Dentures vs Dental Implants: What’s Your Best Option?

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Image credit: www.istockphoto.com/portfolio/MilosDimic

Losing adult teeth can be stressful and uncomfortable. You just want to eat the foods you want to eat without having to worry about it hurting or not being able to chew properly. You have a couple of options to take care of the problem of missing teeth.

You can either get implants which are prosthetic teeth or dentures which are also fake teeth but on a frame that can be removed. There are pros and cons to each method so choosing your best option can be tricky. It involves understanding what you are getting into with either choice.

In this article, we will go over some of the details you need to understand so you can make the right decision between dentures and implants yourself.

Costs

The biggest difference besides how they function is going to be the cost. Dentures cost a fraction of the price of implants. Try to remember that an implant is a surgical procedure that carries a much higher price tag. The best implant dentist is one that will have to drill into your jaw bone and insert an anchor and then add a crown over the top of it. This is no small matter.

Dentures, on the other hand, do not require any surgery so they naturally cost far less. They are essentially a frame with fake teeth attached that is inserted into your mouth. The cost ranges from $300 to $500 depending on how many teeth it needs to have and what material you choose.

Implants can range from $1,500 to well over $3,000 depending on a number of factors. Since it is surgical, there are things that can raise the cost considerably based on your conditions.

There is no loss of work for either option so in that regard, there is no difference in cost. Even though getting implants is a more intense scenario since you do require surgery, you will be back to work the very next day if need be. That’s assuming that there are no side effects experienced, but usually people are able to jump right back into their routine.

Care

With both dentures and implants, oral care is essential to get the most out of them and allow them to last a long time.

Denture care is a bit different than implants in a couple of ways. The first is that you shouldn’t use toothpaste on them since it is abrasive. Dentures are not as hard as teeth so they can wear down with time and from using toothpaste. You need to brush them twice a day, but without toothpaste. Then, at night they should be removed and allowed to soak in a solution to keep them disinfected and clean. When they have been removed, use toothpaste on the gums to clean them properly.

Caring for implants is the same as with regular teeth. They should be brushed twice per day as normal but since they are attached to the jaw, there is no way to remove them like dentures. Make sure to floss regularly as well.

How long do they last?

Implants can last between 10 and 15 years depending on how well you take care of your teeth. The anchor lasts forever, but the crown will wear down as a regular tooth can and will eventually need to be replaced.

You can make sure that you get more years out of your implants by how well you take care of them. Avoid eating foods that are going to wear your crown down. Eating popcorn, for instance, can end up wearing it down. Also, highly acidic foods can weaken the crown. Pineapple and citrus fruits are the main culprit, but so is frequent coffee and wine consumption.

Dentures are not quite as strong as implants and can range from 5 to 10 years before they need to be replaced. Some people can get 15 years out of them if they are lucky, however. The same type of caveat should be applied for dentures and probably even more. Since they are not as strong as the crown in an implant, those acidic foods, coffee, and wine will all weaken the material they are made from. This will impact how long they last.

Implant complications

Some people may not have much of a choice between the two options as implants are not always going to work for everybody. There are some factors that limit how many people are able to get implants.

For instance, age plays a big part in whether or not they are the best option. Although age isn’t a factor that would mean that you aren’t able to get them, they do make it an investment that may not bring a good return. If you are over 70, for instance, then an implant will cost quite a bit for a period that would be much less than if you were under 60, for example. Generally, it is a good idea to get them the younger you are.

Bone density, on the other hand, is a factor that will determine if you are able to get implants regardless of your age. If you have had chronic gum disease or have lost bone density and strength for any reason, you won’t be a candidate. Implants require strong bones so they can properly fuse.

When it comes to dentures, it is widely considered to be the best option for those over 70 years old. However, they do require more care so if you or your loved one has some mobility issues then this may pose a problem. If you’re able to easily remove them and put them back in on a daily basis and will be able to properly clean them then this is not going to be an issue.

Conclusion

Either option you choose is going to be a major improvement over having missing or broken teeth. Both options improve the quality of life in a big way.

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