Dentures vs. Implants – Which One is Better?
Losing your teeth can have a real impact on your life. Not only does it lead to a lack of confidence – especially if the tooth loss is noticeable when you smile – but it can also result in difficulty eating. The good news is that you don’t have to deal with missing teeth for too long, as dentists offer several solutions. Two of the most common are dentures and implants.
There are a lot of similarities between dentures and implants, which is why it can be difficult to pick between the two. They both provide similar purposes: improve speech, increase self-confidence, and help with eating. They also have huge differences, though, and it’s important to familiarize yourself with them before deciding which is better for you.
What Are Dentures?
Dentures are a type of removable fake teeth that sit over the teeth or gums. They are usually made of plastic, but they can also be made of metal in some cases. They are typically associated with older people who have lost their whole set of teeth, but people of any age can benefit from dentures – if you’ve lost your teeth, they can help. Different types of dentures depend on the amount of tooth loss, including complete and partial dentures. Complete dentures are for people who have lost all their teeth, whereas partial dentures fill gaps in the surrounding teeth.
Who’s a Good Candidate for Dentures?
The best candidates for dentures are those who have lost a lot of teeth. A single tooth loss can be more easily fixed with other methods, but dentures will give you a complete set if you’ve lost all (or nearly all) your teeth. You’ll also need healthy gum tissue and strong bone structure to be a good candidate, as they will support the dentures. So, if you have gum disease, you might not be able to get dentures.
What Are Implants?
A dental implant is a tooth replacement option that involves drilling into the tooth’s root. To secure an implant, a dentist uses a titanium screw into the jawbone, which creates a long term, secure solution to tooth loss. Then, a crown is placed on top as an artificial tooth with the implant supported by surrounding teeth. When looked after properly, implants can last forever.
Who’s a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
Adults with only a few missing teeth are typically good candidates for dental implants. They are one of the best alternatives to dentures, as implants are not removable and can last a lifetime. However – like with dentures – people with gum disease or bone loss problems are not good candidates for implants.
Dentures vs Implants: The Key Differences
How different are dentures and dental implants? To make the best choice for your tooth loss, it’s good to understand the key differences.
Implants Cost More
One of the biggest differences between dentures and implants is the price. While the cost of each differs depending on the dentist, dentures typically cost between $1000-$3000 per complete set, while an implant costs around $3000-$5000. If you wanted to replace multiple teeth with dental implants, it would cost a lot of money.
Dentures Involve a Fast Procedure
The process of fitting dentures is quick, only taking thirty minutes to an hour for most people. On the other hand, dental implants can take a long time – in fact, it takes months for the entire process to be completed, as it involves several steps.
Dentures Need Replacing Every 5-10 Years
Dentures don’t last forever – you’ll need to replace them every five to ten years. Implants are very different; if you look after them properly, they can last you a lifetime. They are a more long term solution.
Dentures Are Removable
Dentures don’t stay on your teeth all of the time. They are removable, and most people remove them during the night. Implants are screwed into the jawbone, which means that they are definitely not removable – they stay on all of the time and act like natural teeth. For many people, this is a clear advantage.
Implants Prevent Bone Loss
As implants involve a titanium screw in your jawbone, they prevent bone loss. You might notice that people who have lost their teeth also lose their facial structure. That’s where implants come in handy – their presence stimulates the jaw bone, so there isn’t any bone loss. Dentures, on the other hand, do not prevent jawbone deterioration.
Is One Better than the Other?
As you can see, there are some stark differences between dental implants and dentures. So, is one better than the other? It’s hard to say, as they both work well in different situations. Generally, dental implants are better for replacing missing teeth as they are permanent and look like natural teeth – you don’t have to remove them at night or get them replaced every five years. However, remember that dentures are much more affordable and sometimes make more sense if you have multiple missing teeth.
Preventing Tooth Loss
Tooth loss is very common and only becomes more likely as you age. That doesn’t mean it’s unavoidable. While dentures and implants provide a good solution for replacing missing teeth, it’s always better to prevent tooth loss! Here are some ways to do that:
Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day
Brushing your teeth is arguably the best way to maintain oral hygiene and prevent tooth loss. Brush your teeth at least twice a day to maintain your dental health. Don’t forget to floss, too.
Protect Your Teeth from Sports
If you play a sport, using the proper protection to avoid losing teeth is crucial. For example, if you’re a boxer, you must wear a mouthguard whenever you are in the ring or practicing.
Visit a Dentist Regularly
While maintaining your oral hygiene at home is essential, so is visiting your dentist regularly. A dentist can spot problems before they get any worse, and a regular check-up and cleaning will promote a healthy set of teeth for longer. Need a new dentist? At BAFdentistry, we have openings for new patients. We offer a wide range of dental treatments as well as all the basics; with us, you’ll be in good hands.
You will naturally consider dentures or implants if you have missing teeth and want a solution. As mentioned, both advantages exist, and the one that works best for you depends on your case. A complete set of dentures might work if you are older, don’t have the money to splash on implants, and have lots of missing teeth. On the other hand, a dental implant might make more sense for you if you have a single tooth missing and want a solution that lasts forever.