If you have missing teeth, you may have heard about dental implants, which are a modern alternative to dentures. Although dental implants are a great teeth replacement solution for many people, they are not right for everyone. Let's take a look at the differences between dentures and dental implants so you can decide which option is right for you.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are permanent replacements for missing teeth. Each implant consists of a titanium post that is surgically implanted into the jaw bone. This post supports one or more crowns, which are molded to look like real teeth.
What are Dentures?
Dentures are removable false teeth. When you think of dentures, you may picture two full arcs of upper and lower teeth, but it is also possible to get partial dentures if you still have some natural teeth remaining. Full or partial dentures consist of a flexible plastic framework that fits snugly over the gums to hold the prosthesis in place, as well as multiple crowns that look like real teeth.
Advantages of Dental Implants
The main advantage of dental implants is the fact that they are permanent. Once your implants have been fitted, you probably won't have to go through any more procedures to adjust or replace them. They are also securely seated in the gums, which means they feel very similar to real teeth when chewing or talking.
Disadvantages of Dental Implants
For many people, the main disadvantage of dental implants is the cost: replacing a single tooth with an implant can cost as much as $5,340, and the costs of replacing a full set of teeth can easily spiral into the tens of thousands. In contrast, dentures are typically much less expensive. Many people also worry about the surgical procedure that is required to fit dental implants. This involves opening up the gum tissue to insert the titanium supports for the implants, and in some cases may even require a bone graft to reinforce the jawbone. Recovery from the surgery can force you to take time off work, and there is a small risk of complications such as infection.
Advantages of Dentures
Dentures, in contrast to dental implants, are a completely non-invasive solution to missing teeth. The fitting process is typically painless and should not involve any cutting of your gum tissue. Instead, the dentist will request that you bite into a soft material to create a mould for the dentures, which allows laboratory technicians to create a set of false teeth that exactly fit the shape of your mouth. Although it will take some time to get used to the new dentures, you won't have to go through the uncomfortable recovery process that dental implant surgery involves.
Disadvantages of Dentures
The main disadvantage of dentures is their tendency to move around inside the mouth. If you eat very chewy or sticky foods, your dentures may slip out of place, which can be embarrassing. However, denture adhesives can help to reduce this problem.