Should I choose dentures or dental implants? This is a question that always pops up when people are looking for tooth loss replacement options. Indeed, both options have their merits and demerits, and sometimes it can be hard to decide which one is best for you, but we are here to help you make an informed decision.
Indeed, your teeth determine how great your smile is, not to mention that they also determine your confidence to talk and eat, which is why the choice of tooth replacement option matters.
In this simplified guide, we place the two options in a head-to-head comparison. After reading this guide, you will have settled the debate about dentures vs dental implants. Let’s get started, shall we?
Dentures are an artificial replacement for natural teeth and gums. These removable replacement teeth are designed to offer a quick fix to teeth loss. They can be categorized into the partial and full denture, which means that they can either substitute just a few missing teeth or all your teeth on both gum lines.
Your dentist customizes them to match your existing teeth comfortably. They are designed in a way that they slip over your gum line to ensure a secure fit.
However, it is essential to mention that dentures are not a permanent teeth replacement solution and need to be replaced 5-7 years.
They are an excellent option for people looking for a quick fix to their missing teeth or for people whose gums are not healthy enough to accommodate dental implants.
Reasons Many Patients Prefer Dentures
- Simple to fix and use: they are removable, and the process of getting them is easy and relatively inexpensive as compared to other restorative and cosmetic dentistry options.
- Today’s dentures have been improved in terms of appearance and mimic natural teeth exceptionally well compared to traditional dentures. Many people can’t notice you have dentures, especially if they have been custom-made by an experienced dentist
Why Some Patients Don’t Like Them
When it comes to dentures, what is an advantage to some is a disadvantage for others. Here are a few reasons why some patients don’t prefer dentures;
- They are not permanent. Patients looking to restore their smile want their teeth to feel natural. By natural we mean, not removable. This means that they want a permanent solution to their problem
- While dentures have been improved, they still don’t exactly match the appearance of natural teeth, as is the case with dental implants
- Some patients term dentures as a “cheap” option and thus disregard them
Dentures Are the Ideal Option When;
- For people who are looking for an affordable teeth replacement option
- You are looking for a quick fix to your missing teeth (your dentist can customize a full set of the denture in 2-6 weeks)
- You have weak gums or jaw. Patients who do not qualify for dental implants because of having a soft jaw or gums are forced to settle for dentures if they still want the appearance of an entire set of teeth
Dental implants are titanium cylinders that resemble screws that are surgically fused into the jawbone to replace missing teeth. Once they are in place, the dentist mounts replacement teeth on them. The new tooth will feel and look similar to your natural teeth.
Since the implants are drilled into the jawbone, they offer fixed, stable support for artificial teeth. This means that dentures mounted to implants won’t shift or slip out of your mouth. The secure fit helps bridges, individual crowns, and dentures to be placed over implants.
Reasons Why Many Patients Prefer Dental Implants
- They provide a permanent solution to missing teeth. If you don’t want a temporary fix to your missing teeth, this is the best option
- They have lost a lot of teeth, which is affecting their speech and smile. People whose missing teeth are causing facial sagging often prefer dental implants with bridges or crowns to help fix these issues.
Why Some Patients Don’t Like Dental Implants
- Because of the high initial cost involved, dental implants call for a higher initial cost than dentures. However, if you consider the additional expenses of maintaining dentures (buying cleaning solutions and having to replace them 5-7 years), you will realize that dental implants are a cheaper and more convenient option in the long term
- Long implant procedure. The whole process of fitting dental implants can take months as you will need to visit your dentist severally
- Implants call for a surgical procedure. Although virtually all dental implant surgeries are conducted successfully, a surgery has to be carried out to fit dental implants feels intrusive for some patients. Also, surgery require some healing time, which doesn’t sit well with some patients
Dental Implants Are the Ideal Option When;
- You are looking for a long-term solution to your missing teeth
- Don’t want to deal with frequent replacement, maintenance, and special cleaning that comes with dentures
- You want a tooth replacement solution that looks and feels like natural teeth
Dentures vs Dental Implants- Head-To-Head Comparison
If you still haven’t decided which option is the best for you, here is a better comparison of these two tooth replacement options;
Both options, if done by a professional dentist, will resemble natural teeth in terms of appearance. For a dental implant, the artificial teeth placed on the jaw look just like a natural tooth. A good dentist will try their best to match the crown’s shape and color to other existing teeth on your jaw. And if you are replacing all the teeth on your gum line, your dentist should find a color and shade that compliment your appearance.
In the same way, dentures, once they are well customized, they resemble your natural teeth, but a closer look will show they are not natural.
Dental implants are as strong as natural teeth. Once they are healed, you can bite, chew food, and even smile normally. And because the dental implant is fused into the jaw bone, you will not experience jaw bone recession, and thus your jaw will remain strong.
On the other hand, dentures can break and calls for a lot of care. You are not allowed to bite as hard because of their fragile nature. Also, with them, you should not indulge in sticky or hard foods. Dentures also become weak due to jaw bone recession, meaning they might need to be relined or replaced after some time.
Dental implants feel more natural, keeping you more confident with them since you know they cannot break under normal conditions. Also, since they are fitted into the jaw bone, you will not have to worry about adjustments. You can resume normal eating and speak immediately after you get your permanent crown placement.
On the other hand, dentures require a lot of care and consideration for them to feel natural. For instance, you have to be cautious so that debris doesn’t get underneath, causing discomfort. Also, you have to remove and clean them every night if you want them to feel natural.
This is where you get a vast difference between the two. Dental implants call for a higher upfront cost as compared to dentures. However, they may turn out to be a sound investment in the long-run as they last longer when cared for and require very minimal maintenance. Besides, dental implants do not need to be replaced in 5-7 years, as is the case with dentures. This makes them a very affordable option when it comes to maintenance.
To simplify this explanation, here is a comparison table.
Comparison Chart: Dentures vs Dental Implants
|Are indistinguishable from natural teeth
|Modern dentures closely resemble natural teeth, but someone who knows them can notice them
|They can be used in the same as natural teeth. You can eat and drink just like when you have natural teeth
|You are advised not to bite hard things or eat sticky foods
|Requires higher cost upfront but have minimal maintenance
|Less expensive at first, but calls for more maintenance over time
|With proper care, they can last for many years
|Need to be relined or replaced every 5-7 years
|Needs at least one surgery
|Surgery not required unless when there remaining teeth that need to be removed
What Is Your Best Option Between Dental Implants and Dentures?
Both options are great for different people as there are circumstances where dentures will be the ideal option instead of dental implants and vice versa.
But overall, dental implants are the better option in terms of value for money, comfort, appearance, and longevity. The low maintenance nature of dental implants also makes them a better tooth loss replacement option than dentures.
However, not all people qualify for a dental implant procedure. Several things can disqualify you from having dental implants, including lack of sufficient jawbone density, poor health, etc.
Discover If Dentures Or Implants Are Right For You!
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