If you’re missing all or most of your teeth, you have two choices to restore them: dental implants or dentures. Deciding between the two requires careful thought and discussion with your general dentist and oral surgeon. Although dental implants are usually the best choice to replace missing teeth, they’re not a fit for every patient’s needs. Here are some factors to consider when you’re choosing between dental implants vs. dentures.
Dental Implants Prevent Bone Loss
It’s impossible to research dental implants and not see this claim again and again—dental implants prevent and reverse bone loss. What does this mean, though? And why is it important?
Each of your teeth has a long root that is held in place by your jawbone. If you lose a tooth or have a tooth extracted, the root is no longer there to stimulate the bone. This sends a signal to your body that the bone in the jaw is not needed anymore; the bone then begins to break down so its minerals can be transported to other parts of the body. Also known as bone resorption, this process is bad news for your oral health.
As jawbone loss continues, you’ll experience:
- Facial collapse, which causes the jaw to recede and become sunken, resulting in a prematurely aged appearance
- A weakened bite and difficulty chewing
- Compromised dental health, as remaining teeth shift, become loose, or even fall out
Dental Implants Are a Complete Restoration
Traditional dentures only replace the visible portion of your missing teeth, while dental implants and the restorations that attach to them replace both the roots and crowns. This is why dental implants are able to prevent bone loss in the jaw.
Because dental implants replace your whole tooth, they function and feel more like your natural teeth than dentures. With traditional dentures, you’ll need to use messy denture pastes every day; they can cause irritation to your gums, make it hard to eat certain foods, and interfere with your speaking. Dental implants are much more stable and comfortable—in fact, you might even forget that you have them!
Dental Implants Are a Long-Term Solution
Dental implants are designed to be a permanent solution for your missing teeth. While the restorations that attach to your dental implants may need to be replaced at some point, the implants themselves are meant to last a lifetime once osseointegration (the fusing of the jawbone and implants) occurs.
Dentures Are More Affordable
One significant drawback to dental implants is their cost. Because they replace the roots and crowns of the teeth and require surgical placement, they cost more than dentures, which only replace a part of each missing tooth.
With so many benefits, dental implants are well-worth the cost involved. Your dental insurance may cover some of your costs, and in certain situations, your medical insurance may also provide coverage. For any costs that are not covered by your insurance, we accept CareCredit, which allows you to finance your procedure with affordable monthly payments.