Implant-supported dentures are a popular and effective solution for those who are missing multiple teeth or need to have their teeth extracted. Unlike traditional removable dentures, which can be uncomfortable and unstable, implant-supported dentures provide a secure fit and restore both your smile and biting efficiency. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of implant-supported dentures, how they work, and what to expect during the process.

What are implant-supported dentures?

Implant-supported dentures are a type of overdenture that is supported by dental implants. Dental implants are titanium posts that are surgically placed into the jawbone, where they fuse with the bone to create a stable foundation for replacement teeth. Implant-supported dentures can be used to replace either the upper or lower arch, or both.

Types of implant-supported dentures

There are two types of implant-supported dentures: bar-retained dentures and ball-retained dentures.

Bar-retained dentures

Bar-retained dentures use a thin metal bar that follows the curve of your jawbone and is attached to two to five dental implants. The denture is then clipped onto the bar using attachments. This design allows for even distribution of force, which minimizes pressure on any one implant.

Ball-retained dentures

Ball-retained dentures use a ball-and-socket design, with each implant containing a metal ball that fits into a socket on the denture. The ball-and-socket design allows for greater flexibility in the denture’s attachment points, which can provide better stability and reduce the need for a metal bar.

Benefits of implant-supported dentures

Implant-supported dentures offer several advantages over traditional dentures:

Improved stability and comfort

Implant-supported dentures are more stable than traditional dentures, which can slip or shift when eating or speaking. Because the denture is anchored to the implants, it remains firmly in place, reducing the risk of embarrassing situations.

Enhanced biting efficiency

Implant-supported dentures provide better biting efficiency than traditional dentures, allowing you to eat a wider range of foods with greater ease. The stability of the denture also means that less force is required to chew, reducing the risk of jaw pain.

Reduced bone loss and facial collapse

When teeth are lost, the underlying bone begins to resorb, leading to a loss of facial structure and support. Implant-supported dentures help to preserve the bone and prevent facial collapse, which can improve your appearance and self-confidence.

Who is a good candidate for implant-supported dentures?

Good candidates for implant-supported dentures include those who:

  • Are missing multiple teeth or need to have their teeth extracted
  • Have adequate bone density and volume to support dental implants
  • Are in good overall health and do not have any conditions that could interfere with healing
  • Are committed to good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups

It’s important to note that implant-supported dentures may not be suitable for everyone, and a thorough evaluation by a dental professional is necessary to determine if you’re a good candidate.

The implant-supported denture process

The process of getting implant-supported dentures typically involves three main stages:

Consultation and planning

During your initial consultation, your dentist will evaluate your oral health and determine if you’re a good candidate for implant-supported dentures. They will also take measurements of your mouth and use X-rays or CT scans to assess the density and volume of your jawbone.

Once your dentist has determined that you’re a good candidate, they will create a customized treatment plan that outlines the number and placement of implants, as well as the type of denture that will be used.

Implant placement

The next step is to have the dental implants placed. This typically involves a minor surgical procedure, during which the implants are inserted into the jawbone. After the procedure, you will need to allow time for the implants to fuse with the bone in a process called osseointegration. This can take several months.

Attachment of the denture

Once osseointegration is complete, the denture can be attached to the implants. Your dentist will ensure that the denture fits properly and make any necessary adjustments to ensure optimal comfort and stability.

Maintaining your implant-supported dentures

Maintaining your implant-supported dentures is similar to caring for natural teeth. You should brush and floss daily and visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings. Your dentist may also recommend the use of a water flosser or interdental brush to clean around the implants.

How long do implant-supported dentures last?

With proper care, implant-supported dentures can last for many years. However, the lifespan of your denture will depend on several factors, including the quality of the implant placement, the type of denture used, and how well you maintain your oral hygiene.

Potential complications

Like any dental procedure, implant-supported dentures carry some risk of complications. These may include infection, implant failure, nerve damage, and implant displacement. However, these complications are relatively rare, and the vast majority of patients experience no issues.

Alternatives to implant-supported dentures

For those who are not good candidates for implant-supported dentures, there are several alternatives available, including traditional dentures, dental bridges, and dental implants.


Implant-supported dentures are an excellent option for those who are missing multiple teeth or need to have their teeth extracted. They provide a secure fit, improved biting efficiency, and help to preserve the underlying bone and facial structure. If you’re considering implant-supported dentures, be sure to speak with your dentist to determine if they’re right for you.


How painful is the implant-supported denture process?

The implant-supported denture process typically involves minor discomfort during the implant placement procedure, which can be managed with local anesthesia or sedation. Most patients report that the discomfort is manageable and subsides within a few days.

How long does it take to get implant-supported dentures?

The process of getting implant-supported dentures can take several months, as it involves several stages, including implant placement and osseointegration. The exact timeline will depend on your individual case.

Are implant-supported dentures expensive?

The cost of implant-supported dentures can vary depending on several factors, including the number of implants required, the type of denture used, and your location. However, they tend to be more expensive than normal removable dentures.