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Implant Dentures

Traditional removable dentures are one of the most popular ways to replace several or all missing teeth; however, this technique can have some drawbacks for patients. Many individuals complain that traditional dentures do not fit snugly, causing discomfort. They have restrictions on what can be eaten safely. Furthermore, they require significant maintenance to keep clean. Implant dentures offer an alternative option that provide many of the benefits of a full set of dental implants, often at a lower cost. Our experienced dental team can help you determine if implant dentures are right for you.

What Are Implant Dentures?

Implant dentures, also known as implant-supported or implant-anchored dentures, are an innovative dental restoration that uses dental implants and a denture appliance to replace missing teeth on the upper or lower arch. Implant dentures use fewer implants than a full set, typically reducing the cost while providing many of the same benefits as using one dental implant per missing tooth.


In addition to offering a more affordable option for tooth replacement, implant dentures can:

  • Provide a more comfortable fit
  • Help maintain jawbone density
  • Allow patients to eat a wider variety of foods
  • Require minimal upkeep
  • Offer long-lasting results

Unlike dentures that simply sit on top of the gums, secured dentures utilize dental implants that function like tooth roots and retain the ability to revitalize and strengthen the jawbone. This can prevent bone resorption caused by a lack of bone stimulation, helping patients avoid the collapse of the lower-third of their face.

Who is a Candidate For Implant Dentures?

Implant dentures can serve as optimal teeth replacements for patients who do not have enough jawbone density to restore their dental arches with individual implants. They can also be ideal for individuals who are dissatisfied with the limitations of adhered dentures. In general, good candidates for implant-supported dentures:

  • Seek a long-lasting restoration to replace an entire row of missing teeth
  • Do not mind undergoing implant surgery
  • Have enough bone volume to support an anchored denture
  • Are willing to quit smoking before and after their oral procedure

Our team of dental specialists will work together to examine the state of your teeth, review your medical history, and determine the extent of bone loss experienced (if any). We will ascertain whether implant dentures or another restorative treatment option is the best solution for your needs.

What Are My Implant Denture Options?

Implant dentures come in several options, including solutions for replacing a single quadrant, an arch, or both arches. Some of the different methods are detailed below.


All-on-4 is also known as “Teeth in a Day.” This approach uses four dental implants to replace a full arch—the upper or lower—and hold the appliance firmly and comfortably in place. Not everyone is a candidate for All-on-4, and we will evaluate your jawbone density and oral structures to determine if it’s right for you.
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All-on-6 works exactly like All-on-4, except in this case six dental implants are used. In some cases, patients may require four dental implants for one arch and six for another, or they may need six on each. If you do not have enough jawbone density for All-on-4™, you may still be a candidate for All-on-6.

Full Mouth Restoration

If you are missing all of your teeth and are looking to restore your smile, full mouth restoration may be the best approach. In this customizable treatment, you and our team can determine which procedures will optimize your outcome. It may be that a full set of dental implants provides the solution, or it may mean a combination of implant dentures are recommended. During your initial consultation, we will review the available options and work together with you to find the ideal program for your needs, goals, and lifestyle.

How Do I Prepare for Treatment with Implant Dentures?

The process starts with a consultation, in which our dentists and periodontist will examine your oral structures to determine the level of bone volume available and identify potential signs of gum disease. It’s important for your oral health to be in its best possible shape prior to dental implant surgery, so preliminary treatments may be performed beforehand if necessary. To prepare for your procedure, it can be helpful to:

  • Practice excellent dental hygiene, including twice-daily brushing, flossing, and rinsing to minimize bacteria buildup
  • Tell your dentist about any medical conditions that affect you, as well as any medications you may be taking
  • Stop smoking, as tobacco greatly reduces the likelihood of successful treatment
  • Arrange a ride to and from our facility on the day of surgery if anesthesia is utilized

Each patient’s experience will vary depending on the best technique to secure their dentures to the jawbone. Your dental care team will tailor your treatment plan according to your needs and give you information about the various stages of surgery, anesthesia options, and aftercare instructions.

How Is The Implant Dentures Procedure Performed?

Our extensively trained team is dedicated to providing exceptional care from start to finish, and your procedure will begin with detailed planning, including a consultation with our oral surgeon and with our implantologist. All of our dental professionals are located on-site, so you can expect every stage of treatment to happen at one convenient location and to be performed by some of the most experienced and skilled specialists in the state.

The implant dentures are comprised of a titanium post and a denture appliance. The posts will be placed through the gumline and into the bone in targeted positions chosen for their likelihood of success. Once the posts become integrated with the bone—a healing process that can take several months—we will affix the final denture appliance. While the posts are healing you will wear a temporary denture, so you will never be without your smile.

