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Is it too late for implant dentures, and how long will they last?

Posted by AllSmiles

If I have worn dentures for more than ten years, is it too late for implant dentures? My dentures are wearing out, and I think they will only last a few more months. It has been hard to get them to stay in place, too. So although implant dentures cost a lot, I’ve been considering them within the past two weeks. My only hesitation is not knowing how long they will last. I don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on implant dentures if I need to replace them in a few years. Thank you. Craig from Iowa


Thank you for your inquiry.

We will answer both your questions separately: Is it too late for implant dentures? And how long will they last?

Is It Too Late for Implant Dentures?

Even if you have worn dentures for many years, it is not too late for implant dentures. But the longer you wear dentures, the more likely it is to need bone grafting before you get implants. Here’s why:

Wearing dentures for years

Tooth roots stimulate the jawbone and keep it intact. But when all your teeth are missing, the jawbone shrinks. And your body uses the minerals from it elsewhere. As a result, many long-time denture wearers experience bone shrinkage, which causes their facial muscles to sag.

Dental implants need support

Jawbone support dental implants. An implant is like an anchor that supports your denture. Without a solid foundation, dental implants will fail. So if you have low jawbone volume, a dentist will need to build it up with bone grafting before placing dental implants.

Implant overdenture - snap-on denture with the denture hovering above the implants
Two implant keep a snap-on denture in place

One technique, All-on-4 dental implants, angles the implants during placement to add stability and prevent the need for bone grafting.

How Long Do Implant Overdentures Last?

The answer to how long implant overdentures last includes two factors: the implants that a dentist places in your jawbone and the dentures attached to them.

Dental implants – According to the American Academy of Implant dentistry, when you receive dental implants from a dentist with advanced implant training, they can last a lifetime. But periodically, your dentures will need to be replaced.

Denture – A well-made denture that your dentist attaches to the implant can last ten to fifteen years.

What Are the Advantages of an Implant Denture?

Other than longevity, an implant denture has other advantages:

  • Stabilizes your denture
  • Improves your chewing efficiency
  • Makes it easier to speak with dentures
  • Stimulates jawbone and prevents facial sagging
  • Minimizes embarrassment due to dentures that click, pop, slip, or fall out
  • Helps dentures look and feel more like your own teeth.

Schedule a Consultation

If you are thinking about getting implant dentures, schedule consultations with at least two skilled dentists. Look for dentists with advanced implantology training or who refer patients to an oral surgeon or specialist for implant placement.

Dr. Thomas J. Goebel, a family dentist in Moline, IL, sponsors this post. Dr. Goebel works closely with an oral surgeon or periodontist for implant surgery.