If you have lost one or more teeth, you’ll need to think about tooth replacement. Leaving the gap caused by a missing tooth can cause your remaining teeth to drift out of place. A missing tooth can prevent you from eating your favorite foods. It can also change the shape of your face. When it comes to replacing missing teeth, you have two options: dentures and dental implants. While both dentures and implants are viable solutions to missing teeth, there are significant differences between the two. The tooth replacement option you choose can have long-lasting consequences.
About Dentures and Dental Implants
Dentures are removable appliances that replace missing teeth in your upper or lower jaw. Partial dentures replace one or more adjacent teeth, while complete dentures replace the entire upper or lower “arch” of teeth.
Dental implants are metal posts that your dentist surgically implants into your jaw. In a process known as osseointegration, the metal post fuses with your jawbone over the course of months. Once osseointegration is complete, your dentist affixes a natural-looking dental crown onto the dental implants to replace your missing tooth. Dental implants look, feel, and function like your natural teeth. They are a permanent solution to missing teeth.
Dentures do have their benefits, though. In fact, dentures may be the right choice for some people.
Differences between Dental Implants and Dentures
Cost is always an important factor, of course. A complete set of upper dentures can cost just over $1600, while a single dental implant can cost anywhere between $1600 and $2200 per tooth. Dentures may be the right choice if funds are limited, but dental implants may be your best option if you prioritize your smile.
It is important to remember that the cost of dental implants is a one-time financial obligation, as dental implants last a lifetime. Dentures, on the other hand, must be replaced every five to ten years and those costs can add up.
Dentures do not require any surgery, whereas dental implants do. Dentures may be the best option for you if you are not interested in surgery or if you do not have enough jawbone to support dental implants.
If you do not have enough jawbone to support dental implants, your dentist may be able to perform a bone graft to transfer healthy bone into your jaw. This does require more surgery, though.
Look and feel
Dental implants look and feel like natural teeth because they are firmly anchored in your jawbone. Dentures, on the other hand, can slip and slide when you bite, chew, talk, or laugh. Dentures can also cause “hot spots,” which are painful sores caused by pressure on your gum tissue.
Dental implants are better than dentures when it comes to your oral health. When you chew food, your jaws exert a tremendous amount of pressure. This pressure travels down into the roots of your teeth and into the jawbone that holds your teeth. The pressure stimulates the jawbone and causes it to grow.
When you lose a tooth, the jawbone no longer gets the stimulation it needs to grow. The affected bone loses strength and density; in time, it can deteriorate so much that it changes the shape and appearance of your face. Dental implants provide the stimulation your jawbone needs to stay strong.
Dentures require upkeep and maintenance that involves removal and cleaning one or more times every day – more often if you eat foods that stick to your dentures or slip under the plate. You may also need to use adhesives to keep them in place.
It is easier to take care of dental implants – just brush and floss as you would your natural teeth!
For more information about dental implants versus dentures, and for assistance in determining which option is best for you, consult with your Melbourne, Florida oral surgeon, Dr. Sedaros. Every member of our team is committed to working with you for all your oral surgery needs.