There are two basic types of implant dentures: fixed and removable. The fixed refers to the denture being screwed into place and is unmovable, while the removable implant denture snaps on and off. Special requirements must be met for each scenario, including the amount of jaw bone available, the patient’s smile line, patient’s desires, and many more.
A fixed implant denture is one that screws directly into the implants and is fully supported by them. This is an important difference between the two, as this type of implant denture does not rest on the gums at all. By being fully implant supported, biting force is restored similar to what it once was. With this type of restoration, the patient enjoys a better quality of life in everyday activities such as eating, speaking, talking, and even sleeping!
A removable implant denture, or “snap-on” denture as it is sometimes referred to, is very similar to a regular denture except that it has special attachments on the inside of the denture to “snap-on” to the implants placed in the mouth. This type of implant denture still rests on the gums like a regular denture, but uses the implants to help keep it into place and minimize the movement. With enough implants, an upper removable implant denture can be designed without the need to cover the roof of the mouth. This is a huge benefit in that many of our taste buds are located in the upper palate, and much of the enjoyment of our food comes from the texture, taste, and temperature of our food.