With so many options available, we realize that making the final call on whether you’d like dentures or implants can be challenging.
In this blog, we’ll explain what to expect with each option, from the general procedure and cost to maintenance and more. Not only can this help make your decision a little easier, but you can also feel confident that you made the most appropriate choice for your teeth.
As always, if you have specific questions, we encourage you to contact your dentist.
Choosing Between Dentures and Dental Implants
First thing’s first: what is the difference between dentures and dental implants? Dentures are artificial teeth that mold to your mouth. Many types of dentures can be removed. However, there are also permanent options, which allow the teeth to stay within your mouth.
Dental implants operate as the root of your teeth. They’re made of titanium and stay in your mouth for the long term, leaving room for new teeth on top. You can get implants for any number of teeth. The same applies to dentures.
Now that you know a little more about dentures vs. dental implants, let’s dive into some specifics about how they work:
Procedure for Dentures vs. Implants
Here at Summit Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, the process of getting dentures starts with doing an impression inside your mouth (specifically the gums) so that we can determine what kind of dentures you need. At this step, we’ll figure out whether you require them for your full mouth or just a few teeth.
Your dentist will ask questions and inspect all parts of your jaw to make sure dentures won’t inhibit your ability to speak, bite down, or consume your food. After your dentist approves the design, and you give the green light, we’ll order your first set.
Once they arrive, we’ll have you come in to get fitted and make sure they are comfortable for your mouth. We can make modifications to the dentures as needed until you get the perfect fit. When we’re both satisfied with the design, we’ll order a new set (your first official pair).
To apply your dentures, we’ll use a special glue that is perfectly safe for your mouth and keeps the teeth steady and comfortable. They’ll go right onto your gums for a natural fit.
To begin a dental implant, your dentist will remove your existing root. Then, we’ll go into your jawbone beneath your gums to add an artificial, titanium implant. This procedure can be anywhere from one to two hours per implant.
Once you have the implant, you’ll need a crown. It can take a bit for your bone to adapt to the implant and become stable enough to add this component.
Therefore, we usually wait about 90 days or so to finish this process and insert artificial teeth–whether that’s one of our famous porcelain restoratives or a set of permanent dentures.
Cost of Dentures vs. Implants
Several factors affect the total cost of dentures or implants. Do you need full or partial dentures, for instance, to replace your teeth?
Dentures are typically covered by your dental insurance, and our dental practice takes most insurance policies. We also provide interest-free and low-interest financing for patients.
The cost for dental implants varies on account of the number of implants, as well as other variables that dentist takes into account. There are financing options available as needed.
Maintenance of Dentures vs. Implants
It’s important to care for your dentures and implants just as you would your real teeth. You’ll want to remove and brush your dentures twice each day with a soft toothbrush and denture cleaner. At night, we recommend letting your dentures soak in a denture cleaner to remove any grime and bacteria that might have built up during the day.
You can also take off the dentures after meals and take some time to brush them to keep them in good condition. If your dentures turn yellow over time, stop by Summit Family and Cosmetic Dentistry for a professional teeth cleaning.
Possible Complications From Dentures or Implants
Anytime you go through surgery, including dental surgery, there is a chance of infection. However, our titanium, biocompatible dental implants are safe, and we’ll keep a close eye on them at each dentist appointment to ensure they’re not infected.
As for dentures, they can be uncomfortable at times. That’s usually due to an incorrect fit, and we’re happy to adjust that.
Other Considerations Before Deciding on Dentures vs. Implants
The procedure, costs, maintenance, and potential complications from dentures or implants are important to keep in mind before making your choice. However, there are also a few other factors that should contribute to your decision:
There’s not necessarily a minimum or maximum age at which you should get dentures or implants. However, if you’re young and do not want to worry about taking your teeth in and out, dental implants might be right for you.
Removable dentures might be a better option if you don’t mind taking out your dentures after meals, you’re willing to take care of them, and you would rather not go through dental surgery. Regardless of your age, you’ll love that both choices provide natural-looking teeth that no one can tell apart from the real thing.
Since we have to enter your bone to add implants, this option might not be best for you if you suffer from bone loss. (This often occurs due to periodontal (gum) disease.)
If you’re unsure if you have enough bone in your jaw for an implant, don’t worry. Our team will do a thorough jaw inspection before adding in any implants to ensure that they’re the right choice for your mouth. If you’re worried about your bone density, dentures are a great option.
Functionality and Feel
Dental implants are considered the most comfortable and natural feeling. That’s because they remain in your mouth and function like real teeth. Dentures are removable, so they’re convenient. However, they might not feel quite as comfortable in that regard.
Keep in mind that you can combine dentures and dental implants in some cases, so there are plenty of options to ensure your new teeth function the way you desire and have the comfort to match. Talk to your dentist if you’d like to learn more.
Your implants and dentures can build up with bacteria if you don’t take proper care of them. That can put you just as much at risk of gum disease and other health issues as your regular teeth can.
Whether you select dentures or implants to replace your missing teeth, continue your normal brushing and flossing habits. If you don’t mind the extra steps to clean your removable dentures, that’s a good way to go. Dental implants are also great if you would like something that’s a little easier to upkeep.
There are many ways to approach teeth replacement. Dentures and dental implants are two of the best. Dental implants require a bit of surgery to get your new teeth in place, while dentures are removable. Both make it easy to go about your day–as long as you stay up to date on your oral care habits.
If you have any additional questions, your dentist is a phone call away.
Unsure whether dentures or dental implants are right for you? The Summit Family and Cosmetic Dentistry team is here to help. Request an appointment today to meet with Dr. López.