It’s understandable to feel upset about tooth loss. Your dental restoration options include dental implants and dentures. But with many different factors – from price to feel to appearance, durability, and more – how can you determine which is best for you?
In this dental implants vs. dentures showdown, our dental practice in Arnold, MO, will break things down for you. Here’s all you need to know about dentures vs. implants.
What are dentures?
Dentures are prosthetic teeth or mouth appliances that replace both missing teeth and some of the gum tissue. Dentures are removable and come in full or partial sets that can fit your mouth no matter how much bone is present.
Although dentures are artificial teeth, they are made to look like natural gums and teeth. They are made from various dental materials, including metal, resin, porcelain, nylon, or acrylic, and are attached to the gums with a special type of adhesive.
You have two dental restoration options with dentures: partial dentures and full or complete dentures. Partial dentures are used to fill in gaps and replace a few missing teeth. That’s why they are often used when the patient still has some of their natural teeth. On the other hand, complete dentures rest directly on the gums and replace all the teeth in the lower or upper jaws or both.
Pros and cons of dentures
- Dentures are a less expensive tooth replacement option compared with dental implants.
- They are suitable for patients who have experienced gum and bone loss.
- Dentures fitting procedure is non-invasive. (Unlike implants, it does not require drilling into the bone).
- The dentures manufacturing and fitting process is relatively quick and requires about four dental visits to complete.
- You may need to replace or adjust them as your gums and facial structure change with age.
- They may be uncomfortable at first and require some time to get used to them. You may experience difficulty eating or speaking and increased salivation during the first two days of wearing them.
- You need to remove them regularly for cleaning.
- Dentures slip and cause discomfort or lead to gum disease, tooth decay, and sores on the gums when not fitted properly or cleaned.
- You’ll have restricted chewing capacity i.e. you need to avoid certain foods.
What are implants?
Dental implants are titanium posts inserted into your jawbone. These posts bond firmly with the jawbone to create an anchor to hold the replacement teeth. Dental implants replicate natural teeth and offer a permanent or long-term solution to replace single or multiple teeth. Moreover, they are becoming a popular alternative to dentures since they’re easier to maintain and lead to fewer visits to your dentist.
Pros and cons of dental implants
- Implants have more than a 95% success rate.
- Dental implants are easier to maintain and last for 20 years or more.
- They act like regular teeth. They restore your normal chewing capacity, allow your bone to grow, and preserve your jawbones and facial structure’s integrity.
- They do not require denture adhesives or creams. They fit comfortably and are securely attached to the jaw.
- They are expensive.
- Not everyone is a candidate since they require healthy gums and bones to properly secure the implants to the jaw. You can go for tissue and bone grafts, but that will further increase the cost.
- They are invasive and require more time to fix.
How to choose between dentures and implants
Want to make a well-informed decision regarding your dental future? The following factors can help:
Both dentures and dental implants require some amount of care. While implants require standard dental hygiene (regular brushing, flossing, and checkups) similar to your natural teeth, dentures require more.
You should not wear dentures overnight and should soak them in a special cleaning solution to keep them viable for longer periods. If you cannot effectively care for your dentures, consider going for implants.
Dentures vs. implants cost
The cost of dentures is lower than implants. But once you add the cost of denture replacements, cleaning solutions, and fixatives, the cost increases. On the other hand, dental implants can be a long-term investment since they last longer and do not require fixatives and cleaning solutions.
Fit, function, and freedom
Consider dental implants if you’re looking for something that fits well and gives you the freedom, appearance, and function of natural teeth. Unlike dentures, dental implants do not feel bulky, and cleaning them will not feel like a chore. What’s more, you can eat the food you love or speak without worry or fear, giving you a level of freedom a denture wearer may not imagine.
Dental implants may not be suitable for you if you’ve lost your jawbone material due to tooth loss, gum disease, age, or injury. Your dentist can bolster your jawbone density with dental bone grafting, but it involves more processes and is more expensive.
Since implants are long-term solutions, younger people should consider choosing them to enjoy a few decades of use. Older adults and people who don’t want to go through the invasive and time-consuming procedures of dental implants may prefer dentures.
Most dental insurance plans cover the cost of dentures. However, most insurance often classifies implants as cosmetic procedures, so the costs are not usually covered. It’s always a good idea to consult with your dentist while weighing your tooth replacement options.
At Meramec Family Dentistry, we offer professional dentures and dental implants in Arnold, MO, and other treatment options to restore your smile. Our staff is happy to answer any of your questions regarding dental implants vs. dentures and help decide the right fit for you. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.