Dental Implants vs. Dentures: Which is Best for You?

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Losing your teeth is a scary and traumatizing experience. Nowadays, dentists consider dental implants and dentures standard care for replacing missing teeth. Both are great teeth replacement options and finding one that best suits your needs is critical. Check out dental vs. dentures to choose what works best for you.

What are dental implants?

The difference between implants and dentures lies in their procedures. Dental implants are permanent replacements that act and feel like regular teeth. Also, they are easy to maintain, you can clean them by brushing and flossing, and they have no food limitations. Implants are great options if you have healthy gums/jaws and no health condition affecting bone healing.

What are dentures?

Dentures are false teeth attached to your acrylic resin, a gum-colored plate that usually enables you to eat and talk. They are removable, and regular soaking at night is advisable. However, permanent dentures are not removable as they act as dental implant hybrids. Dentures are best suited for people who don’t have muscular gum tissue.

Dental implants vs. dentures functionality 

Dentures are available in various forms. A complete set of dentures is advisable if you miss all your teeth. You can get partial dentures if you are missing a few teeth. A well-fit denture will not shift or move when you eat or talk. But, if your jaw changes shape, you should get a new set.

On the other hand, dental implants consist of an actual implant, abutment, and implant crown. Implants react negatively to your body and allow your bone to grow around the implant. If you’re missing single teeth, a single implant is applicable, or you can apply several individual implants when missing several teeth.

Maintenance and cost

Although dentures cost less than dental implants, related costs such as potential replacement procedures and special cleaning increase their prices. Also, dentures require sound gum adhesion to prevent them from slipping out. 

If you fail to clean your dentures well, you’ll likely have an infection or dentures that don’t fit. Therefore, dentures require more maintenance and cleaning than dental implants.

Additionally, dental implants don’t cause tooth decay. They can, however, be impacted by periodontal diseases. But with good dental care such as brushing regularly and other home practices, such infections are rare.

Procedure

Unlike dentures, the procedure for dental implants is surgical and more invasive. To get dentures, your dentists conduct a dental examination and check to ensure nothing hinders you from getting dentures. 

After the reviews, the dentists make molds to ensure the denture fits perfectly. When the dentures are ready, you’ll undergo another examination to ensure the dentures are custom-fit. Therefore, dentures would be ideal if you don’t wish to undergo surgery or have a declining jaw.

You’ll undergo surgery to insert artificial tooth roots with dental implants. Since the implant bonds will bond with your jawbone, the dentist can place replacement teeth known as crowns. Your jaw will support the abutment, crown, and form functioning teeth together. The crowns look, feel, and function like natural teeth making implants an ideal option if you are missing permanent teeth.

Health effects  

Although dentures and implants do a great job of giving you a natural look and complete smile, the effects on oral health differ. Dental implants are stable and secure because they cause no gum discomfort. 

Again, dental implants are more hygienic, enabling you to chew and eat normally. More importantly, dental implants prevent and stop your jaw bone from deteriorating.

Dentures don’t replace the actual tooth even if they prevent your mouth muscles from sagging inward. This means that your jawbone will continue worsening and could infect your other teeth. Food is likely trapped between your gum and dentures that will cause an irritating smell or decay if not cleaned correctly.

Life span

Dental implants and dentures have different lifespans. With dentures, they will serve you up to five years or more if you do proper maintenance. Dental implants will serve you longer, with a lifespan of at least ten years. And if you perform good oral hygiene and home care, dental implants can last a lifetime. 

 Dentures have a shorter lifespan because they are susceptible to cracks and wear and tear and lose shape over time. Therefore, visit your dentist regularly to have new dentures when your current dentures become loose or uncomfortable.

Pros & Cons of Dental Implants

PROS
  • Longevity: Your implant rarely requires another dental implant as it can last a lifetime.
  • Dental implants restore your regular teeth function: Dental implants function like natural teeth.
  • Dental implants maintain bone and face shape: Jawbone strength is maintained because implants are placed into the jawbone.
CONS
  • Although expensive, dental implants have better longevity and a higher initial cost.
  • There is a three-month wait period. You won’t get instant results as you must wait 3-4 months after surgery.

Pros & Cons of Dental Dentures

PROS
  • No surgery is required: With dentures, you’ll have functioning teeth without undergoing surgery.
  • Dentures improve your smile: Although dentures are false teeth, you can have one that matches your natural teeth for a beautiful smile.
  • Dentures help maintain facial shape: Dentures prevent your jaws from swaging due to tooth loss.
  • Custom-fit for your mouth: A dentist can choose a comfortable custom-fit denture for you.
  • Restores the function of your teeth: Dentures help you chew food and talk well again.
  • Minimal effort to clean: Unlike dental implants, it is easy to clean your dentures by removing them.
  • Flexibility: You can take out your dentures anytime, for any reason.
CONS
  • Fit well: Over time, dentures become loose and affect how you eat or talk.
  • Increased infection: Without proper home care, dentures are prone to infections and bad breath.
  • Shorter lifespan: Although dentures are cheaper, they have a short lifespan of only 5-8 years.
  • Adjustment period: You’ll take a few weeks before adjusting to wearing dentures. That makes eating and talking feel different and uncomfortable.
  • Dentures don’t stop your bone from deteriorating: That’s because dentures don’t replace your tooth’s natural root; thus, your bone will continue declining.
  • Dentures require a lot of preparation: You’ll have to undergo examination, tooth removal, mold making, and fitting.

Conclusion

Tooth loss is a common problem for many people. Fortunately, treatment options exist to treat your condition. Among the great choices at your disposal are dental implants and dentures. It is always advisable, though, to have the procedure performed by a professional.

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