Dental Implants vs Dentures
With over half the adult population missing one or more of their teeth, dentists see patients needing a false tooth or teeth on a daily basis. There are two leading solutions for missing teeth – dentures and dental implants. At Art of Dentistry Institute in Irvine, we are happy to answer all of our patients’ questions regarding these restorative dental options by going over the pluses and minuses of each.
Dentures have been around for a long time. Historians note that even President George Washington had four pairs of dentures; however, they were used long before then. Today’s complete dentures can replace a whole mouth of missing teeth, or there are partial dentures which only replace a few teeth and typically connect to surrounding teeth. Dentures are considered relatively affordable and the cost is often covered by dental insurance companies. Although dentures may be a viable solution for missing teeth, below are some complaints we hear from people wearing them.
- Dentures can cover your palette limiting your sense of taste
- Dentures can be uncomfortable
- Dentures need to be removed at night
- Dentures become loose
- Dentures slip out of place creating embarrassing moments
- Dentures require adhesive
- Dentures require a restrictive diet as it’s hard to chew tough foods such as steak
- Dentures make many patients feel old
As a dentist, one of the most rewarding things we do is make people smile. Replacing missing teeth can be a tough process to go through emotionally but we see the most positive outcomes through those who turn towards implant dentistry. Dental implants are the most innovative solution for tooth loss. Our Art of Dentistry Institute team and patients alike appreciate implant dentistry for many reasons including:
- Dental implants look and feel like your natural teeth
- Dental implants are a permanent solution
- They do not become loose
- They are not removed at night
- Dental implants do not slip out of place
- Patients enjoy a full diet with dental implants as there are no food restrictions
What Are Easier to Get – Dentures vs Dental Implants?
Dentures are hands down, an easier solution to get. Dentures are an oral prosthetic that require impressions which are sent to a lab where the denture(s) is created to fit the patients mouth. Dentures often fit snug at first however, over time, they lose their shape or the jaw bone diminishes and the denture often needs to be repaired, replaced and / or relined.
Dental Implants, though a longer process to receive, are considered permanent once surgically placed in the jaw. Getting dental implants takes at least two dental visits with several months in between. During the first visit, Dr. Hawary will secure the screw-like tooth implant into the jaw where the missing tooth once was. The implant acts as a titanium tooth root. This is left for several months to integrate into the jawbone so that the false tooth that will be attached will have a completely secure anchor. Months later, the crown (visible false tooth) will be attached to the implant.
What is More Affordable – Dentures vs Implants?
Basic dentures are largely covered by dental insurance plans and so out-of-pocket expenses are kept to a minimum. However, dentures usually will need professional upkeep which gradually drives the cost up over time. Dentures also come in a variety of options in materials used so the cost can range from hundreds to thousands.
Dental implants are not often covered by insurance companies however, we have seen an uptick in insurance companies beginning to see them as the new gold-standard in tooth replacement and covering a portion of the procedure. Dental implants usually cost around $4500-$5000 per tooth. This cost is a onetime investment for a natural looking and acting, permanent false tooth. To keep costs down, securing a permanent denture to 2 or more dental implants per arch may be a viable solution. Please discuss this option combining both dentures and dental implants with your dentist at your consultation.
What are a Healthier Solution – Dentures vs Implants?
Dental implants offer a healthier solution for missing teeth in multiple ways.
- Implants stimulate the jawbone preventing bone loss. This helps preserve face shape. Without an artificial tooth root, the bone no longer needs to support a root and begins to deteriorate. Dentures do not offer an artificial tooth root and therefore denture wearers typically experience jawbone weakness and bone deterioration over time, giving them a sunken in face look when not wearing the denture(s).
- Dental implants are also the healthier choice as they offer patients a full diet with no food restrictions.
- Dental implants look and feel like natural teeth so patients do not have to worry about others knowing that they are missing teeth, nor do they ever have to worry about dental implants slipping out of place like dentures can when talking or having meals.
Have Questions about Tooth Replacement Options?
We at Irvine’s Art of Dentistry Institute want all of our patients to make the best decision for them. Some patients are very happy with dentures while others prefer implants and others opt for implant supported dentures which combines the two. To learn more about these options, please give us a call for a consultation. We look forward to giving you a wonderful dental experience.