Dental Implants vs. Dentures: Which One Is the Better Treatment?

Are you looking for a cost-effective replacement for your missing tooth? Do you want to restore your confidence after tooth loss? When it comes to artificial teeth and restoring your smile, dentures are no longer the only option. Dental implants could be the right option for you if you need alternative tooth replacement options!

Dental implants provide natural-looking results that can last long with proper care. Unlike dentures, they are more secure and can give you confidence when talking and eating. These benefits make dental implants a preferred option to dentures. Dive in to learn more about dental implants and their difference from dentures.

dental surgeon with dental crown in hands model talks to patient about prosthetics. man at the dentist's appointment

Dental implants and dentures are two common options for replacing missing teeth. While dental implants are more expensive than dentures, they offer a more natural look and can last longer with proper care. Dental implants are surgically implanted into the jawbone and provide a secure foundation for replacement teeth.

In contrast, dentures are a cheaper option that involves artificial teeth attached to a gum-colored base. While they can improve oral function, dentures are less stable than implants and may require refitting or replacement every few years. Both options may have food restrictions.

Ultimately, the choice between dental implants and dentures depends on the individual’s specific needs.

How Do Dental Implants Compare to Dentures in Terms of Appearance?

Dental implants and dentures have significant differences when it comes to their appearance. Despite these differences, both prostheses are fabricated to restore the appearance and function of natural teeth.

Dental implants are made of metal posts that provide a base for a fixed or removable prosthesis. This treatment is a minimally invasive procedure wherein titanium posts are surgically placed into the jaw bone. Eventually, the implant post will integrate with the surrounding bone to serve as a stable foundation. Below are the different parts of a dental implant and their uses:

  • Implant post:
    This is a small, metal screw-like post made of titanium surgically inserted into the jaw bone.

  • Abutment:
    This small connector rests on top of the titanium post and holds a replacement tooth or prosthesis in place.

  • Replacement tooth or prosthesis:
    This is the visible portion of the implant attached to the abutment and replaces the missing tooth. This could be a crown, bridge, or denture.

Dental implants are the only restoration that directly attaches to bone tissue. The titanium screws act as an artificial tooth root, providing the implant with a strong and stable foundation. This way, titanium implants are able to mimic the anatomy of a real tooth structure.

Meanwhile, conventional dentures are the most common type of tooth replacement. This is the cheapest teeth replacement procedure making it a popular option for patients. Listed below are the different types of dentures:

  • Complete dentures:
    Complete dentures are an oral appliance used to replace a full arch of teeth. They consist of artificial teeth mounted onto a gum-coloured base, which looks and feels natural against the gums. With proper cleaning, complete dentures can provide reliable replacement teeth for missing ones.

  • Partial dentures: Partial dentures are a popular choice among those who need to replace some of their teeth but not all. These removable appliances consist of a metal framework, a pink acrylic base, and false teeth. They attach to the remaining natural teeth with clasps for secure retention. They provide both an aesthetic and practical solution for missing teeth, as they restore the mouth’s function and provide an improved appearance.

Which Restoration Can Better Improve My Overall Oral Function?

Dental implants and dentures are two of the most popular restorative treatment options when replacing missing or damaged teeth.

Dental implants are long-term tooth replacements consisting of a metal rod inserted into the jawbone, with a prosthesis like a crown, bridge, or denture attached on top. Dentures, on the other hand, are removable dental appliances that replace multiple missing teeth. Both restorations can improve your oral function, but how do you decide which is better?

It is important to understand the pros and cons of dentures and dental implants to make an informed decision. Although tooth implants provide superior strength and stability, which allows patients to eat, talk and smile without worrying about shifting or falling out prosthesis, they require a more costly and complex procedure. Dental implant placement procedures take at least 5-8 months to complete.

On the other hand, while traditional dentures may not be as strong as implants, they offer more convenience since the treatment time is shorter. This allows denture wearers to have restored oral function in a shorter time.

Ultimately, the choice between dentures and implants depends on your unique needs. Consulting an experienced dentist will determine which dental treatment will improve your dental health and quality of life.

Are Dental Implants Replaced as Often as Dentures?

Dental implants are meant to be long-lasting. With a proper level of care, they can last at least 25 years or more. They are durable and won’t need to be replaced unless dental implant failure occurs, which is a rare occurrence.

In contrast, dentures must usually be changed every 5-7 years. This is because the material used for dentures wears with continued use, and the dentures loosen over time.

Ultimately, compared to dentures, dental implants are longer-lasting and do not need to be replaced as often as dentures.

Can Dental Implants Fall Out or Become Loose Like Dentures Can?

Dental implants are made to stay secure and avoid any movement. They are integrated with the jawbone to prevent loosening and remain stable over time. However, although implant success rates are generally high, occasionally, implants may fail and fall out. This may be due to poor planning, surgical technique, gum disease or other infections that cause bone loss.

In comparison, dentures require refitting or replacement every few years. Depending on the extent of tooth loss, the natural bone shrinks due to bone resorption, requiring the denture to be adjusted for a better fit. However, even with regular visits for adjustments, dentures may still loosen over time and require the aid of denture adhesives.

Therefore, although dental implants can get loose or fall out, it does happen very rarely in comparison to dentures.

Are There Any Food Restrictions With Dental Implants or Dentures?

Yes, there are food restrictions that should be followed with both dental implants and dentures.

