What Are the Possible Risks of Implant-Supported Dentures?

Risks of Implant-Supported Dentures

Have you ever wished for a more stable and permanent solution to missing teeth than removable dentures? Implant-supported dentures may be the answer; it’s an excellent option for those seeking stability, confidence, and rejuvenated youthfulness in their smiles. But before diving into the myriad benefits of implant-supported dentures, let’s first review some potential drawbacks and complications associated with this form of oral reconstruction. In this article, we’ll discuss the possible risks so you can make an informed decision on whether or not implant-supported dentures are right for you.

Advantages of Implant-Supported Dentures Over Traditional Dentures

Implant-supported dentures offer a more robust and secure option for addressing tooth loss than traditional dentures. Dental implants act as anchors to hold the denture securely in place, which eliminates common problems associated with conventional dentures, such as slipping or shifting. Because dental implants are embedded in the jawbone, users can rely on them for a long-term solution. Implants preserve the jawbone tissue, meaning our faces won’t change shape due to bone loss like regular dentures. Implant-supported dentures can replace tooth roots while restoring overall mouth function, making it easier to eat and speak without slippage or clicking noises. Implant-supported dentures are an improved option for combatting tooth loss and maintaining a more natural lifestyle.

Possible Risks of Implant-Supported Dentures


Implant dentures can be associated with a potential long-term complication called peri-implantitis. This is an inflammation at the base of a dental implant caused by bacterial infection. Symptoms such as bleeding or pain when brushing or during dental exams, as well as increased mobility of the implant, are all indications of peri-implantitis. Fortunately, this condition can often be reversed with good oral hygiene and professional intervention from your dentist. In more severe cases, bone loss resulting from periodontal infection may require surgical treatment and more aggressive maintenance and care to ensure optimal success.

Infection or Inflammation

However, as with any implant surgery, there is potential for complications due to infection or inflammation. For example, peri-implantitis (inflammation of the tissue surrounding the dental implant) is one of the main risks associated with implant surgery. This is usually caused by bacterial infection and can lead to pain, swelling, and even, in rare cases, implant failure. Additionally, if an open wound occurs following a dental procedure that is not correctly treated, it can result in infection or inflammation. Patients need to follow all pre- and post-surgery instructions to prevent these issues from arising.

Overload on the Bone Structure

One of the most common risks with implant-supported dentures, known as overdentures, is the possibility of overload on the bone structure in the jaw. This overloading occurs when forces generated by masticatory movements are too great for the supporting structures or abutments. Suppose a patient does not take extra care to maintain a healthy residual ridge within their jawbone. In that case, unloaded areas between abutments can cause accelerated soft tissue atrophy and increase infection risk around implants. To avoid the risk of complications from overloading, dental professionals advise following a strict oral hygiene regimen and undergoing regular check-ups to ensure bone support remains secure.

Nerve Damage

Implant-supported dentures may result in severe nerve risks if not done correctly. The patient and clinician need to work together to understand the exact location of all nerves in the oral cavity before beginning implant placement. Inaccurate placement of dental implants can cause displacement of essential structures, including nerves, which may result in permanent numbness or loss of sensation around the mouth, lips, chin, and lower jaw area. Taking precautions against potential nerve damage and regular check-ups are essential to ensuring proper tongue function and other muscular control around the mouth.

Fractured Implants or Screws

Implants and screws used for implant dentures can become fractured or damaged due to several reasons, including faulty implant placement, improper loading of the implants and prosthesis, or osseointegration failure. If a fracture occurs, treatment is necessary to maintain the strength and integrity of the denture so that it can perform as expected. The affected area may require extraction of the broken piece and replacement with a new implant or screw. This can be achieved through surgical intervention using either local anesthesia or general sedation, depending on the proximity of the fracture to nearby structures such as vital organs or nerves. In some cases, medical epoxy may be used instead of complete extraction to stabilize the fractured area temporarily, allowing time for proper healing before replacing the implant/screw with an undamaged one. Patient follow-ups after surgery will help ensure progress toward successful recovery.

Loose Fitting Denture Base

While implant dentures or implant-supported dentures offer a solution for those who suffer from ill-fitting removable dentures, there are still potential risks and complications. Loose-fitting denture bases often result in discomfort and altered speaking and eating habits. Additionally, foreign body reactions due to the metal implants can quickly develop over time and infection of the surrounding tissue. A qualified healthcare professional should continually monitor treatment for complications associated with implant dentures to ensure proper fit and support without pain or other adverse effects.

Poor Retention of the Prosthesis

Poor prosthesis retention is one of the primary complications associated with implant dentures/implant-supported dentures due to an inadequate connection between the implant abutment and the prosthetic superstructure. This could be caused by something as simple as an incorrect position of the screw in its abutment, making it difficult to secure and compromising effective placement. The issue can also be compounded due to too much cement being used, leading to an excessive thickness of the luting material causing gap formation between the tissues and prosthetic, resulting in a poor fit. Unhealthy soft tissues surrounding the implant can also contribute to reduced fitting accuracy and overall marginal integrity of the prosthesis. Therefore, proper evaluation of patient health during pre-operative preparation stages should be considered when planning treatment.


As we have seen, implant-supported dentures can come with potential complications. However, when it comes to the benefits associated with implant-supported dentures, the positive impacts far outweigh any risks and make it a worthwhile investment for those seeking a comfortable, secure restoration solution. Furthermore, implants are especially beneficial if you require full-arch replacement denture solutions since they provide enhanced anchoring and stability compared to traditional dentures. Consider speaking with an experienced dental professional at Full Arch Center, located in Sacramento, to learn more about implant-supported denture solutions. Contact us today so you can decide how best to restore your smile.

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