Dentures and Implants: What’s the Difference?
It can be physically and emotionally difficult to lose your teeth. However, tooth loss is a common occurrence, especially among older adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average American has lost an average of 12 teeth by age 50. There are many causes of tooth loss, such as untreated decay, disease, and trauma to the face. When an incident occurs that requires one or more teeth to be extracted, your Melbourne, FL dentist may recommend restorative dental treatments like dentures or implants.
Both dentures and implants have their own unique advantages but there are also some differences. Learn more about these treatment options to determine which is best suited for you.
What are Dentures?
A denture is a type of removable tooth replacement for missing teeth and tissues. There are two main types of dentures, including complete dentures and partial dentures. A complete set of dentures are created when a person is missing all their teeth. Partial dentures are designed for individuals who have some of their natural teeth remaining.
The denture process generally takes several weeks and is completed across several appointments. Your dentist will first take a series of impressions of your mouth and measure your jaws to create custom-fitted dentures. Adjustments can be made at any point to ensure a comfortable and secure fit.
With full dentures, there is an acrylic flesh-colored base that sits snug over the gum line. The upper denture contains a base that covers the palate. The lower denture features a horseshoe shape designed to accommodate your tongue. It is normal for dentures to feel awkward as you get used to them over the first few weeks.
What are Implants?
A dental implant is a post, typically made of titanium, that acts as a substitute for a tooth root. A connector or ‘abutment’ is placed on the small post or built onto the dental implant which then connects to the replacement tooth. Dental implant surgery has become a popular alternative to dentures and bridges when a person has a lack of natural tooth roots that make it difficult to build dentures or bridgework.
How dental implants are inserted depend on the type of implant used and the health of the jawbone. It takes time for the bone to heal and create a secure fit around the implant. This is a process that can take several months.
Dental implants look and function similar to your natural teeth. However, they are not right for everyone. Implants are best suited for patients that have one or multiple missing teeth, possess healthy oral tissues, and have enough bone to secure the implants. Good candidates do not smoke tobacco, do not have health conditions that affect bone healing, and are able to spend several months undergoing treatments.
Which Dental Solution is Right for Me?
Once you have a better understanding of each treatment option, you can better determine which is best suited for your needs.
Dentures may be a better option if you have a tight budget as dentures are less expensive. In addition, dentures provide a quicker fix. A complete set of dentures can be created in just two to six weeks on average. Dentures are also suitable for individuals with a weak jaw or gums who may not qualify for dental implants.
Implants may be the better choice if you want an actual replacement to your missing teeth rather than a façade of natural teeth. Dental implants are considered a long-term solution to tooth loss that do not require frequent replacements or special cleaning. Additionally, they are an excellent option for patients that want the look and feel of real teeth.
Request an Appointment
If you are missing teeth, both dentures and dental implants are restorative options that should be closely considered. Reach out to your Melbourne, FL dentist to discuss what these procedures consist of and which is best for you. For more information about dentures, implants, or other restorative dental procedures, contact us.