Tooth loss can feel distressing and uncomfortable. With two restoration options, dentures vs dental implants, which is the right choice for you?

There are so many factors to consider when choosing: how they look, how much they cost and more. At Dental Masters, we’re here to help you decide which option is right for you.

We’ll help you go over all the facts and teach you everything you need to know about dentures vs dental implants.

Dental Implants vs Dentures: Which is Right For You?

What are Dentures?

In simple terms, dentures are a removable appliance that you can take in and out of your mouth. Replacing both your missing and damaged gum tissue.

With a pink gum colored acrylic base, dentures base support the actual denture teeth.

Some types of dentures might have a lightweight framework made from metal. This is to provide more strength and support to the dentures.

When choosing dentures, there’s two different types: complete dentures, or partial dentures. Let’s go over the difference.

Complete Dentures

First, complete or full dentures replace all the teeth in the upper or lower jaw or in both jaws.

Complete dentures rest directly on the gums.

Partial Dentures

Partial dentures, on the other hand, are used to fill in gaps. Because of this, partial dentures are more often used when some of the natural teeth still remain.

These dentures are supported by clasps around existing teeth. Partial dentures may also be attached with precision attachments that are fitted onto crowns.

Pros of Dentures

  • Dentures are less expensive than implants.
  • Dentures can be placed in by patients who have experienced bone and gum loss (unlike implants, which must be anchored to bone).
  • The procedure for fitting dentures is non-invasive. Also, drilling into the bone–a part of the implant process–is not required for dentures.
  • The process to make dentures is relatively quick, and only require about four dental visits.

Cons of Dentures

  • Adjustments or replacements may be necessary, as the structure of your face and gums change with age.
  • Dentures can take some getting used to and may be uncomfortable at first, especially during the first day or two of wearing them. You might experience increased salivation, difficulty chewing, and difficulty speaking.
  • Just like regular teeth, dentures will require daily care. Infection around the mouth and gums can occur if your dentures aren’t properly cared for.

What are Dental Implants?

A dental implant is technically a titanium implant, shaped like a post, that is directly inserted into the jawbone. 

Dental implants are used to replicate the natural root of a tooth. A permanent solution to replace one missing tooth, or several missing teeth.

The post of the implant will bond directly to the jawbone. Creating somewhat of an anchor, which then holds the new replacement tooth.

Not only can this option be used to replace single, more than one tooth, it can also support crowns and even dentures.

Dental implants are more similar to natural teeth. Requiring similar care and are meant to last the patient a lifetime.

Additionally, dental implants may help to maintain the jaw’s structure. Which in turn, prevents a sunken facial structure. This is commonly seen in patients who have experienced extreme tooth loss.

How Dental Implants Work

To put in dental implants, the titanium post will first be placed into the jawbone. Acting as the anchor for the new tooth on top. 

This complex procedure will require a very extreme level of expertise in the field. In order for it to be completed properly and safely. We recommend that you seek out a dental office with the needed experience.

The placement of a dental implant usually involves the following steps:

  1. The dental implant is placed surgically into the jawbone.
  2. As you heal, your implant will osseointegrate, or fuse with your natural jawbone. The two teeth will grow together to form a strong and long-lasting foundation for your replacement teeth. (The healing process can take weeks to months, but can happen while you proceed with your everyday life).
  3. After the implant bonds with the jawbone, a small connector called an abutment is placed on top of the dental implant. This will connect the implant to the replacement tooth or teeth.
  4. Finally, an individual tooth, an implant-supported bridge, or dentures containing multiple teeth are then attached to the abutment.

However, before any of these steps are completed, you will need to meet with a dental implant dentist and develop a personalized treatment plan.

Pros of Dental Implants

  • Dental implants are incredibly successful–with a success rate of almost 95%.
  • Long-lasting, the implants will hold up for 20 years or more.
  • Dental implants are very easy to care for as regular teeth.
  • Implants preserve the integrity of your facial structure and jaw bones.
  • Acting just like regular teeth, implants allow the bone to continue to grow.
  • It’s possible to get dental implants in a single day.

Cons of Dental Implants

  • When it comes to costs of dental implants vs dentures, dentures are the cheaper choice.
  • Not everyone is a candidate for dental implants, since implants need healthy bones and gums to secure properly to the jaw. (Bone and tissue grafts can be done, however, that will further rack up the price).

What to Consider When Choosing Dental Implants vs Dentures

You can always go over the pros and cons of dental implants vs dentures. However, making the right choice will vary depending on the person.

Following are examples of other things to consider when trying to decide between dental implants vs dentures:

  • Insurance coverage: Dentures are typically covered by most dental insurance plans. Dental implants, however, are often classified as a cosmetic procedure. This means the costs usually aren’t covered.
  • Durability: Dental implants that are properly cared for can last years, and sometimes even for life! This means costs can be lower in the long term, since dentures, in comparison, will need replacements relatively frequently.
  • Long-term oral health: By stimulating them with the forces produced by chewing, implants will help to preserve bone and prevent gum tissue from shrinking. This also reduces your risk of losing more teeth. Dentures, on the other hand, do not have this effect. In fact, an ill-fitting restoration can even accelerate bone loss in some cases.
  • Oral hygiene: Dentures will need to be cleaned meticulously every day Implants, however, can be maintained simply by brushing and flossing, as you would do with regular teeth.
  • Improved appearance: Implants look and function very naturally and in a way that is similar to your own teeth. In comparison, dentures can feel bulky.

Dentures vs Dental implants at Dental Masters

Losing a tooth used to feel like the end of the world, with little to no options for tooth replacement. A patient’s permanent teeth should serve them for a lifetime, but that’s not always the case.

Teeth can be lost through accidents, bad cavities, or even gum disease. Losing one tooth can disrupt the complexity and functioning of chewing, etc. Which aids in proper digestion. 

Then the surrounding teeth may slowly start to move into spaces they shouldn’t. Creating possible wear and tear over time. Creating future problems for the patient.

If it’s time for you to replace missing teeth, whether it be one or a full set, there’s probably several options for you to choose from. Including dentures vs dental implants. 

At Dental Masters, we know it’s not the easiest decision to make alone. With complicated pros and cons, Dr. LaViola and his in depth background in restorative dentistry is here to help you sort through them. Giving you the best end result for any situation.

Contact us today at our Alexandria, or McLean location!