When you lose teeth, you want them replaced soon. How to replace them can be a tricky decision! With the high cost of dental work, it's important to educate yourself on the options available. Let's take a look at the differences between dental implants and dentures.
A dental implant is a post which the dentist surgically implants into the jawbone. This post acts as an anchor for a replacement tooth. Many people find implants a good choice for replacing just one or two missing teeth. However, implants can also be used to replace several or even all teeth. Today it is often possible to remove teeth and place new, fixed teeth all on the same day. (TeethXpress)
Advantages of Implants
- Once the implant is in your mouth, the replacement tooth can be treated like a normal tooth.
- There are no food or drink restrictions.
- Dental implants last a long time, often for the rest of the patient's life.
- Implants are good for your dental health! They act like a normal tooth, protecting the teeth around them and stimulating the surrounding bone.
- Implants help keep the jaw bone structure from melting away.
Disadvantages of Implants
- Implants require some surgery.
- The initial cost of the implants can be higher than other ways of replacing teeth.
Dentures are a removable appliance which replaces missing teeth. A partial denture replaces teeth where there are gaps, and the denture is anchored onto existing teeth. A complete denture replaces all the teeth in the upper and/or lower jaw.
Advantages of Dentures
- Dentures can be made to look like the rest of your teeth. They are customized for your mouth.
- Dentures are easily adjusted. If another tooth falls out, the denture can often be modified so it contains a new replacement tooth.
- Getting dentures does not require surgery.
- Dentures are usually not as expensive as implants.
Disadvantages of Dentures
- Dentures can be uncomfortable and even harmful to your overall dental health.
- Dentures can shift inside your mouth. Dental adhesives do not always work to keep them in place.
- Dentures should be removed at night.
- Foods can get trapped under dentures and cause discomfort or decay to remaining teeth.
- Dentures will require replacements and relines as the jaw ridges shrink.
- Dentures will not prevent jaw bone structures from melting away.
Which one is right for you?
Julie C Berger, DDS, MS is a local Gettysburg dentist and board certified prosthodontist.