Tooth loss is a common occurrence in the US. Recent data shows that more than 26% of adults have no teeth at all. Further, around 36 million have lost all their teeth. The bad news is that this trend will increase over the next couple of years.
Tooth loss occurs due to gum disease, injury, cancer, everyday wear, or decay. If you need to replace a lost tooth, you have various options to consider. Implants, dentures, temporary partial dentures, and dental bridges are probably the most common tooth loss treatment options.
It is essential to choose the best treatment solution. Various factors like price, personal preferences, your health status, and the number of teeth will influence your decision.
Today, we will be comparing dentures and implants. We will take a closer at their advantages and disadvantages to help you pick the best solution. In addition, we will also discuss other options to make the process easier for you.
Read on to learn about implants and dentures.
Dentures Vs. Implants Overview
Although implants and dentures have similar functions, both are different. Implants and dentures serve the following purposes:
- They support speech.
- Boost self-esteem by reducing self-consciousness.
- Supports the functioning of facial muscles.
- Aid the digestion process.
Now, let’s take a closer look at both procedures to discover more.
Dentures are removable plates or frames that hold artificial teeth. These can fit in your mouth regardless of your jawbone density. The good thing with dentures is that you can customize them according to your needs. For instance, they can replace the teeth on your lower or upper jaws. These prosthetic teeth can also replace some lost teeth.
Before installing dentures, your dentist will invite you for an initial appointment to discuss your suitability. The dentist will check your lower and upper jaws to ensure your dentures will not hinder speech and chewing. When your dentures are ready, your dentist will fit them and make necessary adjustments to provide comfort and minimize injuries.
Unlike dentures, you need an adequate jawbone density to get implants. This is because your dentist will attach the implants to your jaw. Implants have been growing in popularity over the years due to their affordability and low maintenance needs.
Before installing the implants, your dentist will extract the damaged root and drill a hole on your jawbone. The dentist will then install a prosthetic root, also known as a post. The upper surface of the post will be attached to your jawbone using a crown to secure it in place. Bear in mind that it might take some time for the crown to get implanted into your bone.
Finally, your dentist will then attach an artificial tooth to replace your missing tooth.
Dentures Vs. Implants Costs
Dentures are less costly than dental implants. However, the actual cost varies depending on your location and the expertise of your dentist.
According to the American Dental Association, patients spend about $1,600 to $2,200 per tooth for an implant. On the other hand, patients spend about $1,600 for a pair of upper or lower dentures.
Maintenance Tips for Dentures and Implants
When choosing the correct teeth loss treatment option, it is best to think about maintenance. Read on to discover care tips for dentures and implants.
Dentures Maintenance Tips
Dentures require routine cleaning and maintenance to prevent stains and infections. Regular denture cleaning also promotes oral health. Poor denture cleaning habits can lead to plaque, bad breath, and gum disease. This occurs because dentures are susceptible to plaque.
Keep the following in mind when cleaning your dentures:
- Always remove your dentures to rinse them after every meal. While you are at it, use rubbing water to remove stuck food particles.
- Always use a soft toothbrush to clean your dentures.
- Brush your mouth using a soft-bristled toothbrush after removing your dentures.
- It is advisable to soak your dentures overnight.
- Remember to clean your dentures daily.
- Always visit your dentist for checkups.
Also, it is advisable to avoid bleaching products and whitening toothpaste as they can damage your dentures. It is also advisable to avoid hot water and abrasive cleaning materials.
Dental Implants Maintenance Tips
You also need to take care of your implants to promote oral health and longevity. Proper dental implant maintenance will keep oral disease at bay and save you time and money. Here is how to clean single implants:
- Always use soft bristles to prevent gum damage and bleeding.
- Remember to brush more than twice daily to remove bacteria and bad breath.
- Routine brushing also keeps plaque and tooth decay away.
- It is also advisable to use water flossers to remove bacteria stuck deep in your gum. A flosser also makes it easy to clean hard-to-reach areas.
