When most people think of dentures, they’re likely thinking of complete dentures, which are the traditional ones. Complete dentures are also what many people view negatively because they don’t provide a good quality of life: They’re not permanent, and they limit the types of foods people can eat.
Fortunately, other types of dentures exist that are superior to traditional ones. Keep reading to find out more about them, including implant retained dentures. We perform these in our office and believe they’re the best denture option. You can also find out if they may be right for you.
Types of Dentures
Dentists place partial dentures when you don’t need to replace all your teeth along the gum line. The device snaps into place by attaching its metal brackets to existing teeth.
At Longmont Dental Loft, we don’t perform partial dentures because we don’t believe they are high-quality enough for patients. We prefer to use dental implants instead, which are better long-term, look attractive, and function well (i.e., you can eat the foods you want).
Complete dentures replace all teeth on the top or bottom of the jaw and use suction to hold the prosthetic in place.
We do not recommend complete dentures because patients who have them struggle with eating wholesome foods, instead opting for highly processed foods that lack the necessary nutrients. Studies have even shown that patients with complete dentures have a decreased lifespan of five to ten years for reasons such as difficulty eating nutritious foods and wearing them while sleeping, which doubles the risk of pneumonia in the very elderly.¹ Also, if you lose all your teeth and don’t get implants, you’ll lose more bone structure.
At Longmont Dental Loft, we sometimes make complete dentures for our patients, but they’re designed for temporary use only before a patient receives implant-retained dentures. Occasionally, a patient’s medical history forces us to use complete dentures if they require more time to heal after getting implants and before we place the full arch.
This type of denture offers the best fit and is the most durable, aesthetically pleasing, and ideal for your health.
Implant-retained dentures are held in place by dental implants that either contain a partial denture (only a few teeth) or a full arch (all the teeth on the upper or lower jaw). Full arch dentures are also known as “All-on-X,” meaning a specific number of dental implants retains the prosthetic. We perform a lot of implant retained dentures at Longmont Dental Loft, especially All-on-4s.
Summary: Types of Dental Implants We Provide
- Partial: We don’t do these because we don’t consider them high quality.
- Complete: We do these, but only for temporary use.
- Implant Retained: We do these because these offer the best quality.
Am I a Candidate for Dentures?
You are if you need to replace all your upper or lower teeth.
How Much Do Dentures Cost?
We don’t perform these at Longmont Dental Loft.
We provide complete dentures only for temporary use before performing implant retained dentures. Because of this, we don’t price them separately as they’re part of the implant-retained dentures package.
Our implant-retained dentures are usually full arch (All-on-4s). The cost is typically between $20,000 and $30,000 per arch, depending on bone quality, prosthetic type, and what kind of anesthesia we use.
Does Dental Insurance Cover Dentures?
Sometimes, but it’s only a small percentage of the total cost.
We use a Dentsply Sirona Primescan, which is a handheld 3D scanner, to take pictures of the inside of your mouth, and we send those pictures to a lab. The lab uses our scans to design your dentures, which are called digital dentures.
How Do I Maintain My Dentures?
Clean them with a regular denture solution. Complete dentures are made with acrylic, which is abrasive, so don’t brush your teeth.
Because our implant-retained dentures are made from zirconia, a durable material, you can use toothpaste and clean them like regular teeth. You’ll want to use a Waterpik instead of floss tape for flossing. In addition, Waterpik makes a special tip for dentures that we discuss in our guide on water flosser tips.
How Long Do Dentures Last?
Complete dentures last about five years, but, again, our patients wear them only for a few months because they’re temporary.
Implant-retained dentures last a lifetime.
We hope this overview gives you the information you need to decide which dentures work best for you. However, implant-retained dentures are the most durable option and best for long-term health and comfort.
If you have any questions, we’re here to help. Please call us at 303-772-6333 as we would love to speak with you.
- Linuma, T., Arai, Y., Abe, Y., Takayama, M., Fukumoto, M., Fukui, Y., Iwase, T., Takebayashi, T., Hirose, N., Gionhaku, N., Komiyama, K. (2015, March). Denture Wearing During Sleep Doubles the Risk of Pneumonia in the Very Elderly. Nih.gov. Retrieved October 21, 2023, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4541085/.