What is the Implant Dentures Recovery Period Like?

After your implant surgery, feelings of swelling, tenderness, sensitivity, and general discomfort are normal. Getting plenty of rest should be prioritized after the procedure to encourage proper healing of the implant sites. Most patients take a few days off work or school to focus on their recovery, although this timeframe may vary depending on the dental implant technique utilized. It’s also necessary to adjust your diet during the initial healing period to avoid disturbing your implants. Our dental care team will provide you with additional information about food and activity restrictions at the time of your procedure; in general, patients will be advised to stick to a liquid and soft-food diet until the implant sites are fully healed. During this time, it’s also crucial to practice good oral hygiene and limit bacteria buildup in the mouth.

When Will I See My New Smile?

Most patients see the final outcome of implant dentures in four to six months. However, the timeline for how soon you’ll be able to enjoy your new smile varies according to the techniques in each person’s treatment plan. In general, our on-site prosthodontist starts crafting your custom-made dentures out of high-quality materials after your consultation. If preliminary treatments such as bone grafting and periodontal care are not necessary, the implants are then surgically affixed to your bone structure after digital imaging and x-rays have confirmed that you’re a good candidate for dental implants. Temporary restorations are often placed at this time until your permanent dentures are ready for installation. It should take a few months for the osseointegration (bone fusing) process to complete, but once your implants are securely integrated with the jawbone, your dentist can then anchor your new dentures and give you the smile you never thought possible.

How Long Do Implant-Supported Dentures Last?

Implant dentures are placed to help restore your teeth for years, if not decades, into the future. The lifespan of your dental implants is often akin to the longevity of your natural teeth, meaning they should remain in good condition as long as you practice the good oral hygiene necessary to maintain the health of your teeth and gums. Daily brushing and flossing, as well as semi-annual professional cleanings and examinations, are key to achieving a long-lasting result. Furthermore, factors like smoking, widespread decay, and teeth clenching or grinding can accelerate the deterioration of your implant dentures. If you play sports or unintentionally grind/clench your teeth while asleep, our dentists can design a custom-fitted mouthguard or night guard to help protect your implant dentures from damage.

How Much Do Implant Dentures Cost?

The price of implant dentures can range considerably based on your needs. The typical cost of implant-supported full arch hybrid dentures at our practice is around $27,000 to $35,000 per arch, depending on the number of implants and your clinical situation. This estimate includes a fixed transitional (temporary) healing denture, final fixed denture, and all parts, lab fees, and surgical procedures. It does not include general anesthesia services.

Dental implants are considered the gold standard approach to teeth replacement, as they provide a wide range of benefits and can last many years. The results are designed to be exceptionally natural-looking, comfortable, and easy to wear. Generally speaking, implant dentures can cost less than a full set of dental implants. We will review the anticipated total cost with you during your initial appointment, and if interested, we can go over your dental financing options. We will also answer any questions you may have and address any concerns.

Do You Offer Any Implant Dentures Alternatives?

While implant-supported dentures often prove to be an effective replacement for missing teeth, some patients may benefit more from other custom-made restorations. If you cannot or prefer not to undergo implant surgery, porcelain bridges provide another treatment option that can recover biting function while making your smile whole again. A dental bridge is a set of artificial teeth—similar to a partial denture—that can replace multiple missing teeth in a row. The bridge is custom-designed to fit seamlessly within your smile and attached to healthy teeth on adjacent sides of the gap.

While a bridge does not stimulate the jawbone, it can help prevent surrounding teeth from shifting out of place. Plus, a porcelain bridge can recover your smile almost immediately without the need for a multi-stage treatment. Upon assessing your needs, our dentists can help you decide whether a bridge or an implant denture is best-suited to resolve your concerns. If you like the idea of a secured restoration but only need to replace a few missing teeth, we can also anchor a dental bridge to the jawbone with dental implants.

Are Implant Dentures Safe?

Implant dentures have an exceptional record of safety and success as long as treatment is performed by experienced dentists. The success rate for anchoring dentures with dental implants is as high as 90 to 95 percent when patients are good candidates for the procedure. That said, it’s also important to note the differences between fixed and removable dentures, which each have their own respective safety risks. With both techniques, it’s essential to select a qualified implant dentistry provider to achieve your goals.

Fixed vs. Removable Dentures

“Fixed” dentures refer to restorations anchored by dental implants, giving them greater stability and longevity than traditional dentures. In contrast, removable dentures are attached by pastes or adhesives, allowing them to be taken out, if desired, after a certain period of time. While fixed dentures offer a more effective long-term solution, this technique requires oral surgery and is more invasive than traditional removable dentures. A certain amount of jawbone volume is also required to achieve the desired security. Removable dentures generally pose less safety risks than fixed restorations, but they have been known to cause oral pain, and do nothing to prevent bone recession. Each type of denture requires careful consideration and our team at Scripps Center for Dental Care is committed to finding the safest and most effective teeth replacement option for your needs.

