Dentures vs Implants: Pros and Cons Comparison

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Close up of dentist treating female patient teeth

Having missing, discolored, or unhealthy teeth can be embarrassing – but thankfully, issues like these are quite treatable with dentures or dental implants.

Dentures and dental implants in the past used to be uncomfortable and also tended to look somewhat unnatural. The color, shape, and size of the artificial teeth often didn’t match. But thankfully, dental restoration has improved quite a bit over the years.

Dental restoration has been around for hundreds of years. The first dentures dated back to 2500 BC when animal teeth were used to replace human ones! Dentures made a big comeback in the 1700s as sugarcane (and cavities) became more common. Dentures could be made from ivory, gold, or other real human teeth.

Dentures are now made from acrylic resin. This is hard like natural teeth but can also be easily replaced and is relatively inexpensive. Additionally, it can be customized to match any remaining teeth’ shape and tone, so it looks natural.

If you are looking to replace missing or unhealthy teeth, you may want to weigh the options of dentures versus dental implants. Both of these dental treatments are viable solutions for teeth restoration. However, dentures may be a better choice for some, while dental implants may be best for others.

Let’s discuss.

Dentures

Dentures aren’t just something that your grandparents have to use anymore! The latest dentures are designed to be more comfortable and natural-looking. They are a popular solution for people with highly damaged teeth, excessive cavities, or bone/gum loss.

Dentures have an acrylic base that matches the shape of the gums and is attached with temporary adhesives. Some dentures also have a mental framework for extra support. Dentures can be worn all day, but they are typically removed at night and soaked in an antibacterial solution to kill any germs.

All dentures are custom made to fit each person’s mouth. Although they may take some time to get used to, a well-fitting denture should not be painful or uncomfortable.

Complete and Partial

Most people assume that dentures are used to replace all of the teeth in the mouth. While complete dentures are available, dentures can be used for partial teeth replacements to fill in space, typically of two or more teeth. Partial dentures commonly have a metal or plastic framework that fits around the remaining teeth to hold the artificial teeth in place firmly.

Pros of Dentures

Dental students while working on the denture

There are many benefits that dentures offer for people who require dental replacement of their teeth.

First, they are considered an affordable option – and the cost is generally covered partially by insurance.

They are a good option for people with additional dental issues, such as gum or bone loss. Dentures also do not require any surgeries (beyond teeth removal), so they are non-invasive and painless.

The process is generally fast, too. You will only need to book an appointment for measurements and molds, along with a few follow-ups to ensure that the dentures fit in your mouth comfortably.

Finally, dentures can be rather easily repaired or replaced if they get damaged or lost.

Cons of Dentures

Although dentures are made to be durable, they do wear down over time. They can also be easily damaged if they are not taken care of properly. If the dentures are scratched or chipped, they may need to be replaced, as this could cause bacterial growth.

Dentures may also need to be replaced if the person’s gums, mouth, or remaining teeth change. If the denture is not perfectly shaped to the wearer’s mouth, it can cause pain, discomfort, or even injury.

Dentures also require extra care. They need to be removed and cleaned every night and require special brushes and cleaning solutions. Wearers may also need to avoid sticky or hard foods, as this could loosen the adhesive or damage the dentures themselves.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are the ideal replacement option for missing teeth.

The dental implant treatment process takes a bit longer than dentures, but they are designed to be a permanent solution. They can also be used for individual tooth replacement, as well as a replacement for a full set of teeth.

Permanent Teeth Replacement

Dental implants are permanent, so they do require a surgical procedure.

Once the natural teeth are extracted, a titanium post is implanted into the jawbone. This helps to create a secure connection and bond for a permanent attachment. After it is implanted, the bone around the titanium post will heal, making this a solid foundation for the dental implant. This process generally takes 10-12 weeks. Once the implant is bonded, the replacement teeth will be secured through pieces called “abutments.”

All dental implants are specially created for each individual to fit naturally with their mouth shape and the color/size of any remaining teeth. You shouldn’t even be able to tell the difference between a natural tooth and a dental implant!

Pros of Dental Implants

Dental implantation procedure

One of the most significant benefits of dental implants is that they are a permanent, long-lasting solution to missing teeth. This makes them much easier to care for than dentures – since you need to brush and floss them as you would with regular teeth. If they are taken care of, dental implants can last up to 20 or more years!

Dental implants also allow for bone growth and preserve the natural facial structure of the jaw. Once the mouth has adapted, it should not cause any discomfort around the gum area, unlike ill-fitting dentures.

Cons of Dental Implants

One of the most significant downsides is the higher cost of dental implants. These are more expensive than dentures.

Dental implants are a long-term investment. The good news is many dental offices offer payment plan options to make this process affordable.

Secondly, dental implants are more invasive compared to dentures, and the process does require dental surgery. Some people may also need additional procedures, such as bone or gum grafting.

This can be scary for people who get anxious around the dentist. Thirty-six percent of people admit they are afraid of visiting the dentist due to their fear of pain associated with surgery! However, with the right dentist, you will not experience any pain or discomfort during the procedure. At Jones & Copeland Smiles, we offer sedation with surgery – meaning you will not feel a thing and only have pleasant memories of your visit!

Dental implants require some downtime after the initial procedure while the gums and jaw bone heal. Once the implants are connected and sealed, you can treat them like regular teeth and enjoy any food you want!

Which Is the Best Choice?

Portrait of young smiling woman, at home

When deciding between dentures versus dental implants, it is always important to weigh your options with a knowledgeable, experienced dentist. Many factors could determine which dental replacement option is better than the other. These reasons will vary based on the individual.

Dentures are great if you are looking for an affordable, quick solution for dental replacement. However, they do require a bit more care and upkeep.

Dental implants are right if you want a permanent solution so you can “fix it and forget it.” But the process is a bit more invasive and time-consuming – as well as more of an expense.

Ultimately, this decision depends on your mouth, teeth, gum, and bone health and structure – as well as the recommendation from your dentist.

Conclusion

Everyone deserves to feel confident about their teeth.

If you want a solution for missing or damaged teeth in your smile, now is the time to talk to a dentist about your options – such as dentures versus dental implants.

Here at Jones & Copeland Smiles, we can work with you one-on-one to weigh out all of your dental care options and find a treatment plan that works for you. We have helped thousands of people in Flowery Branch, Georgia, get that healthy, glowing smile they have always wanted.

Reach out to us today to book an appointment!


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