Complete and partial dentures are removable appliances that allow you to replace missing teeth in a very non-invasive way. On the other hand, a dental implant requires a surgical procedure in which a titanium post is rooted into your jaw bone, creating a sturdy foundation for your replacement tooth or teeth. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages. When you are faced with deciding between a denture or an implant, it’s essential to be well-informed so that you can choose the option that will work best for you.
Why Would You Need Dentures or Dental Implants?
Not everyone is born with a perfect smile, and accidents can happen that cause missing teeth. Perhaps you grew up in an area that didn’t use fluoride in the water or genetics played a role in tooth loss thanks to gum disease. Whatever the reason, if you are missing a few or all of your teeth, dental implants or dentures can be the answer you’ve been looking for.
What are the Differences between Dentures and Implants?
Dentures, or “false teeth,” are prosthetic devices created to replace missing teeth. Conventional dentures are removable, either as partial dentures or complete dentures. Some denture designs rely on clasping to dental implants while others are not attached to the jaw at all, merely resting on the gums. When a person doesn’t have any teeth but has enough bone to support implants, an implant-supported denture is often recommended.
“Hybrid dentures” are a method of replacing both missing teeth and gum tissue with a prosthetic device. This type of denture is recommended if you have severe bone loss in your jaw, and it provides a denture that is stable, looks natural, and provides full functionality – including the ability to enjoy almost any type of food.
“Full dentures” are used when all of your teeth are missing. An impression is taken of your mouth and then transmitted to a dental laboratory so that custom-made dentures can be crafted. These dentures have a horseshoe shape with a flesh-colored base that fits over your bottom gums to accommodate your tongue, while the base of the upper denture covers the roof of your mouth. The price for a set of complete dentures can vary greatly, depending on how quickly they are needed and what material is used to cast them.
Dental implants are permanent, cylinder-shaped posts made of titanium that are surgically placed into the jawbone. They are covered by prosthetic teeth that are usually made of porcelain or zirconium. As the implant heals over several months, it will fuse with your natural jawbone. This fusion creates a stable foundation for your replacement teeth.
Traditionally, missing teeth are replaced via a bridge, where abutting teeth are ground down to attach one or more teeth. A similar fixture, called an “implant-supporting bridge,” is used when natural teeth are not available as anchors for the bridge. In such cases, one implant is placed in the jawbone for each missing tooth to create the bridge anchor.
Implants can be used to replace multiple teeth, one tooth, or your entire mouth. Depending upon the number of implants placed, the connecting device, or abutment, that will hold your teeth in place will be tightened onto the implant itself or fastened using a clip or anchor.
The cost of implants varies significantly based upon the condition of your gums and jaw bone. The cost for a single implant is dependent on whether or not you need crowns, gum grafting, or any other dental procedures to prepare your mouth for the insertion of the implant.
Pros and Cons to Consider
There are many factors to consider when deciding which option is best for you.
- How many teeth need to be replaced?
- How many implants would be required?
- What is the total cost, including x-rays, crowns, and appointments?
- How old are you and how long can you benefit from dentures or implants?
- Does your dental professional work with your insurance?
- Is he or she cognizant of your goals?
Making the Right Choice
While there are many considerations for both options, you will experience renewed confidence in your smile regardless of which one you choose. While dental implants offer a more permanent solution for missing teeth, dentures are less-intrusive and can still get you back to eating the foods you love.
Every patient is unique and has different needs, so consult your dentist before making any decisions. If you have any questions, feel free to give Ideal Dental Solutions a call. We will work with you to determine the best treatment plan to fit your need and your budget.
Smile! It’s good for you.