Have you lost teeth? Then you need to replace them as soon as possible to regain your bite strength, support your facial muscles, improve your speech, and regain your confidence.
Denture treatments and dental implants are the two popular methods. Which is most suitable for you?
If you’re unable to decide between them, keep reading. This guide will help you understand the difference.
How to Choose Between Dentures and Dental Implants (6-Point Guide)
Dentures and dental implants are the go-to options for individuals who have lost one or more teeth. Naturally, they have advantages and disadvantages. Here, we compare them in detail so you can figure out which one is better for you.
The first point of difference between dentures and dental implants is what they are made of. Dentures are removable false teeth made of acrylic, nylon, or metal, and are custom-made. They replace both teeth and some gum tissue. Depending on the number of teeth being replaced, dentures can be complete or partial. Complete dentures replace all teeth in the upper or lower jaw or both; partial dentures are used to fill in gaps where some natural teeth remain intact.
Dental implants are fused to the jawbone using titanium rods or screws that act as artificial roots. They are permanent replacements, with a crown on top that mimics the appearance of natural teeth. The implants bond strongly with the jawbone to maintain the jaw’s structure.
When it comes to longevity, dental implants win. They can even last a lifetime if you take good care of them. This includes regular brushing, flossing, and a visit to the dentist every six months.
Dentures, on the other hand, need to be replaced every three to six years as they eventually become loose and start sliding around.
The process of making dentures starts with taking an impression of the upper or lower gums (or both), depending on where the denture is needed. It also involves the dentist studying your bite and jaw alignment so you get the right denture length to support chewing and speech. It is noteworthy that dentures can be fitted for your mouth irrespective of how much bone is present.
Your first set of dentures is temporary. They are placed in your mouth to figure out if any adjustments are needed. Only then is the final set made. You can wear your dentures once your gum tissue heals. This usually takes six to eight weeks after the tooth extraction.
Dental implants require enough bone in your jaw to be placed because they are fused to your jawbone using a screw capped with a crown. The procedure involves extracting the damaged root(s) followed by drilling a hole into the jawbone. A prosthetic tooth is implanted deep into the jawbone. Once the bone starts to grow around it, a crown is fitted on top of the post, thus creating a strong and secure bond. The procedure takes around three to six months to complete depending on your bone health and structure.
Compared by cost, dental implants are more expensive than dentures, or any other kind of teeth replacement solution, including bridges. This is because implants are a complex cosmetic process that requires skill. The implant posts and crowns add to the cost. That said, the cost of dental implants also depends on the dentist, where you live, and the exact procedure you want.
Dentures require proper maintenance to keep them viable over the long term. Also, they need to be refitted occasionally as your bite will change over time.
- You need to remove them overnight.
- Clean them under running water to remove food debris.
- Clean your mouth after removing the dentures.
- Gently brush your dentures daily with a soft-bristled brush.
- Soak your dentures in water overnight to keep them moist.
To maintain dental implants, follow the standard dental hygiene for your natural teeth. This involves brushing twice daily with a soft-bristled brush and flossing, as well as regular dental checkups. Note: your dental implants’ crown may need to be replaced if the original is damaged.
Your suitability for dental implants or dentures depends on many factors. For example, to get dental implants, you need a certain amount of jawbone material to support the prosthetic tooth. If you have low bone density, implants are not a suitable teeth replacement solution. In that case, you must consider dentures.
Dental implants are a great option for young people as they can enjoy decades of hassle-free use of their prosthetic teeth. For older adults, dentures are best because dental implants are an invasive and time-consuming process.
Both dentures and dental implants have their pros and cons. Your choice should be based upon your needs and what you require from your teeth replacement solution. For additional guidance, consult a reputable dental clinic near you.