I’ve worn complete upper and lower dentures since 2003. My jawbone is shrinking, and my dentist recommends dental implants and would refer me to a periodontist for surgery. I thought about implants in the past, but now that my facial appearance is changing, I am considering them more seriously. I plan to finance the work and complete payments within two years. After researching all the options for implant dentures like the snap-on denture, all on 4, all on 6, or implants with bone grafts, I am undecided. When I looked at prices online and found some dental tourism practices in Mexico (not my preference), Portugal, and Costa Rica that charge 40-50% less than the U.S. for implant dentures. What can help me decide which implant dentures to choose? – Thank you. Julian from Tacoma, WA
Thank you for choosing our office for your question. An implant dentist or specialist would need diagnostic studies before recommending options for stabilizing your dentures. Understanding which implant denture option you want begins with a 3-D x-ray and exam. Only then can you decide on a type of implant dentures.
How Do Implant Dentures Work?
Implant dentures work by supporting an entire arch of teeth with dental implants. You will need at least two implants to keep a denture in place, but four to six implants will increase the stability. You can get implants for an upper denture, lower denture, or both.
What Determines Your Choice of Implant Denture?
Several factors can determine your choice of implant denture, including:
- The level of stability you want
- Your jawbone quality and volume
- Your oral and overall health
- Your implant dentist’s skill, experience, and offerings
- Your budget
Your implant dentist will explain the differences between types of implant dentures, including:
- Snap-on denture
- Mini implants
- All-on-4 dental implants
- Fixed implant dentures
- Removable implant dentures
What About Dental Tourism for Dental Implants?
Before signing up for dental tourism for dental implants, consider a few factors:
- Dental implant standards vary in countries throughout the world
- Think about how you could verify the credentials and experience of an implant dentist in another country
- How does the foreign dental practice handle follow-up care?
- What would you do if you experienced complications?
- Who will restore the implants with your final denture?
- Have you considered all the financial costs involved with dental tourism?
- How can you verify the reputation of a dental practice in another country?
The Academy of General Dentistry published an article on dental tourism that includes Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reminders about what to research before seeking dental care outside the United States. For each country and facility that you are considering for dental care, examine the following:
- Infection control
- Antibiotic-resistant bacteria
- Standards by which facilities are measured
Schedule Implant Denture Consultations
Before you choose a provider or a type of implant denture, schedule a consultation with a prosthodontist, a dentist specializing in tooth replacement and restoration. Discuss your options, concerns, and thoughts about dental tourism with the dentist.
San Antonio prosthodontist Dr. Gilberto Tostado sponsors this post.