the face to keep its natural shape.
Just as with normal teeth, it is important to remove food deposits and plaque from dentures, and the cleaning methods for both normal and implant retained dentures are the same. Unclean dentures can lead to many oral health problems such as halitosis, oral thrush and gum disease, so brushing them with toothpaste and soaking them in denture-specific cleaning solution at least twice a day is recommended.
Each of these different types of dentures offer their own benefits, and it is well worth considering both types before making a final decision. If you have any questions then please speak to your dentist, who will be happy to guide you through the process.
Dr Czemko practises dentistry at Nenagh Dental in County Tipperary. She holds a BA from the University of Windsor (Canada), a Doctor of Dental Medicine from the Wroclaw Medical Academy, Poland as well as a Masters in Orthodontics from University of Warwick, UK. She also holds a position of an Honorary tutor in orthodontics at University of Warwick.