Dental Implants Vs. Dentures
Patients with missing teeth have a couple of tooth replacement solutions to choose from. Dental implants and dentures are the primary tooth replacement options. There are considerable differences between these artificial teeth. Here is a look at everything you need to know to make the right decision.
Fit and Functionality
If comfort is your top concern, dental implants1 are the best option. Dental implants are also superior in terms of performance. Dentures have the potential to slip when talking or eating, causing embarrassment as well as discomfort. Some dentures do not fit right and irritate the gums. Dentures even have the potential to create sores within the mouth.
Dentures require much more care then dental implants. Take the denture route and you will have to add adhesive paste to keep the dentures securely in place. Applying this paste is somewhat of a challenge. However, if you fail to apply the adhesive, your dentures will almost certainly slip out while you are talking or eating, creating quite the embarrassing scene. Furthermore, those who opt for dentures have to soak and clean them on a daily basis. This is a far cry from dental implants that really do look and function like regular teeth.
Choose dental implants and you will be able to floss and brush them just like real teeth. You won't have to worry about removing dentures at night prior to sleeping. Nor will you have to worry about removing dentures when you light up a cigarette, cigar or pipe. The heat from smoking has the potential to damage denture acrylic and burn soft tissue.
Opt for dental implants and you can eat whatever food you desire, regardless of whether it is sticky or crunchy. This level of freedom cannot be enjoyed with dentures. Ask anyone who uses dentures about the problems they have with certain foods and you will be inundated with a list of tasty treats that cannot be consumed while wearing dentures.
Dentures have the edge over dental implants when it comes to cost. Though the price of dental implants will likely continue to decline as they improve in quality, they cost more than dentures at the moment. However, in the long run, dentures have the potential to cost more. Dentures are not the sole cost. Opt for dentures and you will have to purchase additional items ranging from cleaning solutions to fixatives, denture replacements and beyond. The price just keeps on going up as time progresses. Furthermore, removable dentures must be replaced at least once a decade. Alternatively, dental implants have a lifespan upwards of 25 years or longer.
Bone Loss Prevention
Dental implants preserve bone within the jaw better than dentures. Dental implants replace the tooth root, stimulating bone growth that ultimately allows the jaw to remain dense and solid. Furthermore, dental implants will stop the jaw from shrinking, preserving facial structure and ensuring you look as young as possible. However, if your gums and jaw are weak, it might not be possible to add dental implants as titanium rods have to be inserted in the jaw.
Those who choose dental implants find these artificial teeth look exactly like real teeth. You can open wide while talking, laughing, eating or yawning without feeling self-conscious about how your teeth look. In comparison, dentures look more artificial. If you are concerned with the look of your smile and do not want to feel self-conscious about your teeth, dental implants are the superior option.
The Extent of Tooth Replacement
Dentures and dental implants can replace all of the teeth in your mouth or some of the teeth. If you merely need one tooth replaced, a single dental implant can be placed in your mouth. If you have some teeth remaining, you should give consideration to partial dentures. The only risk with partial dentures is if they do not fit as intended, there will be a heightened chance of decay and/or infection.
The Process for Placement
The dental implant process takes upwards of six months or longer. This length of time is required as the dentist has to add titanium rods to the jawbone. These biocompatible rods or screws function as the new tooth's artificial root. The fusion of these rods to the jaw occurs in a process referred to as osseointegration. Though there is the potential for this process to take a full six months, there is also a chance it will be completed in as little as three months. Once osseointegration is complete, you will return to the dentist's office so a crown or possibly even a bridge can be placed over the implants. This crown looks and functions like a regular tooth.
No such process or wait is necessary with dentures. The denture placement process is comparably easy and simple. Opt for dentures and the dentist will strive for the tightest fit possible by taking impressions of the mouth. The dentist will build a model to ensure the ideal fit. The denture molds are transmitted to a dental laboratory where they are made to suit your unique mouth dimensions. The dentist will ensure your dentures fit exactly as you desire so you can leave the office in full confidence.
Why do Some Patients Prefer Dentures?
Most readers are leaning toward dental implants at this point as implants seem to have a number of advantages over dentures. However, some patients are happy with dentures. As noted above, dentures are cheaper at the outset. Furthermore, some patients love the fact that they can remove their denture whenever desired. Dentures are improving in terms of aesthetics and quality as time progresses. If your dentures are custom made by a true dental professional, the majority of people will not know you have artificial teeth.
If you need one or multiple teeth replaced, contact our office to learn more about dental implants and dentures. Give us a call at (808) 877-8090 to schedule an appointment2.