Many people quickly get fed up with the problems of dentures. The loose fit, the difficulty biting and chewing. The interference with talking and the inability to go out and hang with friends all quickly degrades your quality of the life so that it can be hard to take.

The next step up from loose dentures is implant retained dentures, where the denture is held in the mouth by dental implants. You might initially think this is enough to solve your denture problems, but it might not be. What do you do then? Can you upgrade your dentures further to get dentures that are actually supported by your dental implants?

That depends.

middle aged man with dentures, smiles

Limitations of Retained Dentures

Implant-retained dentures are better than traditional dentures because dental implants keep them from slipping around in the mouth. The dentures will stay in place, so they won’t come flying out of your mouth when you’re talking or laughing.

But with implant-retained dentures the force is still resting on your gums. As a result you may still experience:

  • Reduced bite force
  • Painful gum irritation
  • Dislodged dentures when biting or chewing

Your bite force is stronger when you have implant retained dentures. The dentures are held in place so you can bite down more firmly than with loose, slippery dentures. But much of the bite force is still resting on your gums. That means your bite force will still be much less than it was with your natural teeth. For some people, the improvement is enough. Others find that they still can’t bite hard enough to enjoy the foods they want.

And the increased bite force with retained dentures can actually be a problem. That’s because it increases the pressure on your gums, leading to painful irritation. And sometimes when you bite down, the force can be enough that it will cause your dentures to be dislodged, depending on the style of attachment.

Can You Get an Upgrade?

The good news is that, for most people, it’s possible to upgrade your dentures to fully supported implant dentures.

The biggest question is whether you have sufficient bone to support the new dental implants. For this, it’s best to make your decision as soon as possible after getting dentures. That’s because your body is constantly removing bone it doesn’t think is necessary after you’ve had your teeth removed. And the pressure from poorly fitting dentures may even accelerate bone loss.

If you have two implants to retain your dentures, you will most likely be upgraded to four, although in some cases six implants might be necessary.

You may also need to replace your denture, too. Some dentures may be strong enough to serve as implant-supported, but others may not, or they may not be adaptable to the new configuration.

The only way to know for sure what’s necessary in moving to implant-supported dentures is to talk to a denture dentist.  Please contact a local FOY® Dentures dentist today for an appointment.