- Avoid abrasive toothpaste.
- Finally, clean the area around the implants using floss to eliminate bacteria.
When it comes to cleaning 4 on 4 dental implants, remember to follow the steps above. Also, use a sulcus brush and a rubber tip simulator to clean the bridge and jawbone area.
Dentures Vs. Implants Safety Considerations
Another factor you might want to consider for dentures and implants is safety. Let’s discuss the safety considerations for both below.
Dentures are safe and effective when installed correctly. However, poorly installed dentures can cause pain, swelling, teeth loss, discomfort, bad breath, and sourness. That is why you should work with a certified dentist.
Like dentures, dental implants are also safe and effective. However, implants can cause an infection, gum and teeth damage, nerve damage, and sinus issues when done wrong. Similarly, it would be best if you work with a certified dentist.
Dentures Vs. Dental Implants: How to Choose the Best Option
Choosing between dentures and dental implants should not be difficult now that you know everything about them. However, it would help to consider the following factors before making the final choice:
1. Jawbone Density
You have to think about your jawbone density, especially if you prefer dental implants. Dental Implants require adequate jawbone density to support the crown and the post. Therefore, dental implants might not work for you if you don’t have enough bone density.
Luckily, you can opt for dental bone grafting to increase your jawbone density if you prefer dental implants. Bear in mind that you will spend more on this procedure.
2. Your Age
Your age will also determine the right solution for you. For instance, dental implants might work for you if you are young due to their increased longevity. On the other hand, dentures are perfect for patients who don’t want to undergo the exhausting procedures that come with dental implants.
3. Maintenance Needs
It is also vital to compare the maintenance requirements for both procedures. Dental Implants will work for you if you don’t have the time to care for your dentures. However, you will pay more for dental implants.
On the contrary, dentures are perfect if you want to avoid costly dental implants. Nevertheless, you still need to observe proper hygiene habits for your dentures or implants.
4. Your Comfort
Dentures and dental implants are life-changing procedures. As a result, you should consider your comfort before making the ultimate call. Dental Implants should be your go-to option if you prefer more comfort and functionality. However, implants are more expensive than dentures.
5. Health Effects
Both dental implants and dentures restore lost teeth and a complete smile. However, both have varying health effects. For instance, dental implants are less likely to cause discomfort because they are more stable.
Moreover, they support normal chewing and prevent jawbone wear. On the contrary, dentures lack the stability of implants. This means that food can get stuck on the jawbone. In addition, they don’t do an excellent job at preventing jawbone wear.
Dentures Vs. Dental Implants Advantages and Disadvantages
Check out the cons and pros of each option below.
Dental Implants Cons and Pros
Dental implants resemble the surrounding teeth and promote oral and jawbone health. They are also long-lasting and offer more support and stability for chewing and speech.
However, they are expensive and require surgery during installation. You might also have to undergo a sinus lift or bone graft.
Dentures Cons and Pros
Dentures are popular due to their affordability and low maintenance needs. You don’t need surgery doe dentures.
The biggest downside of dentures is that they need periodic replacement and maintenance. They can also be uncomfortable and don’t promote bone health.
Alternative Teeth Loss Replacement Options
Even though dentures and implants are the most popular teeth loss replacement options, you can also turn to the following worthy alternatives:
A snap-in denture is a combination of implant and dentures. They are also known as overdentures and fit into place using implants. Overdentures are growing in popularity since they are easy to place and offer more flexibility. However, they are more expensive than other options.
A dental bridge might be the ideal solution for you if you are only missing a few teeth. They are also known as fixed partial dentures and rely on the surrounding teeth for support.
Temporary Partial Denture
Popularly known as a flipper, a temporary partial denture is a prosthetic device with more than one tooth. They are easy to remove for cleaning.
Take the time to talk to your dentist when choosing between implants and dentures. Remember that implants might serve you for many years but are expensive. Dentures, on the other hand, are less costly and require little maintenance. Contact us today to learn more about implants and dentures.