Both dentures and dental implants are popular methods of replacing missing teeth. Despite providing patients with the same outcome, the reality is that they are very different. Dentures are a very traditional way of restoring your teeth and use a mold that sits over your gums, in which is embedded an arch of prosthetic teeth. In addition to fitting over your gums, dentures are also held in place using special adhesives. They can be worn throughout the day, and then should be removed and soaked to clean them overnight. Dental implants, meanwhile, can be used to replace single or multiple missing teeth. Unlike dentures, they have an artificial root that is made from a titanium post that has been inserted into your jaw bone. The bone heals around the post to anchor it into the bone permanently, and to the top of this, a custom crown is placed which forms the visible part of the solution. When replacing an entire arch of missing teeth, between four and eight implant posts are needed to support a denture that is then attached to the posts.
Let’s take a look at a comparison of some of the key elements of both solutions so that you can decide which is most likely to be the right choice for you.
Dentures have a bit of an unfortunate reputation when it comes to stability. The adhesive used to hold them in place isn’t always as effective as we might like, and during the course of the day, it isn’t unusual for dentures to come a little loose. This could mean that they slip or move around a little – something which could be noticed and cause you to feel self-conscious or embarrassed.
On the flip side, dental implants have unrivaled stability. This is because they are anchored directly into the jaw, with the one fusing around it to keep it permanently and securely in place.
Both dentures and dental implants are convenient for patients in their own way. Dentures are removable. This means you can take them out to clean them properly and to address any issues that you may be having with your gums. However, you will need to be careful about what you choose to eat while they are in, as anything particularly hard, sticky or chewy could cause them to come loose or pull out altogether.
Dental implants are permanent. Some people argue that this makes them easier to clean since they can be brushed and flossed just like natural teeth. They are also so secure that you can also eat what you want to without worrying that your teeth might come out.
Both modern dentures and dental implants are designed specifically for each patient, and this helps to make them more natural and discreet. Nevertheless, dental implants are generally considered to be the closest in appearance to natural teeth. Combined with their unrivaled stability, they are almost impossible to tell apart from any healthy teeth that you may have remaining.
Replacing missing teeth isn’t cheap. However, one of these treatments has a significantly lower upfront cost than the other – dentures. That said, dentures are more likely to require maintenance work to repair or even replace them since they are removable, and this makes them more likely to get damaged. Also, when you choose dentures, your jaw bone will deteriorate and change shape, and this can mean that your dentures no longer fit as well as they once did and you may need to have them remade.
Implants cost more initially. However, they rarely require much in the way of maintenance, and with the right care, they can potentially last upwards of 20 years. This makes them a great investment in the function and appearance of your smile.
If you would like more information about the difference between dentures and dental implants, please get in touch with our knowledgeable dental team today.