Dental Implant or Dentures?
Missing teeth interfere with your ability to eat, speak, and smile with comfort and confidence. Missing teeth also lead to the deterioration of your jawbone. If you are missing all or most of your teeth and are considering replacement teeth, two popular options include dental implants and dentures. While both replace an entire set of missing teeth, you should consider several key differences before choosing one or the other.
Dentures and implants both replace missing teeth, but dental implants are the only permanent solution. Once implants are placed and have time to integrate with your jawbone they provid a stable base for crowns or dental prosthetics that mimic the look and function of your natural teeth. Dentures typically last 5-10 years before needing replacement. During that time, they may need to be relined as often as every two years for comfort.
Dental implants are an excellent choice if you want a solution to missing teeth that is convenient because they do not require special care. Once the implants and restorations are in place, you care for them like natural teeth, brushing, flossing, and regular dental checkups. Dentures must be removed at night and when you clean them. You will also have to use special cleansers and keep them in water when not wearing them.
If you travel frequently or have overnight guests, dentures can be awkward because you have to take them out at night. Dental implants are not removed by patients and look great all hours of the day and night.
Properly fitted dentures can be comfortable, but it can be challenging to find the perfect fit. As a result, many people find dentures don’t fit comfortably and interfere with eating certain foods. Getting food debris caught under your dentures is unpleasant. Dentures that slip or shift can be embarrassing and interfere with speaking clearly as well as eating. Dentures also put extra pressure on your gums, absorbing the force of your bite, which can irritate the gums. Dental implants transfer chewing forces to bone.
Dental implants are more comfortable in the long run because they fuse with the jawbone, becoming an integral part of the mouth. You can eat foods you like without worrying about your new teeth slipping or shifting. However, there is more discomfort after implant surgery. You will experience some pain and swelling during the healing process. You will also need to eat a soft diet for a few weeks to avoid compromising the healing process.
Both dentures and dental implants look like natural teeth, but implants minimize the signs of aging in the face in ways dentures can’t. As you age, your face loses facial volume. If you wear dentures, this can be more noticeable because your jawbone deteriorates where natural teeth are missing. This contributes to a sunken appearance. Dental implants preserve the strength and mass of the jawbone, helping retain facial volume.
The cost of dental implants may be a sticking point for some people. Implant placement is an invasive surgical procedure. By contrast, dentures are relatively inexpensive when purchased. Over time, however, the cost difference narrows.
Dentures require frequent relining (usually every two years) to ensure a good fit and need replacement every 5-10 years. If you wear them for twenty years, you will pay a significant amount to replace and repair them. The cost of special denture cleaners is also a consideration.
Although there are benefits and drawbacks to both dentures and dental implants, most people prefer dental implants. We can answer your questions and explain the process if you are considering dental implants to replace your missing teeth. Making an informed decision is the first step toward successful, comfortable replacement teeth that last a lifetime. Contact our office at 907-278-5678 to schedule a consultation.
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