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Although excellent dental hygiene can help, our teeth don’t always last forever. 70% of adults aged 33 to 44 are missing a tooth. And about a quarter of those 65 and older don’t have any teeth to speak of.
Missing teeth can undermine your self-confidence, complicate eating, and put your health at risk. For these reasons, you or your dentist may be considering a solution in the form of dentures or implants. Since these two replacements function differently, it’s best to know their pros and cons.
Educate yourself with this short article and get the tooth replacement solution that’s right for you. Here’s a quick look at dentures vs implants.
What Are Dentures?
Dentures are fake teeth set on an acrylic base meant to resemble gums. They slide over your bare, toothless gums and remain in place with the help of a temporary adhesive. Affixing and removing dentures is entirely painless since they sit above your actual gumline.
If you’re missing an entire row of teeth, you’ll likely use conventional dentures. This is an entire row of fake teeth. Your doctor may have to remove any decayed, lingering teeth still present.
You could also consider a partial denture. These dentures are meant to replace a smaller section of missing teeth. Sometimes they bind to an adjoining natural tooth with the help of a crown.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are a permanent form of tooth replacement. Your doctor will surgically implant a metal foundation into your jawbone. Once the post is in place and the area has healed, you’ll return to your dentist to have a fake tooth attached.
You can replace multiple teeth with only two dental implants if the missing teeth are contiguous. Your dentist will anchor both ends of the missing area. When he inserts the dental implants, fake teeth can span the gap between them and rest on your gums.
Dentures Vs Implants: Pros and Cons
These two tooth replacement solutions may sound similar, but they have nuanced differences. Now that you know the basics about how these prosthetics work, let’s see how they compare. This knowledge can help you and your doctor come to an informed decision.
Most patients have one primary concern, and that’s cost. Without a doubt, dental implants are more expensive than dentures. Usually, they cost around ten times more, though prices and out-of-pocket costs can vary.
But as you’ll learn, that isn’t the whole story. The cost of denture creams and cleaning agents will add up over the years. Dentures also don’t last as long as dental implants, which means you’ll end up buying several pairs as time goes on.
To better understand the bottom line, talk to your dentist and insurance provider.
Dentures can feel like wearing braces at first. They can also cause soreness in the early phases. And while these sensations will fade over time, they aren’t as natural or comfortable as dental implants.
And that’s because dental implants, while fake, are permanently affixed like real teeth. Finding the right brand and amount of denture adhesive can help minimize discomfort, but it will never compare to the feeling of an implant.
If you’re already missing all of your teeth, surgery isn’t required for dentures. If you’re getting a complete denture, tooth extraction may be necessary. Your dentist will place the dentures immediately following the extraction, and your gums will heal underneath.
It’s a relatively short process when compared to dental implants.
With dental implants, you’ll have to undergo surgery down to the jawbone. Once the implant is set, you’ll have to wait several months for the metal to fuse in place. Finally, you’ll need to return to have the teeth mounted on the implants.
The procedure for dental implants is longer, more complicated, and more painful. That’s the main reason why it’s more expensive, too. But for some patients, the extra hassle upfront is preferable to daily time spent fiddling with dentures.
For a deeper look at the process, here’s what to expect with implants.
Dental implants should last most people a lifetime, though those who receive them at a very young age may have complications. Dentures, on the other hand, last for fewer than ten years.
This means you’ll be back at the dentist’s office for a new pair on a regular basis, paying another sizable sum. If the same patient received a dental implant instead, they wouldn’t have to worry about additional costs.
Missing teeth aren’t just unsightly. Tooth loss leads to bone loss in the jaw, drifting of remaining teeth, and even facial collapse.
While dentures are cheap and easy to get, they do nothing to remedy the situation. In fact, they can even make things worse by hastening gum recession.
Dental implants, on the other hand, provide structure to your mouth and prevent these serious health consequences. Depending on your age, spending more on dental implants can help you avoid costly health problems down the road.
The Best Option is Personal
There’s no clear winner between dentures vs implants. It depends on your age, health, finances, and many other factors. Only you and your dentist can decide on the best course of action.
But with this information in hand, you’re in a better situation to choose the right method of tooth replacement for you.
Are you missing a tooth — or several? Dentures or dental implants can help. Contact us at Forest Park Dental for a consultation.