Your adult teeth are meant to last a lifetime; however, for many people, that isn’t the case. Decay, infection or injury can lead to loss of adult teeth. If this happens, it’s important to have the missing tooth or teeth replaced. This is important so that you can continue to eat and speak normally. It’s also vital for your oral health, for your appearance, your self-esteem and your overall well-being.
Dentures and dental implants are both acceptable options for replacing lost adult teeth; however, dental implants offer many more benefits than dentures.
What are Dentures
Dentures are a replacement for missing adult teeth and the tissue that surrounds them. There are two different types of dentures: complete and partial.
Complete are designed to be used when all of the teeth are missing, and they can either be immediate or conventional. The former are made prior to having teeth removed and can be put into place immediately after the teeth are removed, while the latter are made after the teeth have been removed and are put into place once the gum tissue has healed. The benefit of immediate dentures is that you don’t have to go without teeth after they are removed; however, as the gum tissue heals, they will likely require several adjustments. Since conventional dentures are put into place after the gum tissue heals, they do not require as many adjustments.
Partial dentures are used when some of the adult teeth are missing and some of the natural adult teeth are still present. Also known as a bridge, they typically consist of a plastic basic which is colored pink to resemble the gums, which replacement teeth are attached to.
Both complete and partial dentures can be removed.
What are Dental Implants
Dental implants are replacement roots for missing adult teeth. They can be made of either zirconium or titanium, both of which are strong, durable metals. The implants are surgically placed into the jawbone just below the gums. Once they are in place, they fuse to the jawbone, forming a permanent replacement root for the missing teeth. After the implant heals, an artificial replacement tooth is secured to them; usually a bridge or a crown.
How do Dentures and Dental Implants Compare
Both dentures and dental implants have their benefits and drawbacks. Below is a look at some of the pros and cons of each replacement tooth option:
- Pros of Dentures
- More affordable than dental implants
- Offer a quicker replacement option
- Unless the remaining teeth need to be removed for a specific reason, there usually is no need for surgery
- Cons of Dentures
- They can slip or fall out
- The can cause discomfort if they sleep or if they are not properly fitted
- You may have to deal with food restrictions, as you might not be able to eat certain foods with them (corn on the cob, steak and other dense foods that require forceful chewing)
- They can be difficult to maintain, which can lead to poor oral hygiene
- They often have to be replaced several times throughout a lifetime
- Pros of Dental Implants
- They offer a more durable, permanent tooth replacement solution
- They look more like your natural teeth
- They won’t slip, slide or fall out
- No food restrictions; since they act like your real teeth, you can eat whatever you would like without any issue
- They are easier to maintain, as they can be brushed and flossed just like your real teeth
- They’re more comfortable
- They prevent gum erosion and bone loss
- Cons of Dental Implants
- It takes time to have them installed
- Surgery is necessary to have them installed
- You have to be a candidate for implants, meaning that you must meet certain criteria in order to have them installed
- They cost more than dentures
After comparing the pros and cons of both dentures and dental implants, it is clear to see that dental implants are a more effective tooth replacement solution. If you are missing teeth and you are interested in learning more about dental implants and whether or not you are a candidate for this tooth replacement option, please contact our office today. We offer a variety of options to meet your needs and will be happy to provide you with the best solution possible to replace your teeth and restore your smile.