The ultimate showdown: Dentures vs Implants
Are you wrestling with the decision between dentures vs implants? Making the correct choice for your oral health can be difficult, and carefully weighing each option’s pros and cons is vital.
Dentures, a traditional solution, offer ease of placement and affordability, making them a popular choice for many. Yet, they may come with challenges, like discomfort and the need for regular maintenance.
On the other hand, implants deliver a more permanent solution, simulating the function and feel of natural teeth remarkably well. While they come with a higher cost at first, implants offer stability and longevity that dentures might lack.
But it’s important to consider factors like overall oral hygiene and bone health in your decision-making process. So join The Lasting Health as we delve into the 10 pros and cons of dentures vs implants, helping to guide you to the best choice for your dental health.
What’s the difference?
Let’s quickly look at the differences when it comes to dentures vs implants, mostly how they work and how they’re made:
Dentures: Dentures are fake teeth attached to a gum-colored plate or an acrylic resin. They adhere to your gums by suction and usually help you eat and talk.
If you have a few natural teeth, you can also get partial dentures, which uses your existing teeth to support attaching your new teeth. Dentures are removable and should be taken out at night.
Permanent dentures, or implant-retained dentures, are a hybrid between implants and dentures that aren’t removable.
Implants: Implants are made of three parts: a screw, an abutment, and a crown. The screw replaces your natural tooth and helps anchor the crown in your jaw, just like real roots do for natural teeth.
These are the favored options by dentists for replacing teeth because they replicate natural teeth and support jawbone health. Dental implants are sometimes created with CAD/CAM dentistry technology, allowing dentists to digitally customize implants.
Lifespan of dentures vs implants
Dentures and implants have different lifespans, with implants generally lasting much longer. Dental implants should last at least ten years, maybe even a lifetime with the proper care and good oral hygiene.
Dentures are more susceptible to general wear and tear and cracks than implants, and they also lose their shape over time. Traditional dentures can last up to about five years with proper care.
Visiting your dentist regularly and getting new dentures before your old ones become too uncomfortable or loose is essential.
Maintenance of dentures vs. implants
Maintenance for dental implants is similar to standard oral hygiene for natural teeth. That means brushing twice daily with a soft-bristle brush, flossing, and going for regular checkups. But, more significant daily maintenance is required for dentures to remain viable long-term.
For instance, you can’t wear them overnight. They must be soaked in water or a cleaning solution during that time. To clean dentures, which should be done every day, you have to take them out after eating and brush them.
You might also need to brush away any bits of adhesive that get stuck to your gums. Because your bite changes over time, dentures need to be refitted periodically.
On the other hand, when debating your dentures vs implants options, you should know that dental implants are permanent fixtures that only require replacement if the original crowns become broken or cracked.
Cost of dentures vs. implants
Implants are more costly than dentures and any other treatments, including bridges.
Even though prices range based on the location of the dentist’s practice and other aspects, the American Dental Association says that an implant can cost anywhere between $1,600 and $2,200 per tooth.
They also indicate that the average cost of a full set of upper dentures is a little over $1,600, and a full set of dentures for the lower jaw is about the same.
Complications from dentures vs. implants
According to research regarding dentures vs implants, implants are generally effective and safe solutions for missing teeth but can present a wide range of complications, like infection and mechanical problems, including loose posts and cracked crowns.
Dental implant failures happen about 5 to 10% of the time. The most common complications with dentures are:
-Sores forming on the gums
-They don’t stay in place
Health effects of dentures vs implants
When we’re talking about dentures vs implants, they both do a fantastic job of giving you a full, natural-looking smile. But their effect on your oral health varies quite a bit.
That’s because implants are more secure and stable, don’t cause any discomfort on gums, are more hygienic, and allow for completely normal chewing and eating. Most notably, they stop the bone in your jaw from declining.
While dentures help by keeping the muscles around your mouth from slumping inwards, they don’t replace the root of your tooth and, therefore, don’t stop your jawbone from disintegrating.
Food is also more likely to get trapped between your gums and dentures, causing irritation or decay if not cleaned correctly.
Making a decision about dentures vs implants: Here’s what to think about
When you’re ready to decide on your dental future, consider the following dentures vs implants factors first:
Age: Due to the fact that dental implants are the more permanent solution, people in their 60s or younger might want to choose implants because they can enjoy a few decades of use out of their prosthetic teeth.
Older adults who don’t wish to go through the time-consuming and invasive procedures involved with implants might prefer dentures.
Function and feel: Dental implants can provide a certain comfort level and better chewing than dentures.
Bone density: Dental implants require a particular amount of jawbone material to sustain the posts. You might not qualify for implants if you’ve lost bone density, either through gum disease, age, or tooth loss.
Dental bone grafting can be done to support jawbone density, but it’s a more expensive process.
Hygiene: If you’re not able to care for your dentures effectively, you should consider dental implants because they’re less maintenance-intensive. You must be honest about your ability and willingness to provide daily care for your dentures.
Alternatives regarding dentures vs implants
Dentures vs implants are the only two options for replacing missing teeth entirely. But some other treatments to discuss with your dentist are:
Temporary partial denture: Referred to as a flipper, this is a removable, retainer-like device that contains teeth. The prosthetic teeth can give the impression of a full smile but can be taken out for cleaning.
Flippers are among the least expensive options for missing teeth but are also the least enduring. These devices are commonly used by people waiting for implants.
Still, they can be long-term solutions for those who understand that they will likely need replacement flippers over time.
Dental bridge: If you’re missing any teeth, a dental bridge can be a suitable technique to fill that gap. Also known as a fixed partial denture, it attaches to surrounding teeth for reinforcement.
Research indicates that many people with dental bridges are pleased with them, although there needs to be more patient education on the proper maintenance and care of these devices.
Snap-in denture: A cross between implants and dentures, snap-in dentures don’t require an adhesive to stay in place. Instead, also called overdentures, rely on implants to secure their position in a person’s mouth.
Rather than having a post and abutment for every missing tooth, snap-in dentures can be fitted with a few snaps on the bottom that bind to two to four posts in each jaw. Snap-in dentures can be both removable for cleaning and permanent fixtures.
And they’re more stable than conventional dentures but are also a bit more pricey. They also come with similar possible complications as regular dental implants and require regular maintenance.
So when it comes to dentures vs implants, which is the better option for you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
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