Dental Implants vs Dentures
by Dr. Scott Bolding | Nov. 2, 2021
Dental implants or dentures? Which one is right for you?
Missing or damaged teeth can have a major impact on your life. You can’t eat the things you love. You miss out on important life events because you’re embarrassed about your smile. Not having all of your teeth can also affect your overall health.
When your gums are exposed due to missing teeth, it becomes easy for food and bacteria to get in there and cause more damage. This leads to infections and, ultimately, gum disease. Studies have shown that infections and disease in the gums can lead to other health problems like stroke, diabetes, and heart disease. Missing teeth also affect the overall structure of your bite. Other teeth may shift to fill the gaps left by the missing teeth. As these teeth shift, so does your jaw.
Replacing missing teeth is essential for keeping yourself healthy and smiling with confidence. You have several options when it comes to replacing missing teeth. The two most common solutions are dental implants and dentures. While dental implants and dentures serve the same purpose, there are differences between the two. The goal of both dental implants and dentures is to help you get back to normal.
Let's Get Back to Normal.
Dental implants can help you get back to what you were missing. Implants look and feel like natural teeth so you can eat what you want and smile with confidence.
Our dental implant specialists are ready to help you get started.
In order to know whether dental implants or dentures are right for you, you need to understand how they work. This information will help you make a better decision.
Dentures are artificial replacement teeth. The biggest difference between dental implants and dentures is that dentures can be taken out of your mouth. There are two different types of dentures: complete and partial. Complete dentures are made to replace an entire row of missing teeth on the upper and/or lower jaw, while partial dentures are used when there are still some natural teeth present.
The procedure for getting dentures is simple. Your dentist will help you determine whether you need complete or partial dentures based on whether some or all of your teeth need to be removed. Then, your dentist will need to get an impression of your upper or lower gums, depending on where the replacement teeth will go. They will also need to examine your bite and jaws so they can make sure the dentures will fit properly.
A model set of dentures will be made in a lab and sent to your dentist. You will have to try this initial set on so your dentist can note any adjustments that need to be made. Then, a final denture will be made based on the notes from your dentist. It may take several test sets and appointments in order to get the dentures to fit the way they need to.
Pros & Cons of Dentures
When trying to figure out if dentures are the right option for you, it’s important to consider both the pros and cons. There are many benefits to choosing dentures over dental implants. However, there are also a few negative aspects you will want to think about as well.
Perhaps the two biggest benefits of dentures are that they’re often cheaper and take less time than dental implants. As we outlined above, the procedure for getting dentures is very straightforward. There is no surgery and it only takes a few appointments to make sure your dentures fit properly. Because the procedure takes less time and is less invasive, dentures also cost less.
Dentures also look and function like natural teeth. You don’t have to worry about feeling self-conscious while wearing them. Dentures can also provide additional support to your jaw.
While the short-term cost of dentures is less than dental implants, they may cost more long-term. As you age, your bite and jaw naturally shift. So, eventually, you will need to get a new set of dentures.
And even though the procedure for getting dentures is easier than implants, they require more intensive long-term care. Dentures need to be taken out every night before you go to sleep. They also need to be cleaned after each time you eat.
Eating with dentures may also prove to be a challenge. Dentures can affect the way food tastes. There are also certain foods that you should avoid when wearing dentures, including:
- Tough red meat (like steak)
- Crusty bread
- Chewing gum
- Sticky,hard candy
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots. They are surgically inserted into your jaw bone, and then, artificial teeth are placed on top of them. Unlike dentures, dental implants are permanent. There are three types of dental implants: single, partial, and complete. Single implants (or single prostheses) only replace one or more individual teeth using an individual implant. Partial implants (or partial prostheses) use a fixed bridge and two or three implants to replace several teeth in a row. Complete implants (or complete prostheses) also use a fixed bridge and replace all of your teeth on your upper or lower jaw.
While there are some variations depending on the implant type, they all require a similar procedure. The procedure for placing dental implants is often very time consuming and expensive, which is something to consider when comparing your options.
It starts with an evaluation of your jaw bone. Sufficient bone density is necessary to make sure the implants stay in place. So, your dentist will need to evaluate the quality of your jaw bone. Sometimes, they need to perform a bone graft, where they take bone from another part of your body and graft it into your jaw.
Once we determine that your jaw is strong enough for implants, we will begin to plan the placement of each implant. We do this using 3D imaging. This allows us to make sure each implant is placed in exactly the right location, which ensures you get the smile you want and a sturdy implant.
Then, we will place each implant with the help of the YOMI robotic guide. This robot guides the dental surgeon so that the implants are placed according to the plan we outline before the surgery. It is programmed to know where each implant should go, how far the surgeon needs to drill, and the location of your nerves and sinuses. All of this ensures that each implant is placed accurately. The robot never performs the surgery, but it does help us get it right. The dentist has complete control the whole time and is able to override the system when necessary.
After the implants are placed, it will take some time for the bone in your jaw to heal around them. Once we are sure the implants are secure, we will place the crowns, or artificial teeth.
Pros and Cons of Dental Implants
As with dentures, there are several pros and cons to consider when thinking about getting dental implants. It’s important to discuss these and any other concerns you have with your dentist.
Unlike dentures, dental implants are a permanent solution to missing or damaged teeth. Dental implants are secured in your mouth and never have to be removed. You don’t have to replace them as your bite changes over time. So, while they may cost more time and money in the short-term, they do last much longer than dentures.
Maintenance for dental implants is much easier as well. Because implants function exactly like your natural teeth, all you have to do is brush, floss, and care for them like the rest of your teeth. You don’t have to take them out at night or clean them separately. This is one of the things that often makes dental implants more desirable than dentures for a lot of people.
Dental implants also give you the freedom to eat foods that you can’t with dentures.
Of course, there are some downsides to dental implants. The biggest factor is the money and time it takes to get implants. And the procedure to get them placed can take several months with a lot of time spent waiting for the surgical sites to heal properly. Getting dental implants involves a much more invasive procedure than dentures.
Dental Implants vs Dentures: How to Know Which One is Right for You
There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing between dental implants and dentures. Ultimately, the decision needs to be made with input from your dentist. They can help you understand which would be the best option for you.
In some cases, this decision will be made for you based on the structure of your jaw. Dental implants require a certain level of bone density in order for the implants to stay in the jaw bone. Sometimes, your dental surgeon can do a bone graft. However, if your jaw is just too weak, then dentures will be your only option.
Other factors to consider when choosing between dental implants and dentures include:
- Concerns about surgery
- Willingness to maintain dentures
- Time for healing
All of these things need to be discussed with your dentist. It’s important to be honest about any questions or concerns you have about the dental implant or dentures.
Dental Implants or Dentures
Whatever Your Decision, We Are Here to Help.
Choosing between dental implants and dentures is important for your overall health and can help you get your life back to normal. Filling in missing teeth prevents gum disease and other health problems. New teeth empower you to smile with confidence again. Both dentures and dental implants have pros and cons to consider when making your decision. But this decision should not be made alone. If you’re ready to fill in your missing teeth and start smiling again, our dental implant specialists are here to help. Simply schedule an appointment today, and we will help you make the decision that is right for you.