Did you know that about 3 million people in the United States alone have dental implants? Dental implants are actually quite new in the field of dentistry since dentures used to be the go-to option to fix the problem of missing teeth. Today, both options are used to improve the appearance of one’s smile.
However, is there any significant difference between dental implants vs dentures, and if there is, which is the right choice for you? In this article, you’ll learn the answer to precisely that question. To start off, let’s see the pros and cons of dental implants and compare them to dentures.
What Are Dental Implants
If you’re asking yourself the question, “What are dental implants?” the answer is simple. Dental implants function to replace a missing tooth and therefore can not only improve the appearance of one’s smile but also restore tooth functionality. This is important since people with missing teeth often have trouble speaking or chewing food which can be frustrating in daily life.
Missing teeth can also be detrimental to one’s self-esteem. The key to dental implants is that not only your tooth has to be missing but also the roots of your tooth. This is because of how your dentist needs to drill your dental implants into your jaw bone.
Because a sturdy and substantial jaw bone are necessary for dental implants, they might not be a good option if you have a fragile jaw or not much bone in the area. This is due to how a metal post, usually made of titanium, needs to be lodged into your jaw bone during the first part of your dental implant procedure.
If your tooth is missing but your roots are still in your jaw, your dentist will need to drill out the nerves so the titanium post can be inserted. Once this is complete, it will take several months for your jaw bone to heal around the post. Once the healing process is over, it will be time to apply the dental implant crown to the post.
One of the many benefits of dental implants is that they can replace one tooth at a time. This is unlike dentures where most of your teeth need to be removed. This makes dental implants more convenient for those who don’t want to remove their healthy teeth.
So, how else do dentures compare to dental implants?
What Are Dentures
When it comes to the question, “What are dentures?” you most likely don’t know much about them other than the fact that they are removable teeth. However, there is more to dentures than just being removable. Your dentist will specially create your dentures by fitting them to your mouth.
The benefit of dentures is that since they are prosthetic and not drilled into your jaw bone, the amount of bone you have around your mouth doesn’t matter. There are partial dentures and full dentures. Partial dentures can replace several but not all missing teeth on the upper or lower part of your jaw.
Full dentures, as the name suggests, involve replacing all of your teeth. Your dentist will create dentures first by taking molds of your gums. This will help your dentist to examine your unique bite and how your jaw aligns for speech and chewing.
After the molds are complete, it will take some time for your dentist to receive the completed dentures. Once they arrive, your dentist will place the dentures in your mouth and you will be able to see if they fit your mouth comfortably. If there are any misalignments, your dentist can correct them.
The unique aspect of dentures is that they don’t include teeth alone. They also have gums to produce a more natural look. You wear dentures by applying an adhesive before you put them in your mouth so they won’t come loose when eating or speaking.
Dental Implants vs Dentures
If you’re still wondering whether dentures or dental implants are the better choice for you, there are a few more details you should consider about both options. For example, the price is an important aspect to think about. In general, dental implants tend to be more expensive than dentures because invasive surgery is necessary.
Per tooth, you can expect to pay around $1,600 and $2,200 for dental implants. On the other hand, you can expect to pay the same price for an entire set of upper or lower dentures which replace several teeth at once. Depending on your situation, your dental insurance may be able to help you with the price of these dental options.
Maintenance is important for both dental implants and dentures to ensure that they last a long time and work as they should. With dental implants, you should take care of them as you would your real teeth. So, remember to brush your teeth and floss regularly.
Dentures tend to need more maintenance in order to stay in good shape. You should not wear dentures when you sleep and at night, you need to let them soak in a cleaning solution or in a glass of water. You need to clean your dentures every day, especially after eating.
Your dentures may need to be refitted to your mouth every so often to make sure they fit well. This is especially true if your bite changes with age which often happens as people get older.
Dentures and Dental Implants
By now, you should know the difference between dental implants vs dentures. Depending on your dental situation, dentures and dental implants both have plenty of benefits.
If you’re still unsure about what the right choice for you might be, contact us to learn more.