Those who are missing teeth have many different replacement options to choose from. Dentures and dental implants are some of the most common forms of tooth replacement in the dental industry today. However, despite being the leading choices by patients, they are both fairly distinct, different treatments for a variety of reasons.
This post will compare dental implants vs dentures to help you make a more informed decision in order to determine which would be best for you.
Dentures are some of the oldest forms of tooth replacement, with the first versions being made out of wood and bone. Dentistry has come a long way since the early days of dentures and now they are a convenient and effective option for patients with all different types of tooth loss.
There are two main types of dentures, partial and complete. Partial dentures are ideal for patients who still have some of their existing teeth. They fill the gaps between your teeth with removable prosthetics, and can attach to neighboring teeth for more support.
Complete dentures are used when a patient is missing all of their teeth. Complete dentures can replace an entire mouth of teeth in one day and they look very natural. Both types of dentures are made out of acrylics, but in some cases, dentures are still made out of porcelain.
Dentures are often popular tooth replacement options due to their affordability. They are one of the most affordable tooth replacement options available. They range in price from $300-$2000 depending on the materials, level of realism, size and shape required.
Likewise, dentures are also non-invasive. Patients who are unable to have surgery or who are simply not looking to undergo dental surgery have dentures as a safe option to utilize.
The most significant downside to dentures is their comfort and functionality. Dentures are removable and they must be removed and cleaned every day. This can be cumbersome for patients. You also cannot sleep in dentures.
Likewise dentures are not always stable. Full dentures are held in place by the natural suction created between the dentures and your gum tissue, however this is often not enough to keep dentures in place. In most cases, patients use denture glue to keep dentures from falling out while eating or chewing.
Dentures will give patients the ability to eat and chew food effectively, however, you may need to avoid certain foods that are too hard, tough or chewy.
Dentures are not as long lasting as other tooth replacement options. Patients require a new pair every 5-10 years.
Dental implants are a permanent form of tooth replacement. They consist of a titanium tooth ‘root’ and a prosthetic crown which, together, create the appearance of a natural tooth.
Dental implants appear very realistic in patients' mouths. However, they are more than just looks. These permanent prosthetics are rooted deep within the jaw bone, which is the secret to their stability and durability. They are the closest thing to having your natural teeth back. In some cases, they can actually be stronger than your natural teeth due to the materials used.
Titanium is a special type of metal used throughout the medical and dental industry. The material is prized for its strength and biocompatible properties.
This means that your natural tissues do not reject the foreign material, rather, they grow around it. In the case of dental implants this leads to a strong, secure foundation. However, despite these excellent qualities, one of the downsides to dental implants is that they require surgery and 2-4 months of recovery time (wondering what that looks like? Read our guide on what to expect after dental implant surgery).
At Glen Dental Centre, the price for a single dental implant starts at $3400 but for multiple implants the price can reach $10,000+ depending on the amount of implants needed. Dental implants are seen as some of the more costly tooth replacement options available, but private health plans and in-house financing options can often help patients with the initial cost.
Dental implants give you the freedom to eat the foods you want. You can dig into a juicy steak, bite into a carrot or apple without fear and even chew gum without worrying about instability.
These are certainly not things that all denture users can do and this ease of use really sets dental implants apart.
With implants you can truly feel like you have your natural teeth back, you are not limited by any means and can eat, speak, smile and laugh like you did before tooth loss. They certainly provide an elevated quality of life when it comes to functionality.
As far as caring for your dental implants goes, they must be brushed, flossed and cared for like natural teeth.
Dental implants are the longest lasting form of tooth replacement. These prosthetics can last upwards of 20 years before they require updates. In some cases they can last longer than your natural teeth and patients may not need to replace them at all within their lifetime.
The fact that dental implants last for such a long time is often a good reason to choose them in the long term, despite the initial upfront cost.
We have left out one important option in this post so far. Now that you are familiar with dentures and dental implants, we want to share an option that is certainly the best of both worlds.
Implant supported dentures are ideal for patients with significant tooth loss. They combine the ease and aesthetic appeal of dentures, with the stability and durability of dental implants.
Implant supported dentures are just as they sound in the name. Normally 4-6 dental implants are placed in a patient's jaw and, once healed, dentures are placed on top. The dentures are secured in place via a metal snap at the base of the denture, which helps safely and easily attach the denture to the implants.
Implant supported dentures are removable, so when you are ready to go to bed at night you can simply snap your dentures off and clean them for the morning. The metal implants which support the dentures however will be permanently secured in your jaw.
Implant supported dentures provide the strength and stability of implants with the ability to replace a full mouth of teeth quickly. They solve the problem of dentures slipping and inhibiting the patient, while still being more affordable than a full mouth of dental implants. At Glen Dental Centre, implant supported dentures cost roughly $10,000 per jaw. Click to learn more about this unique, hybrid tooth replacement option.
Our dedicated team is here to help you learn more about the differences between dentures and dental implants.
In many cases, a combination of both treatment options are used. Patients who are waiting or saving for dental implants use dentures in the interim as a fast and effective way to fill the gaps in their smile. Additionally, many patients who are missing a full mouth of teeth opt for the implant supported dentures due to their ability to replace several teeth at once while still providing the stability of dentures.
The reality is that these two forms of tooth replacement are closely linked and patients can utilize both options or hybrid options. Indeed, there are a variety of tooth replacement options available to our patients at Glen Dental Centre and a consultation is the best way to determine which would be right for an individual patient. Contact us to book with our dentists today.