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Dentures vs Implant-Retained Dentures vs Full Mouth Implant Bridges
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Dentures vs Implant-Retained Dentures vs Full Mouth Implant Bridges

Posted on: March 17, 2021

5 minute read

Perth Dental Implant Centre makes every effort to help you keep your natural teeth throughout your lifetime. However, sometimes teeth require extraction due to gum disease, tooth decay, or trauma. Dentures and dental implants offer options to replace all or several missing teeth.
Replacing missing teeth with either choice enhances one’s quality of life by providing benefits, such as:

  • Improved speech
  • Improved appearance by supporting facial muscles
  • A more aesthetically pleasing smile
  • Better nutrition due to an improved ability to chew food (1)

In this article, we list the pros and cons to suction dentures, implant-retained dentures and full mouth implant bridges.

The Pros and Cons of Dentures

PDIC Dentures

Suction or full dentures offer a reliable way to replace either all or some missing teeth. Dentures have a stigma of being bulky and ill-fitting, however modern dentures of today can be a high-quality and natural-looking prosthetic solution to replacing missing teeth.

Advantages:

  • Less costly than other options
  • Allows for time to heal after recent extractions
  • Non-invasive option with no surgery required
  • Quicker healing times with no surgery
  • Less appointments than with implants
  • Less costly to maintain and repair
  • Easy to keep clean
  • Modern materials allow for a natural appearance
  • No surgery usually required

Disadvantages:

  • Rely on suction to stay in place
  • Can come loose and impair speech and chewing
  • Appear less natural than implants
  • Require removal at night
  • Require replacements every few years
  • Can prevent eating certain foods
  • Do not preserve jaw bone like dental implants do
  • Require regular removal and thorough cleaning
  • May need denture adhesives for stability
  • Can cause pressure sores and irritation
  • Less biting force than implants

The Pros and Cons of Implant-Retained Dentures

PDIC-Lower-Implant-Retained-Denture

One of the great achievements of modern dentistry is the capability to replace the roots of missing teeth with dental implants. Dentures supported by implants (also known as overdentures) instead of resting directly on the gums offer many advantages for replacing missing teeth.

Advantages:

  • Superior aesthetics from very natural appearance
  • Maximum stability for a secure fit
  • More comfortable than traditional dentures
  • No impairment to the ability to taste food and drinks
  • Superior speech
  • Better nutrition due to an ability to chew food easier
  • Less irritation and sores on gums
  • Superior biting forces
  • Preserves the jaw bone unlike suction dentures
  • Maintains the shape and strength of the jaw unlike suction dentures
  • Longer lifespan due to sustained bone integrity
  • No need for denture adhesives

Disadvantages:

  • Higher initial cost
  • Requires healthy gums and jaw bone
  • Requires surgery to place implants
  • Requires more time and appointments
  • Still need to be removed at night

Options for Implant-Retained Dentures

Implant-supported dentures clip on to implants placed in the bone to replace the roots of missing teeth. The benefits of implant-supported dentures include:

  • Significant improvement in chewing due to increased biting force capability
  • Feel and function closer to natural teeth
  • Helps preserve gum tissue and jaw bone
  • Easy to clean
  • No loss of taste
  • Improve oral health

Implant-supported dentures offer these two options:

Ball Attachments

This denture fastens to implants placed in the lower jaw. Typically, two implants hold the denture in place. Some movement occurs, but stability and retention are superior to traditional dentures. Ball attachment dentures have proven high implant and denture survival and success rates, few complications, and high patient satisfaction (2).

Ball Attachments

Bar Attachments

A milled titanium bar unites all the implants on either the upper or lower jaw. The denture attaches to the bar, which provides superior retention and support for prosthetic teeth. This option is more expensive to manufacture than ball attachment dentures, however it can offer superior strength and stability.

Bar Attachments

Titanium Milled Bar Attachment

The Pros and Cons of Full Mouth Implant Bridges

A popular choice of many people to regain their smile and ability to eat and speak normally after losing all upper or lower teeth is with full mouth implant bridges (also known as All-On-4® dental implants). Four to six precisely placed implants on either the upper or lower jaws support a bridge of teeth.

Full-Mouth-Implant-Bridge-_-All-On-4

Generally, full mouth implant bridges are the preferred solution to replacing missing teeth. They share the same advantages of implant-retained dentures as well as some additional ones.

