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There is so much more to teeth than just a pretty smile, so getting the correct dentures and implants for you is very important. Implants have revolutionized dentistry because patients are no longer doomed to ill-fitting dentures that fall off when they laugh or are removed when they eat.

There are two kinds of dentures fixed on implants available for suitable candidates who have lost their natural teeth. Good is the operative word because the jawbone must be strong enough to support implant-retained and implant-supported dentures to succeed. Both are ideal for patients who gag on dentures or find traditional dentures painful.

Choosing between implant retained vs implant supported dentures can be confusing since both offer similar benefits, and the differences are subtle.

What are implant retained dentures?

Implant-retained dentures are attached to the dental implants using a bar and clip or ball-and-socket mechanism. These dental implants are steel posts that are attached to the bone and serve as a replacement for roots. The abutment is attached to the steel post. Lastly, the crown or artificial tooth covers the abutment.

These dentures rely on the retention of the clips or ball-and-socket attachments to hold the denture in place, and they don’t move around as much as regular false teeth. It’s like having a super-sticky suction cup that keeps the dentures in place.

Like traditional dentures, you can have them made for both the upper and lower teeth. The big difference is that they look and feel natural – and don’t need refitting. Only the crown gets replaced if it cracks or gets chipped.

Think of implant retained dentures as having a permanent retainer for your teeth with benefits beyond cosmetic reasons. The denture is removable and cleaned regularly.

Implant-retained dentures are suitable for adults of any age who have good oral health, enough bone in the jaw to support the implants and are willing to commit to the treatment process and ongoing maintenance.

  • Benefits of implant retained dentures

Having dentures create a fuller, younger look since the cheeks are adequately supported. By contrast, there is a sunken look when teeth are lacking. Many patients are finding out that, unlike their experience with conventional dentures, it’s a great way to have a strong bite and chew your food correctly.

Having these teeth replaced helps you speak and smile naturally. It prevents gaps, misalignment, painful movement of teeth, and bone loss.

Implant-retained dentures enable you to chew hard and soft food well, so food tastes better while lessening the chances of indigestion or choking.

  • Precautions

It’s also important to note that a person needs to have good overall health before getting implant retained dentures and not have any medical conditions that would complicate or prevent the procedure from being performed. It’s best to consult a dentist to decide if implant-retained dentures are for you.

What are implant-supported dentures? 

On the other hand, implant-supported dentures are permanently fixed to dental implants and can only be removed by a dental professional. These dentures use the implant’s stability to support the denture in place. It also reduces the pressure on the gums and jawbone.

Implant-supported dentures are typically used for the lower jaw, as the upper jaw typically has enough natural suction to hold a traditional denture. This is a far cry from regular or implant-retained dentures that need to be removed and cleaned thoroughly daily.

Implant supported dentures can be an option for people who have lost many or all of their teeth and are looking for a more stable and secure way to replace them. They can be suitable for adults of any age who have good oral health, enough bone in the jaw to support the implants and are willing to commit to the treatment process and ongoing maintenance.

Implant-supported dentures are the closest you can get to natural teeth. Provided the bone is healthy and the implant takes, you can treat this type of denture like your own. You speak, smile, laugh, and eat as though you have natural teeth.

Main differences between implant retained and implant supported dentures

 Implant RetainedImplant Supported
Bone condition of the patientHave enough bone to support an implant but not enough to support a bridge.Have sufficient bone to support a bridge
FixationBar and clip or ball and socket; removable for cleaning.Permanently fixed to implants. Can only be removed by a professional.
StabilityMore stable than traditional dentures.More stable than implant-retained dentures.
Chewing AbilityBetter than traditional dentures but not as good as impact supported dentures.Most natural chewing; biting force relies solely on the implants.
MaintenanceThese have to be removed every night and cleaned, just like regular dentures.These are more like your own teeth – regular brushing is enough.
CostAt Dentex Dental Clinic, the cost of implant retained dentures would range from AUD$3,000–AUD$20,000. Total cost depends on the number of implants.At Dentex Dental Clinic, these types of dentures cost more because of surgery. Typically, it would range between AUD$4,000–AUD$30,000.


Having implant retained or implant supported dentures is one of the best investments. It saves you the embarrassment that stems from having poorly fitted dentures. The differences are subtle. Let this article guide you as you pick between the two.