Choosing Between Dentures and Dental Implants as Your Smile Restoration Solution
Missing teeth are a challenging obstacle many adults face when it comes to oral health and self-confidence in their smile. Statistics show that by age 50 the average American will have lost about eight teeth, or 12 total if you include wisdom teeth.
From causing embarrassment to permanent bone loss in the face and jaw, multiple missing teeth impact every aspect of your smile. The good news is modern dentistry can completely transform your current smile into one you are proud to share, no matter what damage has been done.
The two most common solutions are dentures and dental implants.
Dentures are the traditional choice for a full-mouth restoration.
Dentures are prosthetic oral appliances that mimic the look of natural teeth and gums. They are often what springs to mind when most people think of a full-mouth smile restoration.
Dentures are available as a complete restoration, which is used when all teeth are missing or needing to be extracted, or as a partial restoration. Partial dentures can be used to replace multiple missing teeth when a patient still has natural, healthy teeth.
Dentures are a reasonably priced full-mouth restorative solution. Exact costs vary depending on whether you need complete or partial dentures, as well as the materials used to create the prosthetics. Generally speaking, dentures are the most affordable option. Compared to dental implants and implant-supported dentures, traditional complete dentures are less expensive.
The process of getting complete or partial dentures generally takes a few weeks and multiple appointments. Your dentist will take measurements of your jaw as well as impressions – digital or physical – for creating the prosthetic. You’ll likely try on a few denture models before your final permanent denture is cast.
Afterward, you’ll see your dentist for checkups to ensure they fit properly.
Dentures have a lifespan of about a decade, depending on the materials used. Dentures do wear over time and your jaw shape also changes. These two factors mean the average patient will have about seven to 10 years of wear before needing a new pair.
Dental implants are a permanent solution with many health benefits.
Dental implants are rapidly becoming the go-to solution for multiple missing teeth. They are highly versatile, being used to replace individual missing teeth as well as full-arch rehabilitation with implant-supported dentures.
Dental implants offer a number of benefits that dentures do not and are the only prosthetic tooth option that halts bone loss from occurring. Think of dental implants as the closest thing to a natural tooth that you can get.
Dental implants offer a lot of value to patients, which in turn means that they’re on the more expensive side when compared to traditional dentures. The initial higher cost is largely due to the need for oral surgery for placement, as well as the high-quality materials being needed, like the medical-grade titanium implant posts.
While the initial higher cost may seem surprising, keep the advantages and longevity in mind. After treatment and healing are complete, patients will be thrilled with the investment they’ve made to protect their long-term oral health.
The only “con” to dental implants is that they require a fairly invasive treatment process. From start to finish it can take months for your new smile to be complete. This is due to your jaw bone needing time to heal and fuse around each implant post. Some patients may also need bone grafts done prior to dental implant surgery.
Dental implants have an incredible lifespan. The dental implant posts last for life, while the dental crowns prosthetic teeth can easily last 15 years or more with proper care. You can expect the denture piece of implant-supported dentures to last about 10 to 15 years.
For most adults, once their dental implants are placed they won’t have to worry about them for a very long time.
Choosing between dentures and dental implants comes down to personal preference and dentist recommendation.
The decision between dentures and dental implants largely comes down to which option is most appealing to you. However, your dentist will also provide a recommendation based on factors such as your oral and overall health.
Dentures are an ideal choice for patients who need a minimally invasive solution for their missing teeth. Perhaps they have anxiety about oral surgery or they have underlying health conditions that increase risks of rejection of dental implants.
Dentures are also useful as an in-between step for patients who aren’t quite ready to commit to permanent dental implants, perhaps due to financial reasons or current life events.
That being said, dental implants and implant-supported dentures are becoming increasingly popular for good reason. If you are a healthy adult it’s highly recommended to go with dental implant technology due to the numerous benefits unique to the procedure.
Learn more about dentures and dental implants with a personalized consultation at Valley Dental Clinic.
You can schedule your full-mouth restoration consultation by calling our Wasilla office or filling out this online form. Your consultation will include a thorough examination of your smile, a review of your previous dental history, and a chance to ask any questions you might have about dentures vs. dental implants.
Together we’ll be able to create a treatment plan that meets your needs and exceeds your expectations for just how beautiful your smile can be.