The Differences Between Dentures and Implants That You Should Know
You may have asked the question, “What is the difference between dentures and implants?” Although dentures and implants both offer a solution to missing or failing teeth, they are quite different in terms of their construction, application, and functionality.
When thinking about the differences between dentures and implants, it is important to first look at the structure of the two solutions:
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that provide a stable, permanent base to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth, or a full arch of teeth. Patients who need to replace a full upper or lower set of teeth may choose fixed full-arch dental implants where multiple implants are placed into the jaw bone. Dental implants are composed of three main parts:
- Crown: Natural-looking prosthesis that is placed onto the abutment.
- Abutment: Serves as the connector between the crown and the implant.
- Dental Implant: Titanium implant placed into the jawbone that grows and heals around the implant on average within two-to-four months.
Although both dentures and implants are used to replace missing and failing teeth there are many differences. In contrast, dentures are artificial teeth and gums that rely on the tissues in the mouth for support and can restore up to 20% of chewing capacity. Additionally, upper dentures are generally better tolerated than lower dentures, which can be less stable.
Making the Choice Between Dentures and Implants
As you dig deeper into the question “What is the difference between dentures and implants?” you may want to consider your lifestyle and overall dental goals. Here are some categories to consider when making the decision between dentures and implants:
- Stability and Function: Dental implants provide a much more stable and natural feel when compared to dentures. Once the implants are fully integrated with the jawbone (osseointegration), they act as a solid foundation for replacement teeth. This stability allows for better chewing efficiency, improved speech, and increased confidence during social interactions, as there is no risk of dental implants slipping or moving.
- Bone Health: When natural teeth are lost, the underlying jawbone can begin to deteriorate due to the lack of stimulation. Dentures sit on top of the gums and do not provide the necessary stimulation to prevent bone loss. Dental implants, on the other hand, mimic the function of natural tooth roots and stimulate the jawbone, helping to preserve bone density and shape.
- Longevity: Dental implants are a long-term solution for tooth replacement. With proper care and maintenance, dental implants can last for many, many years. Dentures, on the other hand, may need to be replaced or relined every few years due to wear and changes in the jawbone shape.
- Oral Health: Dental implants do not require the support of neighboring teeth, as is the case with certain types of dentures. This means adjacent healthy teeth do not need to be altered or shaved down to accommodate the prosthetic, preserving their natural structure.
- Aesthetics: Dental implants offer a highly aesthetic result. They closely resemble natural teeth in terms of appearance, shape, and color. With dental implants, there is less risk of the sunken facial appearance often associated with long-term denture use, as they help maintain the jawbone’s structure.
- Convenience: Unlike removable dentures, dental implants are fixed in place and do not require removal for cleaning or maintenance. Patients can care for dental implants just like natural teeth, with regular brushing, water flossing, and dental check-ups.
- Improved Speech: Dental implants can help improve speech, as they eliminate the risk of dentures slipping or causing speech impediments.
- Dietary Freedom: With dental implants, individuals can enjoy a wider variety of foods without worrying about the limitations and potential discomfort that may occur with dentures.
Can Dental Implants Replace Dentures?
Another question you may ask when you consider dentures and implants is “Can dental implants replace dentures?” The short answer is yes. If dentures are preventing you from eating your favorite foods or having the best quality of life possible, then dental implants may be a more optimal solution for your dental goals.
Despite the benefits of dental implants, it’s important to note that dental implants may not be suitable for everyone, so if you’re in dentures and asking the question “Can dental implants replace dentures?” you may want to consider attending a free consultation to learn more about your oral condition and speak with a doctor to determine if you’re a candidate for dental implants. Some patients may have certain health conditions or inadequate bone density that could affect their candidacy for dental implant surgery. In such cases, dentures or other alternatives may be recommended by a dentist or oral surgeon. It’s essential to consult with a dental professional to determine the best tooth replacement option based on individual needs and circumstances.
Making the Best Choice for Your Lifestyle
Ultimately, the choice between dentures and implants depends on various factors, including the individual’s oral health, budget, and personal preferences. It’s essential to consult a doctor to determine the most suitable option for your specific needs. Dentures and implants both offer solutions for replacing missing teeth, but dental implants have several advantages over traditional dentures.
At ClearChoice, we aim to help you achieve optimal dental health and are committed to improving the lives of those suffering with failing teeth by providing the best care possible to transform your life in a positive, meaningful way. If you have additional questions about the difference between dentures and implants or want to learn more about permanent teeth replacement options, schedule a free consultation at your local ClearChoice center today.