Are You a Candidate for Implant-Retained Dentures? Understanding Eligibility

implant-retained dentures

Have your dentures become uncomfortably loose and slippery, causing you to constantly adjust them inside your mouth? Have they become more of a nuisance to you rather than a useful appliance? You’re not alone! Many people get conventional dentures only to later realise that it was simply not the best option for them.

Fortunately, the benefits implant-retained dentures provide a great solution to people who have had an undesirable experience with conventional dentures. By offering more stability and durability as compared to their conventional counterparts, implant-retained dentures have become the treatment of choice for people with missing teeth. 

However, implant dentures have their own eligibility criteria, and not everybody is a suitable candidate for them. In this blog, we will walk through the eligibility protocols for implant-retained dentures so you can evaluate their suitability for yourself.

Why Traditional Dentures May Not Work For Some People

Traditional dentures once used to be a popular means of restoring teeth. However, with the passage of time, people have started noticing that this treatment is not as effective and comfortable as it should be, prompting them to look for better and more comfortable alternatives.

Here’s a little context as to why traditional dentures might fail for some people:

As you age, your mouth constantly changes and rechanges shape due to tooth loss and the associated jawbone alterations. Because of these changes, your mouth and your dentures (which were once perfectly compatible with each other) slowly start losing their compatibility, rendering your dentures useless and uncomfortable to wear. 

This leads patients to consider implant-supported dentures for themselves, a perfect alternative to traditional dentures.

Implant-retained dentures: A Quick Overview

Implant-retained dentures, also commonly referred to as implant-supported dentures or overdentures, are dentures that, instead of merely resting on your gums (as conventional dentures do), are directly fixed to your jawbone using dental implants. 

The placement of these implants is a pretty straightforward procedure. First, implants are surgically placed into the jawbone, creating a firm foundation for anchoring the dentures. These implants are left for several months to allow them to integrate with the existing bone in your gums. Next, abutments are placed over these implants to provide an extension for the placement of dentures. Then, impressions are taken, and dentures are crafted according to your specific gum anatomy and dimensions. Finally, dentures are fastened to the abutments. Because these dentures are firmly attached to the jawbone (by means of implants and abutments), they retain their place in the mouth, providing great functionality and confidence to the user. 

Eligibility Criteria for Implant-retained Dentures 

While implant-retained dentures offer amazing benefits, they may not be the right treatment approach for everyone. The assessment of your eligibility for receiving an implant-retained denture requires a thorough evaluation by a qualified dentist. Your dentist will take all the necessary and relevant details (including your oral health details, medical history, etc.) to determine whether you will be able to receive and subsequently retain the treatment in question. 

However, there are certain factors that must be checked to render you eligible for implant-retained dentures, which are as follows:

Adequate Bone Volume

Since implants act as the very base for the attachment of dentures in implant-retained dentures, there needs to be enough bone in your jaws for the placement of implants. If there isn’t enough bone in your jaws, there’s a solution for that, too. People who fail to meet the bone density requirements for implant-retained dentures are recommended to get bone grafting procedures done to increase their bone volume. However, the bone grafting procedure itself has its own set of protocols and eligibility metrics, for which you’d need to consult your dentist to see if it can be done in your case.

Optimum Oral Health

Implant surgery is a complex one, the healing of which depends greatly on how healthy your gum’s overall dental profile is. This means that you have to have healthy gums (with no preexisting decay or gum disease) in order to be an eligible candidate for implant-retained dentures and subsequently have a successful treatment. Therefore, if you have any existing oral health issues such as gum/teeth decay, gum disease, sensitivity or any other issue that might interfere with your treatment, they need to be addressed before getting implant-retained dentures.

Medical Conditions

With age, people get prone to certain medical conditions such as diabetes, autoimmune diseases and inflammatory conditions. These conditions pose considerable complications in the healing of implant surgery and therefore should be ruled out/managed before opting for the treatment in question. However, aged people with good overall health are perfectly eligible for getting implant-retained dentures. Good overall health, and not age, is the key determining factor here.

Lifestyle Habits

Just as certain medical conditions pose hurdles in the healing process of implant surgery, certain lifestyle habits are also detrimental to it. The most common of these include smoking and alcohol consumption. While these habits don’t render you outright ineligible for getting implant-retained dentures,  your dentist will most likely ask you to cut down on these habits so you could have a successful treatment outcome. 

While the above mentioned criteria is generally useful to assess whether you’re a suitable candidate for implant-retained dentures, it’s also important to have realistic expectations from the treatment. If you’re considering this treatment not for the benefits that it offers (better stability, durability, natural look and feel – to name a few) but for other purposes, it’s important to talk to your dentist about your treatment goals before proceeding with the treatment.


Implant-retained dentures are a cost-effective, durable and better functioning alternative to conventional dentures. If you have adequate bone density, good oral and overall health, and don’t have any lifestyle habits that would hinder your treatment success, getting implant-retained dentures would be your best bet! Get it done from a reliable, affordable and legit dental practice like NJ Smile Clinic and ensure your progress towards a healthy, happy and comfortable smile! Have queries? Schedule a FREE consultation with their team of experts and have all your concerns answered with the tap of a finger!

In this article