Modern dentistry is offering multiple highly effective options for people with lost teeth, including dental implants and dentures. Each of the two has their own pros and cons and benefits different people depending on certain factors like their overall health, oral condition, needs, and finances. So which one would be the best for you? This read on dental implant vs. dentures can be of great help to you.

dental implant vs dentures

However, also make sure to consult with your dental care provider about your options. Other alternatives to implants and dentures, such as dental bridges, are also worth exploring for finding your best fit.

Dental implant

1. The use

Dental implants and dentures are used for pretty much the same reasons. They help patients:

  • Restore chewing ability;
  • Support facial muscles;
  • Better speech, improving their communication;
  • Boost confidence and help with self-consciousness by giving them a bright, beautiful new smile.

Despite the comparable use, there are considerable differences between these two tooth restoration methods. Here’s how dental implants and dentures compare so you can come up with the best treatment decision.

2. The procedure

2.1. Dental implants

To be a candidate for dental implants, one needs to have enough jawbone in order to hold the screw-like post. The implant is used as a base for a prosthetic crown on top. Dental implants have been getting more and more popular around the world over the past years, especially among adults over 55 years of age. 

Prior to a dental implant, any damaged tooth root needs to be first removed. After that, one access hole is drilled into the jawbone to place the implant post – which plays as the prosthetic tooth root. This post is to be bound with a crown after the jaw has completely healed around the newly placed implant.

For the implant to be fused with the jawbone, it may take several months. Then the abutment, which is a piece that the crown is connected to, is attached on top of the implant. In some cases, the abutment is placed at the same time of implanting the post.

Final step involves attaching the artificial tooth which has been made in the lab to the abutment. This crown is designed to match the color and shape of your original teeth to give a natural look.

2.2. Dentures

Unlike implants, dentures don’t require a certain quantity of jawbone. They are detachable, artificial teeth that are made to clip onto your gum regardless of how much jawbone you have.

Dentures can come in complete sets for a full tooth restoration on your upper or lower jaw or partial pieces to replace a couple of lost teeth. These two types of dentures are referred to as complete and partial dentures.

To generate dentures, the dental provider will first take impressions of your upper or lower gums or both if it is for full restoration.

Before dentures are created, the dentist will examine your current bite and tooth alignment to get the precise measures of dentures to achieve the optimal chewing and speech.

Next, an initial set of dentures are made in the lab and sent to your dental provider. They will try the dentures in your mouth to see its fit and make adjustments accordingly. After that, the dentist will proceed with making the final set of dentures.

Similar to implants, dentures are designed to match the looks of your original teeth and gums. They are clipped onto your gums with a specialized adhesive.

dental implant vs dentures
dental implant vs dentures

3. The cost

Generally speaking, dental implants cost more than dentures and other tooth restoration treatments like dental bridges.

The exact pricing for both dental implants and dentures differs, depending upon many factors, such as your geographical location, your needs, the type of dentures or implants, the expertise of the doctor, the clinic that provides the service, and so on. 

4. The care

The maintenance work required for dental implants are similar to that of your real teeth. That includes brushing at least twice per day with a soft-bristle brush, flossing, and periodic visits to the dentist.

On the other hand, for dentures to last for a long time, more thorough everyday care is needed. For instance, the patient shouldn’t wear them during sleep. Instead, they are to be soaked in water or a special cleaning liquid during this unused time.

Daily cleaning is a must for dentures. To do this, remove and brush them after a meal. Users may also want to brush away bits of the adhesive on the gums.

As your bite is ever changing, you’ll need to have your denture refitted after some time, which is not the case for dental implants. Implants are permanently secured inside of your jawbone and may only require replacement of the top artificial tooth only when it gets cracked or fractured.

5. The complications

Implants are typically a safe and effective tooth restoration method. However, just as any surgical procedure, implants also carry the risk of complications like infection, loose posts, fractured crowns, receding gums, nerve

Dentures are also not an exception in terms of complications. These include shifting dentures or ulcerations, also known as sores formation on the gums.

6. How to choose between implants and dentures?

In your decision making process regarding the right dental treatment, remember to take the following into consideration:

6.1. Your age

Patients in their 60s and younger may find dental implants a good choice because implants are meant to be permanent and can last for decades with good care and maintenance.

Other adults that don’t want to undergo the invasive and time-consuming surgery from dental implants, can opt for dentures for an easier, temporary fix.

6.2. Your available jawbone

One needs to have enough jawbone density to have dental implants because jawbone plays as the support for the implant posts. Therefore, those who have significant jawbone loss due to age, injury, tooth loss, or gum disease, may not be a good candidate for an implant procedure.

Jawbone loss can be improved by a surgery called a bone graft. The downside is this is a costly and invasive process.

6.3. Your needs of functionality and comfort

Implants may be superior to dentures in terms of comfort and chewing ability. 

6.4. Your level of hygiene commitment

If you don’t think you’ll have enough time to take daily care of your dentures, implants can be something that you want to consider instead. Although more costly, dental implants are more low-maintenance.

Make sure to be honest to yourself about how much you are willing to take care of your dental work on a daily basis and you’ll have your answer.

dental implant vs dentures
dental implant vs dentures

7. Alternatives to implants and dentures

As we mentioned, there is more to tooth restoration than dentures and dental implants. Alternatives that may benefit patients with missing teeth include the options as follows.

7.1. Dental bridges

A convenient solution to missing one or several teeth is dental bridges. These are also called fixed partial dentures, including a bridge being bound to adjacent teeth for support.

7.2. Temporary partial denture

Also known as a flipper, a temporary partial denture is a detachable piece that carries one or more artificial teeth. The fake teeth can blend in the rest of the teeth in the mouth to give the appearance of a full smile. The upside is the flipper can be removed with ese for cleaning. Another advantage is that flippers are among the least expensive tooth restoration methods. However, they are also the least long-lasting.

People usually wear a temporary partial denture as they are waiting for a more durable fix, like dental bridges or dental implants. However, flippers can be a long-term solution for those who are willing to replace them from time to time.

8. A little note from Sydney Dental – your trusted provider

Hopefully this read has provided you with a good idea of how dental implants and dentures compare in terms of the procedure, the cost, the care, and complications, as well as which one could be a more helpful option for you. If you are still unsure of which treatment to go with for a new unforgettably stunning smile in your particular case, do not hesitate to reach out to us Sydney Dental. We are at 499-501 Ba Hat St, Ward 8, District 10, HCMC looking forward to your visit. You may also call us at (028) 3504 9440 for a free no-obligation comprehensive consultation. Your pretty, shiny smile is 100% guaranteed at Sydney Dental!

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