Whether it impairs your ability to eat the foods you like or damages your confidence in your own smile, a missing tooth is a nuisance that can negatively affect your overall oral health. Luckily, there are a number of modern solutions to the age-old problem of tooth loss. Dentures and dental implants are two of the most popular.
At The Art of Dental Wellness in Beverly Hills, we know that dental implants can offer a comfortable, reliable, permanent solution to missing teeth. But what exactly are they, and how are they different from dentures? Today, we’ll be comparing the two by answering the most common questions about both.
How are they secured?
Dentures must be secured to the gums using a special adhesive or paste. Even with adhesive, dentures (especially ill-fitting or old dentures) can slip around or fall out of your mouth while eating, speaking, yawning, or laughing. This can be embarrassing, painful, and/or inconvenient.
Dental implants are surgically placed into the jawbone, rooting them in place, and topped with a dental crown. The jawbone will “grow” around the implant in a process called osseointegration, creating a naturally-integrated permanent replacement for the missing tooth.
How often do they need to be removed?
Dentures must be removed regularly for cleaning and to relieve your gums and adjacent teeth from the pressure of supporting the dentures.
Except in very rare cases where an implant needs to be adjusted or replaced, dental implants never have to be removed. They are a lifelong solution for your missing teeth. However, removable prosthetics are an option if a patient would like to be able to remove their dental implants at will.
How often do they need to be adjusted?
Dentures require periodic adjustments to ensure their continued fit and function.
Except in very rare cases, dental implants never have to be adjusted. They stay in place permanently and function like your natural teeth.
How many teeth can be replaced?
Both dentures and implants can be made to replace individual teeth, bridges of teeth, or a full set of teeth.
Several adjacent teeth can be placed using one dental implant. You do not need one dental implant per every missing tooth, which means you can enjoy full mouth dental implants without requiring 32 separate implants.
How are they cleaned?
Dentures must be removed regularly to be soaked, rinsed, and cleaned using special denture cleaning solution.
Dental implant crowns are cleaned just like your natural teeth. Brush and floss them every day to keep them shining and to support healthy gums and adjacent teeth.
What are they made of?
Neither modern dentures nor the tooth crowns on dental implants are made from real teeth. Instead, they are a synthetic structure usually crafted from porcelain or acrylic resin.
You can contact The Art of Dental Wellness today to learn more about how our dental implants are created.
Do they look and feel natural?
Though dentures can sometimes look and feel quite natural, they are prone to slipping around and coming out. They can also place unnatural pressure onto the gums and adjacent teeth, causing discomfort.
Dental implants completely restore the look and feel of your natural healthy teeth. Because they are rooted directly into your jaw, they do not place pressure on your gums or real teeth, and they will not come out (unless you want them to).
How do they affect chewing capacity?
You are much more limited in your food options with dentures than with your natural teeth. Hard foods like apples, corn on the cob, chewy candies, and caramel must be avoided, as they can displace or damage the dentures and create pressure on the gums.
Dental implants, on the other hand, completely restore your natural chewing capacity. So go ahead, tear into that corn on the cob! Your teeth aren’t going anywhere.
To where do they transmit force?
With dentures, the biomechanical forces of chewing and grinding are transmitted to your gums and the surrounding teeth. This can be both painful and damaging to your overall oral health.
Dental implants, like your natural teeth, transmit force directly into your jawbone. A good dental surgeon will carefully assess the proper angulation and size for a well-placed dental implant, and in some cases may recommend extractions or bone grafts before placing the implant to ensure your jawbone’s continued strength and stability.
Do they prevent bone loss in the jaw?
The jawbone often shrinks after tooth removal, damaging the integrity of the facial structure and weakening the bone. Dentures cannot combat this.
Dental implants, however, synthetically replace the missing root of the tooth and stimulate the jawbone, preventing bone loss and preserving the integrity of your facial structure.
How long do they last?
There really is no such thing as “permanent dentures.” Dentures typically need to be replaced after 7 to 15 years.
Dental implants last for 25 years or longer, making them a near-permanent replacement for missing teeth.
How much will they cost?
Costs vary, but on average, dentures are cheaper up-front than dental implants.
However, dentures have additional costs associated with cleansing, maintenance, and more frequent replacement. Dental implants are one investment for a lifetime.
If you have questions about whether dental implants are right for you, give us a call at The Art of Wellness. We have more than a decade of experience restoring beautiful, healthy smiles, and we offer procedures for full mouth dental implants, teeth bridge dental implants, and individual tooth implants. No matter your tooth replacement needs, we can work with you to restore the health, function, and look of your teeth. Contact us today to request your appointment.