For dental implants, avoiding hard, sticky, and crunchy foods during the initial healing period is recommended. These foods require stronger chewing forces and can strain the implant. This can lead to discomfort and delay the healing process. Once the implant has fully integrated with the jawbone and the abutment and prosthesis have been placed, most patients can return to their normal diet and eat a wider variety of food. However, patients are reminded to exercise caution and avoid biting into very hard objects, such as ice or hard candies, to prevent damaging the prosthesis and the implant.

As for dentures, it’s generally recommended to avoid tough foods, as these can dislodge the dentures or cause discomfort. Sticky or chewy foods should also be avoided, as they can stick to dentures and cause them to shift or come loose. Patients should also be careful with very hot or cold foods, as extreme temperatures can warp the denture, affecting how they fit. Over time, patients may become more accustomed to wearing dentures and can eat a wider variety of food. However, it’s important to exercise caution and avoid foods that can damage the dentures or cause discomfort.

Patients with dental implants or dentures should work closely with a dental practitioner to develop an appropriate diet plan that considers their needs and preferences.

How Much More Expensive Are Dental Implants Compared to Dentures? Is It Worth It?

The cost of dental implant procedures compared to dentures can vary widely depending on several factors, such as the number of teeth being replaced, the materials used, and the location of the dental office. Generally, dental implants are the more expensive option than dentures, with an average price of $4,000 to $6,000 per implant, not including fees for additional procedures, such as dental bone grafting or sinus lifts. On the other hand, dentures are the more affordable treatment. Complete dentures can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $4,000, depending on the materials used.

While the initial cost of dental implant procedures is higher than dentures, they offer several advantages that make them worth the investment for some patients. Dental implants are designed to look, feel, and function like natural teeth, and they are a long-term solution to tooth loss. They can also help preserve the bone density in the jaw, preventing further tooth loss and maintaining the natural contours of the face. Dental implants have a high success rate and can last many years with proper care and dental hygiene.

Ultimately, whether dental implants are worth the cost will depend on each patient’s unique situation, budget, and goals. Discussing all treatment aspects with a qualified dentist is important to determine the most suitable option for your needs.

Final Thoughts

Dental implants and dentures are popular tooth replacement options for patients. However, the numerous benefits of dental implants make dental implants better than dentures. They provide added comfort and convenience.

Unlike dentures that can slip around and cause irritation and discomfort, titanium dental implants provide natural-feeling teeth that promote healthy dental structure while enabling patients to chew their food more easily. Additionally, between dental implants vs dentures, the former has been proven to have better longevity.

If you are suffering from tooth loss and looking for an alternative to dentures, call or visit us today at Peel Dental Studio! Our experienced team of dental professionals can help you with our high-quality dental implant treatment! We will discuss your needs and goals and tailor a treatment plan to improve oral health.

Frequently Asked Questions

When it comes to the dental procedure itself, dental implant surgery is generally considered a safe and effective procedure. It is a minor surgery that can cause discomfort or pain.

The pain level experienced during and after the surgery can vary depending on the patient’s pain tolerance, the number of implants being placed, and the location of the implant. During the procedure, local anesthetics are used to numb the area around the implant, which can help minimize pain. However, pain and discomfort are expected once the anesthetic wears off and during the recovery period. Your dentist will prescribe pain medications to alleviate these.

It is always advised to consult your dentist before the procedure to discuss any concerns about pain management during and after the oral surgery.

If you have recently undergone a dental implant surgical procedure, you may ask how long it will take to finally return to your normal eating habits and have your favourite foods. The answer depends on the number of dental implants and other factors associated with your surgery. Generally, it takes around three to six months for the implant to fuse with the jawbone. After this, patients can return to their normal dietary habits without worry.

Dental implants are given to patients with good general dental and physical health. Listed below are the qualifications for getting a dental implant:

  • Adults with missing teeth.
  • Dental patients with an adequate jawbone to support the implant.
  • Non-smokers or persons willing to quit smoking before and during the implant process.

However, there are situations when a person is not qualified to get an implant. The reasons why are listed below:

  • Patients without sufficient bone density to support the implant.
    Healthy bone structure and adequate bone mass are required to achieve stable support for the implant. Patients with insufficient bone density must undergo additional surgery like a bone graft or sinus lift to augment and stimulate bone growth and be qualified for this treatment.

  • Patients with gum or periodontal disease.
    Healthy gum tissue is needed for implant success. Patients with gum disease must undergo treatment prior to dental implant treatment.

  • Patients with long-term health issues like uncontrolled diabetes or other chronic health conditions that may affect bone healing. Dentists may have to adjust treatment plans for patients with medical health issues or suggest alternative treatment procedures.

  • Patients who are receiving radiation therapy in the head or neck area. Radiation drastically changes the jawbone’s structure and increases the risk of bone death, also called osteonecrosis. For this reason, dental surgery in such patients is contraindicated.

Daily care and cleaning of dental implants are essential to keep them in good condition. The steps for cleaning dental implants are as follows:

  • Brush your teeth twice daily with a soft toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste.
  • Floss daily to prevent tooth decay and remove plaque and food particles between the implant and the surrounding teeth.
  • Use an antiseptic mouthwash to help reduce the risk of bacterial infection and to freshen your breath.
  • Have regular dental visits for check-ups and professional cleanings at least every six months.

To maintain and prolong the lifespan of dental implants, it’s essential to follow the specific instructions provided by your dentist. Remember that good oral hygiene helps ensure your implants are in tip-top shape!

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Peel Dental Studio

Dr. Bailey formerly served on the Australian Dental Association as President, Vice President Treasurer and Country Councillor. He was on the Australian Dental Association Federal Council and has always been keen to give back to the profession that has been his life. He has tutored student dentists at the Oral Health Centre in Perth.