Implants vs. Dentures: Which Solution Is Right for You? - Smile Dental Center

showing patient denture impressionWhen you need to have multiple teeth replaced, your dentist may present two options: A set of dentures or a series of implants.

About Each Solution

Dentures are a removable solution made from synthetic material or metal. They act as a substitute for teeth in the upper or lower jaw and some of the gum tissue. Modern versions may have a metal framework for more secure wear.

If you receive a set of complete dentures, the new row of teeth will rest on your existing gums. Partial dentures may be recommended if you still have secure, natural teeth and want to fill any visible gaps.

A newer solution, dental implants involve adding a titanium post or rod into your jawbone to replace the tooth’s root. The rod secures to the existing bone structure through a process known as osseointegration.

From here, the dentist attaches a crown designed to mimic the feeling of your natural teeth and retain as much bite strength as possible. This process helps stimulate the existing jawbone, preventing further bone loss and the sunken appearance that can result. Dental implants are an option for one or more teeth. To help make your choice, consider the differences between dentures and dental implants.

How Long They Last

Dental implants are built to last from 20 years to a lifetime, as long as you properly maintain them through a regular routine of brushing and flossing. By contrast, dentures may only provide five to eight years of use. At this point, your face shape may have changed and your dentures will need to be adjusted.

Unless supported by an implant, dentures won’t help to reduce bone loss in the jaw. Because implants replace the tooth’s root, they help the jawbone retain its existing density, lessening the chance of shrinkage, facial changes and the loss of more teeth.

Level of Stability

As a permanent restorative dental solution, implants provide more stability than traditional dentures. The titanium posts keep teeth from shifting in your mouth and provide nearly the same level of bite strength as natural teeth. This combination makes it easier for you to eat and speak.

By contrast, traditional dentures initially require some adjustments, during which time patients may experience challenges when speaking, chewing or have increased salivation. The longer dentures are worn, the more manageable they become. To address these factors, implant-supported dentures move around less but can still be taken out at night.

On the other hand, not every individual is a candidate for implants. Particularly, those who have already experienced some bone loss. Without enough jawbone, implants can fail or bone grafting is required before the posts can be inserted.

Comparing Costs

Insurance carriers consider dentures to be a restorative procedure and tend to cover a significant portion of related expenses. If you opt for this solution, keep in mind replacement costs should be budgeted for at least five years down the line.

Implants are classified as a cosmetic procedure and insurance carriers may not extend coverage. In turn, patients pay for most of this procedure out-of-pocket.

Long-Term Care

All restorative dental solutions require upkeep to reduce the presence of bacteria, prevent infection and stem bone loss.

With dentures, the risk of gum infection remains a possibility if you do not thoroughly care for them. Every day, your dentures need to be cleaned to remove all particles. Otherwise, food accumulates, attracts bacteria and can irritate your gums, potentially leading to an infection.

Implants tend to be a lower-maintenance option. While a degree of daily care is required, patients simply need to brush and floss the implants like their natural teeth to remove buildup and particles.
To learn more about restorative dental solutions, contact Smile Dental Center today.