Advantages:

  • Look, feel and function just like natural teeth
  • Superior stability and strength
  • Cannot come loose, no movement at all
  • Don’t need to be removed at night
  • Offers a more permanent solution to teeth replacement
  • Can replace all missing teeth within 5 days
  • Easy to maintain
  • Less appointments than with implant-retained dentures

Disadvantages:

  • Higher treatment cost
  • Higher cost to maintain and repair
  • Requires healthy gums and jaw bone
  • Requires surgery to place implants (meaning that surgical risks apply)

Options for Full Mouth Implant Bridges

PDIC-Full-Mouth-Implants-Acrylic-bridge
Titanium Reinforced Acrylic Implant Bridge

Perth Dental Implant Centre uses two implant systems, MIS dental implants and Nobel Biocare’s All-On-4® dental implants. Both systems are TGA-approved and share comparable success rates, however All-On-4® dental implants are a well-recognised brand amongst patients and are the more costly option.

Dr David Norcross has adapted his technique to be able to provide implant treatment using both implant systems. Both systems use high grade titanium dental implants attached to teeth, made of one of the following materials:

  • High impact acrylic
  • Zirconia
  • Zirconia layered porcelain
PDIC-Full-Mouth-Implants-Zirconia-bridge
Zirconia Implant Bridge

A temporary acrylic bridge gets placed immediately after surgery so the mouth has time to heal. It can then be replaced with a permanent bridge using either titanium reinforced acrylic, or upgraded to a zirconia bridge which lasts longer.

Titanium dental implants can last a lifetime with good care and oral hygiene, while acrylic bridges need replacing every 2 to 5 years on average and zirconia bridges need replacing every 5 to 15 years on average.

View our implant package prices here.

Book a Dental Implant Consultation

Dr Dave Norcross Perth Dental Implant Centre

Dr. David Norcross has 15 years’ experience replacing missing teeth with dental implants and can discuss all options to give you the most natural-looking and best functioning outcome.

If your dental implants will be supported by a denture, our resident Prosthetist, Donagh McDonagh with thirty-nine years’ experience will work closely with Dr. Norcross to custom design your new denture.

To book a consultation at your dedicated dental implant clinic, call (08) 9470 3944 for East Victoria Park or (08) 9495 7999 for Kelmscott. You can also book online.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

1. How much do dentures cost?

Our resident Prosthetist, Donagh McDonagh has 39 years’ experience designing high-quality, well-fitting dentures. The price for dentures can vary according to your individual needs and desires.

Full dentures are made of high impact acrylic and typically need replacing every few years. Suction dentures range from $3,500 – $6,000.

2. How much do implant-retained dentures cost?

Dr. Norcross wants you to receive a high quality, affordable, natural-appearing, and functional replacement for your missing teeth. The price for dentures can vary according to your individual needs and desires.

For some patients, they can achieve greater comfort and function by combining a full suction denture with dental implants on the lower jaw only. After a comprehensive examination, you will receive a treatment plan and quote for all suitable options.

In some cases, we can even convert your existing lower denture into an implant-retained denture, which saves on total treatment costs.

  • Conversion of a lower denture to an implant-retained denture is priced from $7,000.
  • A full upper denture and lower implant-retained denture on two dental implants is priced from $10,000.
  • An upper implant-retained denture is priced from $15,000.

3. How long do dentures last?

Suction dentures may need replacing every few years depending on how much bone you lose under the denture. Bone loss is inevitable with full suction dentures, which causes dentures to loosen.

4. How long do implant-retained dentures last?

Implant-supported dentures help to preserve your jaw bone and can last much longer than suction dentures. How long they last, depends on how well they are cared for. While the dental implants themselves can last a lifetime, the actual denture may last between 5 to 15 years before needing to be replaced.

5. How long does it take to get used to wearing dentures?

Wearing dentures will feel strange in the beginning. Most people need a few months before feeling accustomed to wearing them (3). It would be best if you had Dr. Norcross evaluate the fit of your denture yearly.

6. What are the benefits of implant-supported dentures?

  • Very natural appearance
  • Capable of more biting forces
  • Preserves supporting jaw bone
  • Retention
  • Stability
  • Longer lasting
  • Prevents a hollow cheek and prematurely-aged appearance

References

1. http://www.quintpub.com/userhome/ijp/ijp_32_3_Medeiros_p272.pdf

2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6784476/

3. https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/dentures

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

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