Permanent dentures and dental implants are two common treatments for replacing missing teeth. Both options have their advantages and drawbacks, and the best choice for you depends on your unique situation. So, which is better dentures or dental implants?
This article will quickly compare permanent dentures and dental implants, discussing their differences, pros and cons, and maintenance needs.
What Are Permanent Dentures?
Permanent dentures are prosthetic tooth replacements held in place by dental adhesives. They replace multiple teeth and are made from metal and plastic components. Permanent dentures can last up to 5 to 7 years before needing replacement.
Benefits of Permanent Dentures
- More affordable than dental implants. Permanent dentures are a less expensive option for tooth replacement.
- Ability to chew food and speak clearly. Permanent dentures are designed to fit securely in the mouth, allowing you to eat and talk normally with them in place. Compared to removable dentures, they are more comfortable to wear and less likely to slip.
- Enhanced confidence. Because permanent dentures look more natural than removable dentures, they can help you feel more confident when smiling and speaking. As mentioned, they are less likely to slip when chewing, biting, and talking, so you don’t have to worry about embarrassment when they become loose or fall out.
- Improved oral health. Permanent dentures support your remaining teeth, which helps improve oral health and reduce the risk of tooth decay or gum disease.
- The entire process is not as long as dental implants. Permanent dentures can be made and fitted in two dental visits, while dental implants require multiple visits and typically take six to eight months or more to complete.
Drawbacks of Permanent Dentures
- They don’t last as long as dental implants. Permanent dentures must be replaced after five to seven years, while dental implants can last up to 25 years or more with proper care.
- They may cause bone loss. Permanent dentures cover the jawbone, which can lead to bone loss over time as the jaw is not being used as it would be without the dentures in place.
- Maintenance needs more attention. Permanent dentures must be adjusted and relined every few years to keep them fitting properly in your mouth and prevent infection or decay. They also need daily care, such as soaking overnight and regular cleaning to prevent staining or damage from bacteria or plaque buildup.
- They are not as secure as dental implants. Some people may find their permanent dentures loose or slip when eating or speaking, which can be embarrassing and uncomfortable.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are a tooth replacement procedure that replaces both the root and crown of missing teeth. They are made from titanium rods surgically placed into the jawbone, with an abutment used to attach a prosthetic crown, dentures, or bridge. Dental implants can last for many years with proper care.
Benefits of Dental Implants
- Long-lasting results. Since dental implants fuse with your jawbone, they provide a secure and durable foundation for your new teeth. With proper care, they can last 25 years or more before needing replacement.
- More natural look and feel. Compared to other tooth replacement options like bridges or dentures, dental implants look more like natural teeth because they’re permanently fused to your jawbone.
- Improved oral health. Dental implants help preserve the natural structure of your mouth, which helps maintain the proper alignment of your teeth and promotes better oral hygiene.
- No special maintenance is required. Unlike other tooth replacement options that need to be adjusted or relined over time, dental implants require minimal maintenance once they’re in place. You only need to brush and floss them just like regular teeth.
Drawbacks of Dental Implants
- Expensive compared to dentures. The cost for dental implants can range from $1,000 -$4,000 per tooth, depending on the type of implant and restoration used. This makes them significantly more expensive than dentures or bridges.
- Requires surgery. Unlike dentures, dental implants require surgery to place them in the jawbone. This can be a lengthy and uncomfortable process for some patients. That’s why choosing an experienced dentist for this procedure is important to avoid complications. See dentistry services at Sea Girt for more information about the dental implant process.
- Risk of infection. As with any surgical procedure, there is always a risk of infection at the implant site that would need to be treated with antibiotics or an additional procedure.
- Longer treatment time. Like an advanced orthodontic technology treatment for straightening teeth called Invisalign, dental implants can take six to eight months or more.
The Bottom Line: The Right Treatment for You Depends on Your Needs
Whether you choose permanent dentures or dental implants to replace your missing teeth, it’s essential to consider all the pros and cons before deciding. Speak with your dentist about which option is right for you based on your budget, lifestyle, and long-term goals.