Implant Retained Dentures vs Implant Supported Dentures

For people who have lost some or all of their teeth, conventional dentures can be both uncomfortable and lack in over-all functionality. Therefor, the use of dental implants to support or retain dentures that don’t fit well is becoming more and more popular. Implant-retained dentures offer certain benefits, while implant-supported dentures offer other benefits, but both can offer more stability and bite-function. Several different factors play into which treatment can work best.


Taking the total force of the bite, the implant-supported version are fixed dentures and can absorb the impact of the bite into the jawbone through the implant, and this provides the most effective and natural bite experience for patients. This treatment, however is generally more costly since more implants are needed, and since often the mini implants aren’t suitable. Decent quality existing bone is also needed for implant-supported dentures, which may or may not be available. Patients can feel reluctant to other procedures, such as soft tissue regeneration or bone regeneration, that can be needed for ensure a full successful implant-supported denture treatment. In this case the implant-retained dentures might be a better option.


In the case of implant-retained dentures, it is actually the gums that absorb most of the force of the bite. For this procedure not as many dental implants are required which can allow for a more affordable procedure. Also with these kinds of dentures often mini dental implants can be used. And, with the implant-retained procedure often the implants can be positioned to optimize the use of existing bone that is stronger and thicker, which can lessen and/or eliminate any requirement for bone grafting. These kinds of dentures do aid in restoration of speaking and eating comfortably (and confidently), they don’t fully mimic the natural bite, and they do have to be taken out for nightly cleaning.

Important Considerations

A patient’s overall lifestyle, health, diet, and cost are all important considerations in choosing the best denture treatment.

Some people might greatly prefer waking up with teeth that are fixed permanently, and function similarly to the way their natural teeth did. For these people the implant-supported option could be the best lifestyle choice. And patients that have sleep apnea and/or TMJ often are more comfortable if they can sleep with their teeth all night, and so will likely benefit from the implant-supported version, as well.

When it comes to diet, a person that doesn’t mind skipping harder-to-chew foods might be more comfortable with the implant-retained variation, whereas people who need and/or prefer to be able to eat steak and other chewier foods will likely do best with implant-retained dentures.

Cost is of course an important consideration for most people, as well. Implant-supported dentures are generally more costly, but are also generally considered to give more benefits. But, both treatments are effective options for anyone needing dentures. It is important for anyone needing dentures to fully research and understand the pros and cons of both treatments and consult with a trusted oral health care professional.

How Long Do Implant Retained Dentures Last?