Removable Denture Implants – A Complete Overview

removable denture implants

No one really relishes the idea of having to wear full dentures all of the time, however there are a variety of different types of denture including fixed and removable denture implants. This article takes a detailed look at the process, pros and cons and how each option could affect your quality-of-life. 

If you’ve lost all of your teeth (or are not far off) and would like to find out what your options are, then read on…

What's the difference between a fixed and removable denture implant?

When we restore teeth with dental implants there are 2 elements which are involved:

  1. The dental implant – this is used as a replacement of the natural tooth root and is the part of the treatment that you don’t see as it is integrated into the jaw bone. Read more about the implant process.
  2. The restoration on top of the implant – this is the part of the treatment that you do see, this is the part which will either be fixed or removable.

In either case, the dental implants are always fixed permanently.

Now, let’s compare fixed and removable  denture implants…

 

Fixed denture implant

fixed denture implant

Anti-ageing support for lips

LIMITED – generally speaking if there has been a lot of bone resorption and the lips have become sunken and wrinkles as a result then a fixed denture implant is unlikely to be able to provide the support required.

Stability whilst eating

MAXIMUM – because the denture/bridge is permanently fixed and screwed into the implants there should be absolutely no movement at all whilst eating.

Cleaning

MEDIUM DIFFICULTY – even know you may have noted that all your guns and restoration still need to be clean in order to keep harmful bacteria at bay. You will need to use a special dental floss to thread underneath the fixed bridge and ensure it is cleaned. This can be a little fiddly sometimes.

Cost

MOST EXPENSIVE – because this type of appliance is permanently fixed it needs to have a high strength framework underneath to support all of the teeth. These frameworks are made by a dental technician. Sometimes the framework may be cast in a special alloy or perhaps used manufactured using the latest 3-D design CADCAM technology. Either way, these frameworks can be quite expensive.

Re-use old denture?

NO – no part of an existing denture can be used in a fixed implant denture. We may be able to copy the colour size and shape of the teeth but we won’t be actually able to utilise your old denture, if you wish to use your old denture then only a removable denture implant is suitable.

Removable denture implant

removable denture implant

Anti-ageing support for lips

MAXIMUM – because of removable denture on implants has extensive gum area on the front this can be used to support the lips. Many people find that they have bone resorption after they have teeth removed. This can result in a collapsing in the face and lines and wrinkles. Only a removable denture is able to add enough gum work to support your lips again.

Stability whilst eating

MEDIUM – a removable denture implant will usually be retained with small clips inside the denture. Under normal load and eating the denture SHOULD NOT come loose and should be entirely stable, however in extreme circumstances with very sticky food the denture may pop loose. However, this is unlikely under normal eating conditions.

Cleaning

EASY – because the denture can be completely removed it can be cleaned in a denture cleaning solution or home use ultrasonic bath. The clips in your mouth can then simply be cleaned with a toothbrush and toothpaste to keep all of the bacteria to a minimum.

Cost

LESS EXPENSIVE – due to the fact there is no high cost supporting framework inside the restoration removable dentures can be lower cost than fixed dentures. It may also be possible to reuse your existing denture thereby keeping the cost even lower. In some instances mini dental implants may be used which come at a lower cost.

Re-use old denture?

MAYBE – if you have any existing complete denture which you like the look and feel of then it may be possible to utilise this in a removable denture implant. We would simply place the dental implants and then modify your existing denture to incorporate the clips which attach to the top of the implants. This is not always possible as it depends on the design and thickness of your existing denture.

How comfortable are implant retained dentures?

The good news is that both fixed and removable dentures, because they are securely fitted in place generally have no sore spots and are therefore  really comfortable. 


They also usually have less plastic in them and may not even cover the palate (this is required for holding your denture in a regular full denture) but because they have clips or screws to hold the denture in place less plastic coverage is required and they feel more comfortable, without requiring denture adhesives.

Should I get a permanent or removable denture implant

A permanent or fixed implant retained denture is generally the preferred option for most people. However in certain circumstances it may not be clinically possible. If you have lost lots of bone then the implants will tend to be set further back in your mouth. This will then determine where the final teeth on the permanent denture implants are placed.

One of the things the teeth do is support your lips, and if the teeth can’t be placed in exactly the correct position then you won’t get enough lip support and your cheeks and lips will wrinkle and look aged. In this instance only a removable denture implant would be recommended as it then gives us the ability to put the teeth further forwards and also build out your lips with supporting gum work to replace the gum which has result.

Another factor to consider with permanent or removable denture implants is the cost. Due to the manufacturing process a permanent denture implant is likely to be considerably more expensive than a removable denture implant

Will the palate be removed on implant dentures

This is one of the things that concerns lots of people, a big complaint about dentures is the presence of the palate, it just feels uncomfortable on the town and can impact our sense of taste. You will be pleased to know that both fixed and removable denture implants do not usually require the presence of a palate. Even if we utilise your old denture and modify it to click on over the implants it is sometimes possible to remove the palate from the old denture entirely.

How does a removable denture implant affect quality-of-life?

✔ Improved quality-of-life
✔ Anti-ageing by supporting your lips and cheeks to reduce wrinkles
✔ Being able to choose what you want again from the menu 
✔ Not being the last to finish food
✔ Being able to eat healthily and eat what you want
✔ Not worrying about teeth becoming loose in public situations
✔ Less anxiety about wearing removable dentures

Download a free information pack and find out:

  • The costs and lowest price alternatives
  • Your options and choices for treatment
  • Are you suitable for treatment?
  • Can dental implants be used as an alternative to root canal treatment?
  • What happens if you smoke?
  • How many implants might you need?
  • Plus lots more…
download a free dental implant guide

Dr Milisha Chotai

Principal dentist, Special interest Dental Implantology

DDS, MSc (Distinction), MSc, PGCert GDC 175213

Dr Milisha Chotai completed her undergraduate dental degree at the world – renowned Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden in 2008. She has since completed multiple accredited post graduate training courses within the field of dental implantology. She has Masters of Science degree in Dental Implantology at the university of Bristol, for which she was awarded with a pass with distinction. Dr Milisha is experienced in the treatment planning, surgical placement and restoration as well as maintenance of dental implants. She only uses top of the range technology as well as Swiss manufactured materials.

Leave a Reply

Close Menu