Teeth Replacement: Traditional Dentures vs Dental Implant Dentures

By Dr. Brett Silverman | Dec 21, 2023 | Dental Implants
Teeth Replacement: Traditional Dentures vs Dental Implant Dentures

Whether you’re ready to transition to dentures for the first time or you have retention problems with your current denture, Drs. Brett S. Silverman, Dr. Darrel J. Morton, and our professional team at Advanced Cosmetic and Family Dentistry in Alpharetta, GA, provide options for teeth replacement. We have helped hundreds of patients replace missing teeth with bridges, partials, dentures, and dental implants

If information is power, this post will make you a superhero. You’ll feel more informed and confident talking to your dentist once you understand the basics of teeth replacement. Today’s blog will teach you about:

  • Tooth loss
  • Traditional dentures
  • Implant-retained dentures
  • Other considerations
  • Schedule a denture and dental implant consultation

About Tooth Loss

Your self-confidence will wane if you settle for a smile with missing teeth. Replacing lost teeth is also vital to maintaining good oral and overall health. The mouth is the first organ in the digestive process. Food must be properly chewed or gastrointestinal issues may arise. If you do not replace lost teeth, you can expect:

  • Jawbone degeneration (loss)
  • Eating problems
  • Dietary restrictions/poor nutrition
  • Bite irregularities
  • Crooked teeth
  • Weakened muscles of the jaw
  • Drifting teeth
  • Speech issues
  • Poor self-confidence
  • Premature aging
  • TMJ problems
  • Additional tooth loss

Fortunately, modern denture options can replace lost teeth, create a gorgeous smile, and give you the confidence to eat what you like, even in public. 

About Traditional Dentures

Traditional dentures, also called full dentures or conventional dentures, have developed significantly over the last 100 years. Though humans have worn denture-like appliances since 700BC, we no longer rely on ivory and animal teeth for their fabrication–thank goodness! Modern dental materials closely mimic the appearance of gum tissue and tooth enamel, while offering comfort and durability. 

A full denture for the top arch can be secured to the jaw by adhesive or natural suction. Lower dentures require adhesive and can unexpectedly slip out of place. This problem causes denture wearers to avoid eating in public, and some don’t like to speak in public, either. 

Over time, natural jawbone degeneration and friction between the denture and gums cause bony ridges to become smooth. It’s more difficult for dentures to cling to a smooth surface, so they become loose, wobbly, and may rub sores on your gums and inner cheeks or lips. We recommend relining your traditional dentures every 12-24 months for the best fit. 

Patients should care for dentures twice a day by soaking them for no longer than 12 hours in a denture cleaning solution plus room-temperature or cool water. Next, brush them with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Flossing is not needed.

Denture cleanser is available at your local pharmacy, but white vinegar, or hydrogen peroxide, plus water work well. A denture-safe toothpaste can be homemade by creating a paste from salt, baking soda, and water. If that doesn’t suit you, try fragrance-free, antibacterial dish soap instead of toothpaste, but rinse the dentures well before wearing them.

Plan to replace your dentures every four years or when they become damaged or ill-fitting.

About Implant-Retained Dentures

Dental implant-retained dentures are much like traditional dentures, but instead of suction or adhesive for anchoring, the dentures snap onto dental implants. Four implants can usually secure an implant-retained denture.

A dental implant is a small, screw-shaped, biocompatible post inserted into the jaw during an outpatient surgery. For three to nine months following the procedure, bone naturally grows around the implant posts. The implants, then, replace teeth roots.

Once the implants are solid in the jaw, the dentist uncovers the implant heads during a brief procedure. Atop each implant, the dentist secures an abutment. Implant-retained dentures are designed to snap onto the abutments.

Advantages of dental implant-retained dentures:

  • More comfortable: won’t wobble or loosen, so you’ll avoid the nasty sores caused by poorly fitting traditional dentures
  • More secure: anchored in the jaw, implants do not allow an attached denture to wobble, slip, or slide
  • Preserve jawbone health: implant posts stimulate the jawbone so that it receives minerals necessary for strength
  • More natural appearance and feel: because they don’t move, implant-retained dentures appear to be natural teeth

Disadvantages of dental implant-retained dentures:

  • More expensive: expect to pay more for implant-retained dentures than traditional dentures; consider, however, that no relining will be necessary and dental implants last a lifetime; at Advanced Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, you’ll have financing options
  • Require surgery: outpatient surgery is required for implant placement; all surgeries come with some risks
  • May not be suitable for everyone: not everyone is a good candidate for dental implants; your dentist can advise you of the best choice based on your case details and personal preference

Other Considerations

Both traditional dentures and dental implant-retained dentures can be worn by anyone. Traditional dentures are a great option for any adult who’s experienced significant tooth loss. To qualify for dental implants, a patient must have good general and oral health, and good jawbone density. If bone health is a problem, the patient may be a good candidate for bone grafting to improve candidacy. 

Certain medical treatments and medications may also preclude a person from candidacy. 

Tobacco use, smoking of any kind, and excessive alcohol consumption will interfere with healing after implant placement. Smokers must stop for two weeks prior to the surgery and not resume smoking until osseointegration is complete. By then, you might as well kick the habit for good!

Follow post-operative instructions closely to ensure quick, full healing.

If you would like to finance your procedure, ask us about CareCredit and other options. We don’t want finances to ever come between you and your reliable, gorgeous, healthy smile.

Which option is right for you?

You’ve learned the basics about tooth loss, as well as traditional dentures and implant-retained dentures. The next step is booking your dental implant and denture consultation with Dr. Silverstrom or Dr. Morton. 

If you live or work in the greater Alpharetta, GA, region, we invite you to call 678-736-8633. The dentist will take time to answer all of your questions; take X-rays; and discuss your health history, medications, treatments, and lifestyle before making a recommendation to replace your missing teeth. 

Advanced Cosmetic & Family Dentistry is located at 4205 North Point Parkway, Building D, in Alpharetta, 30022. We are accepting new patients and offer a complimentary visit for second opinions, emergency consultations, and dental implant consultations