What to Look For in a Top Implant Dentist

Implantology is a very complex field of dentistry requiring collaboration from several different dental specialists. From evaluating your dental implant candidacy during the pre-treatment period to custom-crafting your dentures at the end of the process, successful results with implant dentures involve multiple stages of treatment. We know it can be difficult to choose an ideal provider for your full mouth rehabilitation, which is why we’ve compiled a list of tips to help narrow down your search:

  • Find a dental office with a multispecialty team
  • Research a dentist’s educational background, honors, recognitions, and memberships to professional organizations to deduce their level of experience.
  • Look at before-and-after photos to see examples of the smile makeovers received by previous patients
  • Read online dentist reviews to get an idea of the quality of care provided to each patient

For all of the reasons above, patients at Scripps Center for Dental Care appreciate that our facility is a “one-stop shop” for all of their needs. Our team consists of in-house cosmetic dentists, oral surgeons, periodontists, orthodontists, and prosthodontists to make every step of your implant-supported dentures treatment as seamless as possible. Our in-house team allows an unmatched continuity of care that doesn’t require outside referrals, or appointments at multiple locations. If you have any questions about finding an implant dentist, please call our office and our staff would be happy to speak with you.

Complements to Implant Dentures

Implant dentures use many adjunctive treatments throughout the process, including porcelain crowns and prosthodontics. If you have individual missing teeth within your dental arches, a dental crown may be placed to serve as the visible body of your new tooth. These crowns are indistinguishable from your natural teeth and can restore both form and function. Additionally, prosthodontics — which refer to the design, manufacture, and fitting of artificial teeth — are closely intertwined with the implant dentures process. Our on-site prosthodontist uses 3D digital imaging and virtual implant placement to plan the most optimal placement for your dental implants and dentures. 

As one of the main restorative dentistry options that utilize multiple fields of dentistry, implant-supported dentures require collaboration across several different specialties. Our team at Scripps—who are each board-certified in their own specific field— are thrilled to offer La Jolla patients treatment marked by an uninterrupted continuity of care, from the consultation process to the prosthodontic, oral surgery, and cosmetic dentistry stages. 

Additional Implant Denture FAQs

How many dental implants will it take to secure my dentures?

The number of implants required to secure your new smile depends on how many teeth need replacing, as well as your jawbone density. When anchoring implant-supported dentures, dental implants are usually inserted into areas of the mouth that have adequate bone volume. Therefore, your implant surgeon or periodontist will assess the state of your jawbone, and subsequently determine how many implants are needed to properly affix your denture(s) for long-term results. Generally speaking, patients can expect anywhere from two to six implants to replace a single dental arch. 

How do I clean my implant dentures?

One of the many benefits of implant dentures is the minimal maintenance necessary to keep them in good condition. The daily oral hygiene required to keep your natural teeth clean and healthy is typically enough to preserve your restorations. Simply brush and floss as you normally would, and continue to attend your semi-annual dental appointments so your dentist can monitor your mouth for any potential concerns. 

Are there any food restrictions with implant dentures?

During the initial healing period after implant surgery, you may be temporarily restricted to a liquid or soft-food diet. Rest assured that your dentist will explain all of the food restrictions that should be adhered to until your gums heal. Once your dental implants have fully integrated with your jawbone and the denture is secured, you should be able to enjoy all of the foods you were previously unable to eat! The security made possible with implant dentures allows patients to eat tough or crunchy foods that may have been difficult to chew with unstable restorations. 

What will my new smile look like after implant dentures? 

You can actually preview the potential results of the implant denture procedure using our advanced Digital Smile Design technology! With this imaging software, our dentists can show you what your new smile may look like, and make changes to your treatment plan accordingly based on your overall goals. This tool allows our team to give patients an idea of what can be achieved with implant dentures and other reconstructive dentistry procedures before any treatment begins. During your consultation, you will also be shown before-and-after photos to provide further insight into how implant dentures can transform your smile. 

Are implant dentures covered by insurance?

Some costs associated with implant-supported dentures may or may not be covered by dental insurance. This depends on your unique situation and insurance policy, and our office will assist you in evaluating the total costs of treatment during your appointment. For all out-of-pocket costs, financing through CareCredit® and Lending Club® can help make expenses more affordable for qualified patients.

Ready to rebuild your smile? Talk to us today to learn more and to schedule a consultation with our experienced dentists.