Many people are missing an entire arch of teeth or are completely edentulous, and dentures are a tried and tested way to replace them. Dentures have been used extensively for an extremely long time but are not a perfect solution. Nowadays, people without teeth or those facing complete tooth loss are increasingly likely to choose dental implants because they can offer significant benefits compared with traditional dentures.
What Are Dentures?
Dentures are removable prosthetic appliances made from a gum-colored acrylic base that supports denture teeth. A denture rests on the gums and gains much of its retention from the bony ridge that used to hold your natural teeth.
Upper dentures have greater retention because they cover the upper palate entirely, but this does cover up taste buds. Partial dentures work similarly but will frequently have a lightweight metal framework made from cobalt chrome, which provides additional strength.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are surgically implanted into the jawbone and closely replicate a real tooth root. Once in the jawbone, the small implant post bonds with the bone around it over several months, creating a strong and stable anchorage point for replacement teeth.
Dr. Leonard Umanoff can place multiple dental implants in the jaw to support multiple missing teeth or even an entire arch, eliminating the need for removable dentures.
The implant supported prosthesis may clip onto the dental implants directly or via a metal bar fitted over the implants, and this appliance is easily removable for cleaning. Alternatively, dental implants can support an implant retained bridge that is either screwed or cemented onto the implants and which is only removable by a dentist.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Choosing Dentures
The benefits of choosing dentures include:
- Treatment is quick and non-invasive and doesn’t require any surgery.
- Dentures are an affordable way to replace multiple missing teeth.
- Modern dentures use teeth that look quite real and can be arranged in such a way to look natural.
The drawbacks of choosing dentures include:
- Dentures can become ill-fitting in a very short while due to changes in jawbone shape and which is caused by bone resorption, decreasing retention.
- Denture adhesive is messy and expensive and isn’t a long-term solution.
- Dentures can be relined or remade to fit more comfortably, but this doesn’t address the problem of jawbone resorption and declining retention.
- As jawbone loss occurs, the muscles in the cheeks and lips are less well supported, frequently creating a collapsed in and prematurely aging look.
- Loose dentures can rub uncomfortably on the gums and can be painful to wear.
- Loose dentures can accelerate jawbone loss because they rest directly on the gums.
- Ill-fitting dentures can cause problems with speech.
- Loose dentures can cause embarrassment in social situations, and consequently, some people will begin to turn down invitations and especially for meals.
- Traditional dentures have limited biting, and chewing strength, so many foods are off the menu.
- An inability to eat a varied diet could potentially cause nutritional deficiencies.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Choosing Dental Implants
The benefits of choosing dental implants include:
- Strong, stable teeth that remain firmly in place the entire time.
- Biting and chewing strength is increased, making it easier to eat a varied and nutritionally sound diet.
- It is easy to talk clearly with dental implant teeth, and they will not move or click or rub on the gums.
- Self-confidence and self-esteem can increase because implant teeth look and feel natural.
- Dental implants protect the jawbone, preventing further bone resorption.
- Any remaining natural teeth are prevented from shifting out of place and are protected as the forces created during biting and chewing are more evenly distributed.
- Dental implant teeth are designed to restore the correct facial dimensions, ensuring there is enough support for your cheeks and lips.
- Dental implant treatment is versatile and includes removable and fixed appliances.
- Implant supported dentures are cost-effective and can significantly improve the quality of life.
- Most people can have dental implants, including many who are older and who currently struggle with dentures.
The drawbacks of choosing dental implants include:
- Dental implant treatment isn’t right for everybody, and some people may be unsuitable if they have systemic conditions or other medical issues.
- Treatment is more expensive and can be lengthier compared with traditional dentures.
- People who have suffered significant bone loss may need bone grafting before dental implants.
- Dental implants do require a short surgical procedure, which, although relatively comfortable, can deter some people.
- Excellent oral hygiene is critical for maintaining healthy dental implants, and people who forget to clean their mouth and who don’t visit the dentist regularly are more likely to risk implant failure.
Implants vs. Dentures
Deciding whether to have implants or to stick with full dentures is a big decision, but when you visit LuxDen Dental Center, our experienced dentist Dr. Leonard Umanoff will discuss all suitable solutions with you in greater detail. An initial consultation will determine your suitability for dental implants and allows you to explore all possible options.
Most people, when considering dental implants, will prefer a fixed implant bridge but may find it isn’t a cost-effective solution for them. People who have received an implant retained denture are usually extremely happy with their choice, and although they still have a removable appliance, it’s held so firmly in place that they can eat more comfortably and can socialize without fear of embarrassment.
A good ongoing oral care is crucial to keep dental implants healthy and free from infection. Caring for dental implants easy but requires commitment. If you cannot commit to a good oral care routine, dentures may be a preferable solution.