The Difference Between Permanent and Removable Dentures
Permanent Dentures: Also referred to as “Implant-supported dentures”, “Fixed dentures”, “All-On-4”, “All-On-X” and various other terms adapted by different doctors, are dentures securely attached to dental implants that are surgically placed in the jawbone.
They are not removable by the patient. They are firmly anchored in place and can only be removed by a dentist.
Removable Dentures: Traditional removable dentures are designed to be taken in and out by the patient for cleaning and maintenance. There are no dental implants involved. They rely on dental adhesives or suction for stability and can be easily removed.
Some Key Differences Between the Two
Permanent Dentures: Permanent dentures / Implant-supported dentures offer superior stability and function, allowing patients to eat and speak with confidence. They do not shift or come loose during everyday activities.
Removable Dentures: Traditional removable dentures may be less stable and can sometimes shift or slip, especially while eating or speaking, which can cause discomfort and embarrassment.
Permanent Dentures: Permanent dentures / Implant-supported dentures help preserve jawbone health by stimulating it through the integration of dental implants. This reduces the risk of bone loss and the associated “sunken” facial appearance.
Removable Dentures: Traditional removable dentures do not provide this bone stimulation, which can lead to gradual bone resorption over time, altering the facial structure.
Overdenture (sometimes called snap-on dentures)
Fixed Denture / Hybrid Prosthesis
Types of Permanent Dentures
The term, “Permanent dentures” can be very confusing. There are several different terms that are used interchangeably to describe the differences between the various types of permanent dentures. Some have bars, some have snaps, some are screwed in, but all refer to a wide array of dentures that are all, in one way or another, held in place by dental implants:
It can describe both fixed and removable dentures (but both involve dental implants):
- A fixed permanent denture, (is permanently secured/screwed in place) using dental implants. Fixed permanent dentures can only be removed by your implant dentist or prosthodontist, whereas removable permanent dentures can be removed by you for daily cleaning purposes.
- A removable permanent denture, also called an “overdenture” is a prosthesis that is either supported by/rests on, or snaps onto implants.
Any of these options offer a significant improvement in stability and function compared to traditional removable dentures. However, the “fixed” options, the ones that are screwed in place, do provide the maximum function and stability.
Other common terms you may hear that are used to describe permanent dentures include:
- “Implant-supported dentures”, or
- “Implant-retained dentures”, or
- “Fixed dentures“, or
- “Implant dentures”
- “Hybrid dentures”
- “All-On-4″ denture”. The big difference with this type of prosthesis is that the use of angled implants and angled abutments, vs standard vertical positioning. This design was originally designed for patients without enough bone for standard implant positioning placement. By angling the implants, particularly in the very back of the jaw, implants could be placed in sites where, without angling them, would not be possible. We are not big fans of this procedure due to the bone removal required for it and the angulation of the implants and abutments for several reasons, all explained in the videos mentioned here.
- (See our videos linked here for more: (Problems w/ bone removal for All-On-4, or Buyer Beware: Problems with All-On-4).
All of the above involve the surgical placement of dental implants in the jawbone, which act as sturdy anchors for the denture. This approach provides a more natural appearance, enhanced comfort, and the confidence of not worrying about denture slippage or the need for adhesives. It’s important to note that these terms all refer to the same innovative solution that has revolutionized the world of tooth replacement, offering patients improved oral function and excellent aesthetics.
Benefits of Permanent Dentures
- Improved Stability and Functionality: Permanent dentures ensure the ability to speak, chew, and bite with full functionality, providing confidence without the concern of teeth shifting or becoming dislodged.
- Enhanced Aesthetics: Permanent dentures and Implant Bridges, offer a more natural appearance as they are tailored to match the color and shape of your existing teeth. Additionally, they are less prone to staining compared to removable acrylic dentures.
- Reduced Bone Shrinkage: Permanent dentures help prevent the sunken facial appearance often associated with removable dentures, as they contribute to less bone shrinkage over time.
- Enhanced Comfort: Unlike removable dentures that rest on the gums, permanent dentures are more comfortable, as they are securely anchored and do not rely solely on gum support.
- Elimination of Adhesive Usage: With Permanent dentures, there’s no need for adhesives to keep them in place, as they are securely fastened.
- Prevention of Sore Spots: Permanent dentures eliminate the discomfort of sore spots that can arise with traditional dentures, allowing patients to enjoy a full set of teeth naturally and without self-consciousness.
- Permanent Attachment: Permanent dentures are firmly attached and do not come out, ensuring a worry-free experience.
- Durability: Permanent dentures are highly resilient and less prone to breakage compared to conventional dentures.
- Longevity: Designed as a long-term solution, permanent dentures can last a lifetime with proper care, whereas removable dentures typically require more frequent replacements or adjustments.
- They cost more than removable dentures
- They require a surgical procedure to place them in the jawbone
Are They Suitable For You?
An ideal candidate for permanent implant dentures typically is an individual who is in good overall health and seeking a long-term solution for tooth replacement. Health requirements for permanent implant dentures involve having adequate jawbone density and volume to support the dental implants, as the implants need a stable foundation. Healthy gums are also crucial to ensure the success of the procedure.
Additionally, candidates should be committed to maintaining good oral hygiene practices after the implant placement, as this is essential for long-term success.
Patients with certain medical conditions or those who smoke heavily may require additional evaluation and precautions. Ultimately, the decision to proceed with permanent implant dentures should be made in consultation with a Board Certified Prosthodontist, who can tailor the treatment plan to meet the specific needs and circumstances of the patient.
Cost of Permanent Dentures
The range of the cost of permanent dentures can range from $20,000-$35,000. The difference in cost is reflected by factors such as: The training and experience of the doctor, geographical area, whether it’ll need to be one in one surgery visit or two, whether or not extractions and bone grafting are needed, the number of implants, and the type of temporary and permanent prosthesis you get.
How much would the cost of dental implant treatment be in your case? In order to answer that exactly, we would need to see you for an evaluation and determine which options might apply to your specific situation.
The good news is, that our consultation is complimentary and includes any and all necessary x-rays, so that question can be answered once we have that information at hand.
How Long Do They Last?
With proper care, they can last a lifetime.
Care and Maintenance Considerations
For permanent fixed dentures (that are screwed in): You brush them in your mouth 2-3x a day just like you do with natural teeth, and use dental floss and even water-piks to keep things nice and clean.
Care for removable permanent dentures / overdentures, is different. They need to be taken out of your mouth to be cleaned. There are special denture cleaning brushes and cleansing solutions to help make this an easy process. Also, important to note, is that most removable permanent dentures made today have special little snaps built into them, that snap on and off from the implants in the mouth, providing stability. They come in different strengths to accommodate several levels of tightness. This is to accommodate different patients’ ability to remove them. (Someone with weaker hand strength might need a lighter one in order to be able to remove them for cleaning, whereas a patient with better dexterity may be able to remove them easily with even the strongest snaps.) These inserts do wear down over time and need replacement from time to time. For some patients it may be once a year, and for others, it may be every 3-6 months. Much of this is dependent upon how many times a day they are removed and with what force, whether the patient has an extremely strong bite, etc. This is a normal and expected part of overdenture maintenance.
Want To Know More?
If you have questions and would like to discuss getting permanent dentures, please CONTACT US here or call us at 214-956-9100 to schedule a complimentary consultation with our office. We’re happy to be of help.
To learn more about Permanent dentures (fixed or removable) and how we can help you please fill out the form below.
To learn more about Permanent Dentures and how we can help you please fill out the form below.