There’s an option between standard dentures and all-on-4 that is affordable and reliable. Implant retained dentures combine the security of all-on-4 and some of the price benefits of traditional dentures.

If you have traditional dentures or are facing the likelihood that all your teeth will need to be removed in the future, then implant retained dentures are an option you should be considering. They are a carefully sculpted set of teeth that are designed to be clipped onto metal anchors that are implanted in your jaw. The anchors are usually at the front of the mouth as this is where the bulk of the jawbone is.

What are the benefits of implant retained dentures?

For denture-wearers, these clip-on dentures are a step up. Traditionally, you would start your day sliding in your dentures every morning and needing to use adhesive. Then, throughout the day your gums might be irritated by your dentures moving around, placing you at risk of irritation and sores developing. Then, you may find that some things such as eating an apple or steak or even talking may be difficult.

Implant retained dentures are clipped in every morning, a socket over the ball-shaped implants. This keeps them in firmly which means you can eat the foods you enjoy without worry, and there’s no irritation to the gums.

You may be considering the options and found the all-on-4 option to be unviable due to the price. These are more affordable dentures and while not as convenient as the permanent option, are at a far lower price point.

What is the process for clip in dentures?

While there may be slight differences between upper and lower jaws, the process is the same. It could take from six months to a year to complete the process.

Step one: Initial consultation

Your specialist will look at your dental history and any medical issues which may affect the surgery. Then, they will create moulds of your teeth and gums in order to make a model. There will likely be imaging too, x-rays or CT scans that show where the nerves and sinuses are and the best location for the implants.

Step two: Surgery

There may be one or two surgeries, depending on a variety of factors.

Under anaesthetic, any remaining teeth and damaged tissue is removed. Holes are drilled into the jaw and implants are inserted and stitched into place. Then, either in this surgery or a few months later, a collar is attached to the implants.

Step three: Denture fitting

This is once the area is healed thoroughly. The collars are removed from the implants and the ball joints are attached. Then, the denture which has been made for you can be clicked into place.

Caring for your clip-in dentures

Your dentures will need to be removed at night and cleaned. You will also need to clean the attachments in your mouth and your gums. The clip attachment may need replacement every 6-12 months as they do wear over time.

You also need to be alert for any rubbing on your gums. While your dentures should be secure, they can still move when you chew.

You also still must be careful about which foods you eat. Hard or sticky foods such as toffee may damage the denture.

Implant retained dentures cost NZ

The cost of clip-in dentures can vary depending on a number of factors. If you need a bone graft, if you need upper and lower set done or just one, if there are existing teeth to remove and a variety of other variables. You will need to be quoted for the work as every set of dentures are different.

They are, however, cheaper than the all-on-4 procedure which costs well in advance of $15,000.

A bone graft may cost between $600 and $3,000. Implants cost between $1,500 and $2,500 each. Custom dentures can cost anything between $2,000 and $5,000 depending on materials. There are also a range of other costs such as sedation, tooth removal, temporary dentures and treatment for gum disease. On average, a full set can cost anything between $7,000 to $15,000.

Are implant retained dentures, the option for you?

There are two scenarios where implant retained dentures are the option you should investigate. If you currently have traditional dentures and are finding them uncomfortable or they don’t allow you to live your life to the fullest, then an upgrade to implant retained dentures will be amazing. They give you the freedom to eat most things without worry and they fit far more securely than your existing dentures.

The second scenario is if you are likely to need full dentures in the near future. You may have been considering all-on-4 but need more affordable dentures. While implant retained dentures are not as low maintenance or as durable as all-on-4, they still offer a natural appearance with pleasing aesthetics and far more security than other denture options.

Talk to your dentist and find out if implant retained dentures are the best option for you. They will be able to tell you the benefits and risks and make appropriate recommendations.