Which is better: Dental Implants or Dentures?
Over the years, dentures have been the go-to solution for missing teeth. However, dental implants are now more popular thanks to their natural, superior results. Implants are the only tooth replacement option to offer a permanent solution. Their health and aesthetic benefits far outweigh those of traditional dentures.
Dr. Benjamin Stevens and his team at Beautiful Smiles in Greenwood, IN offer dental implants and traditional dentures. During your consultation, Dr. Stevens will discuss dental implants vs. dentures with you. We want you to feel informed about both options to make a sound decision about your health and well-being. Contact our local dentist office today to start your tooth replacement journey.
Dental Implants vs. Dentures
Denture implants and traditional dentures differ significantly in cost. Any dental implant-supported restoration will cost significantly more than the alternative. However, the difference between these two options is several tens of thousands of dollars. While implants can easily be viewed as an expense, the greatest point that Dr. Stevens will make is that dental implants are an investment in your health and overall quality of life.
With traditional dentures, their fit changes over the years because your jawbone continues to deteriorate over time. While they’re cheaper upfront, you incur extra, more unexpected costs over their lifespan. Your dentures have to fit properly to be functional and comfortable for your everyday use. We’ll need to reline, readjust, or replace your dentures when the fit has changed significantly. Dental implants don’t require this extra upkeep because the jawbone doesn’t continue to deteriorate.
The health benefits of implants far outweigh those of dentures. Dental implants allow for more food options, including many healthy foods that must be avoided with traditional dentures. This means you can maintain a healthier diet if you choose teeth implants. You get back almost 100% of your bite function with a dental implant restoration. Dentures only give you back around 30-40%, making foods like apples and other fresh fruits and vegetables impossible or difficult to consume.
Bone loss in the jaw is also a huge concern with traditional dentures, which can easily lead to further tooth loss, disease, and pain. Dental implants are the only available option that will halt bone loss. Also, some types of dentures put unnecessary pressure on healthy, remaining teeth. These teeth will weaken and are more susceptible to disease and decay. A denture implant does not require the use of remaining teeth.
When you lose the tooth root, you have a gap in your smile. Not only does the jawbone deteriorate, but the teeth around the gap that’s left start to shift around to try and fill that gap. Your tooth alignment becomes crooked and odd, because the teeth aren’t staying in their designated area. You have an uneven bite as well. This can put more pressure on certain teeth as the bite isn’t distributed evenly. Uneven bites also lead to issues with TMJ disorders.
Quality of Life
The difference between how both options will impact your quality of life is significant. Dental implants will not shift around in your mouth when trying to yawn, speak, eat, or laugh as dentures quite often do. This denture slippage can lead to the entire piece falling out or causing slurred speech. Denture wearers report that these embarrassing moments can affect their self-esteem. They will feel weird and bulky in your mouth for the first month or so while you acclimate to them.
Since dental implants avoid bone loss, they will help hold the shape of your face for a lifetime. Denture wearers have to deal with a mouth that is sunken in, deep wrinkles, and a pointed chin that slowly appears over the years, making them look much older than they are. A dental implant-supported denture will stay put in your mouth, function and feel like natural teeth and hold the shape of your face for a lifetime.
Dentures come with more maintenance than dental implants. They usually require adhesive so that they stay in your mouth properly. Adhesive is messy and you have to properly clean it off of your dentures each time you use it. Special brushes and soaks are needed to ensure that your dentures stay clean and free of bacteria. With dental implants, you just have to brush and floss like you would normally. We just recommend that you use soft toothbrushes and toothpastes that aren’t abrasive so that you don’t scratch or damage your restoration.
Patients need to know that having dental implants placed will involve surgeries and months of healing time. Compared to having a set of traditional dentures placed in less than a month, this may seem overwhelming. An implant denture can take up to a year, depending on the current state of your oral health, to complete. You will need to visit our Greenwood, IN family dentist office many times during your treatment and spend several months healing for the best results.