Many people end up losing some or all of their teeth at some point in their lives, whether due to oral hygiene issues and gum disease, injury, or something else altogether. Not only does this have an impact on their ability to eat and speak, but it can also lower their self-esteem.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that there have been advances in the field of dental restoration. People now have the option of choosing between two different options to replace their missing teeth: implants or dentures.
Deciding whether dentures or implants are right for you will come down to personal preference, health, budget, and your dentist’s recommendations. Read on to find out the pros and cons of dentures vs. implants.
Dentures are prosthetic devices that you wear over your gums. They look like teeth but don’t function nearly as well. Generally, dentures can be removed from your mouth, but some designs require bonding or for the dentures to be affixed to any remaining teeth or bridges you might have. Dentures are commonly made from an acrylic base that is colored to look like your natural gums. If you are considering getting dentures, here are the pros and cons.
- Dentures are less expensive than implants, making them more affordable for many patients
- Wearing dentures after having teeth removed can help your mouth heal
- Having dentures created is easy and doesn’t require surgery
- As teeth are lost in the future, dentures can be modified to replace the missing teeth
- Dentures don’t look as natural as implants
- Dentures have to be removed and cleaned every night; this can be frustrating and expensive
- Dentures can move and slip, making it challenging to eat or speak
- You aren’t allowed to eat certain foods with dentures, including corn on the cob, apples or caramel
- Food particles can get trapped underneath dentures, increasing the risk of gum disease
- Dentures may need to be replaced every 3 to 6 years or after they have been damaged or dropped
- If you wear partial dentures, this can weaken the natural teeth that provide support for the device
- Dentures won’t prevent the jaw bone loss that occurs gradually following tooth loss
Dental implants are prosthetic tooth roots that are screwed into your jawbone and topped with an artificial tooth known as a crown. They function like real teeth and are cared for in the same way. Each implant consists of a titanium alloy post that is surgically placed into your jawbone.
Over the next 3 to 6 months, the post will fuse with the bone. Once it has become fully bonded, it becomes strong enough to hold a replacement tooth. This piece can be crafted from a variety of different materials, with the most common being ceramic, porcelain, silver, gold or metal alloys.
These crowns are colored to look like your natural teeth and placed over the post. Getting dental implants can look a lot more natural than wearing dentures, and they are much more secure. The pros and cons to implants include the following:
- They are easy to care for, only requiring brushing and flossing, much like you would do for your natural teeth
- Implants look and feel like natural teeth
- You can eat anything you want with implants
- They won’t interfere with your speech
- Implants generally require fewer dental procedures in the future, and they can preserve adjacent teeth and your jawbone
- Dental implants can last for decades if properly cared for
- Implants can be expensive
- Surgery is required to place them in your mouth
Deciding Which Option is Best
When it comes to deciding whether you should get dentures or implants, there are several things you’ll need to consider. Ask yourself these questions:
1. How Many Teeth Are You Missing? – How many teeth you are missing might help determine if you should get implants or dentures. If you are missing all of your teeth then it may not be practical to get implants. Dentures might work better and be less invasive to put in.
If you are only missing a few teeth here and there, then implants might be the better option. Some dentists also offer full-mouth implants that rest on just a few strategically-placed titanium posts, which can be a great option. Another thing to consider is that bone loss is very likely if you use dentures to replace all your teeth.
2. What Is Your Budget? – If you’re like most people, your budget will determine whether you should be getting dentures or implants. Dentures are by far the less expensive option. The price of these varies, but on average, they cost as little as a few hundred dollars and don’t usually go over a few thousand dollars.
When it comes to implants, depending on the type of material they are made out of, these can cost several thousand dollars each. How much you are willing to spend for a dental device will help you determine which option is the right one for you.
When looking at your budget, it’s also important to consider that your dentures will need to be replaced after a certain amount of time. If you take really good care of them, they may last for up to 7 years. Getting this device replaced will add to the expense. Implants may be more expensive, but they can last a lot longer, and you may not incur more costs in the future.
3. What Does Your Periodontist Recommend? – Not only do you need to consider the two factors listed above, but you’ll also want to take into consideration what your periodontist recommends. You may have decided that you want to go with implants because they will look more natural, but your jawbone may not be able to handle the post without an additional procedure, or there may be other oral health problems that prevent you from getting implants for the time being. Talking to a professional will ensure that you get the device that will work best for your needs and budget.
Work with a Dental Restoration Expert
Dealing with missing teeth can be challenging, and it can have a huge impact on your quality of life. If you’re looking for the best dental device to replace your missing teeth, then you’ll want to make an appointment with Dr. John Paul Gallardo. After assessing your personal situation and considering your wants, needs, and budget, he’ll be able to set you up with the dental device that will work best for you.
Either dentures or implants can change your life for the better. Call 305-547-8805 today to schedule an appointment in Miami with Dr. Gallardo.