Implants vs. Dentures: Which to Choose

Implants vs. Dentures: Which to Choose

Are you missing one or more teeth, or do you need to have several teeth removed? If so, you are probably trying to decide your best option for replacing your teeth. If you are like many people who are missing teeth, you may be considering dental implants or dentures, but are unsure which to choose.

The right choice for you depends on a number of factors, such as cost, the number of teeth missing, your personal preferences, and your risk of complications. You should also consider your age and bone density, and if there are any alternatives to implants or dentures.

Our dentist in Bolingbrook has helped many patients weigh their options and choose the best tooth replacement strategy to fit their needs. We’re glad to help you navigate the choice between dental implants and dentures.

Dentures and Dental Implants are Similar in Many Ways

Dental implants and dentures have several things in common. Both dentures and dental implants replace one or more missing teeth, for example. Partial dentures can replace several teeth on your upper or lower jaw, and complete dentures replace all the teeth on your upper or lower arch. A dental implant can replace a single tooth, or support the replacement of several adjacent teeth. Implant supported dentures hold an entire arch of dentures on just a few implants.

The two types of tooth replacements also:

  • Help you bite and chew food you could not eat since losing your tooth or teeth
  • Improve your speech
  • Support your facial muscles
  • Reduce self-consciousness and increase self-esteem by improving the cosmetic appeal of your smile

Factors that Affect Whether You Choose Dental Implants or Dentures

While there are similarities between dentures and implants, there are significant differences that can affect which one you prefer for replacing your missing teeth.

Procedure for dental implants vs. dentures

Dental implants feature a screw-like metal post that your dentist surgically implants into your jawbone; there will be a short recovery period after your surgery. Over the course of a few months, the metal implant fuses with your jawbone to create a sturdy anchor for the crown. Next, your dentist caps the metal post with artificial crowns that look like your natural teeth. The entire procedure for dental implants takes several months, and requires six or more trips to your dentist.

Dentures require no surgery and no recovery period – your dentist creates an impression of your mouth then sends the impression to a dental laboratory, where technicians create your denture. It takes a few weeks to make your denture, and requires up to four visits to your dentist.

Takeaway:

  • Dental implants create a sturdy base for your replacement crowns
  • Dental implants require surgery; dentures do not
  • Dental implants involve a recovery time; dentures do not
  • Dental implants require more trips to your dentist than do dentures

Jawbone mass

Bone mass in your jawbone is important to keep your teeth in place and for maintain the attractive, youthful shape of your face. Your choice between dental implants and dentures can affect the bone mass in your jaw.

The acts of biting and chewing apply pressure to the crowns of your teeth. This pressure moves down your tooth, through the tooth root, and then into your jawbone. Once there, the pressure stimulates the growth of new bone tissue that keeps your jawbone strong – and a strong jawbone holds your teeth firmly in place and retains the natural shape of your face. When you lose a tooth, you lose the pressure that stimulates tissue growth, and this can change the shape of your face and increase your risk for losing more teeth.

Dental implants act like replacement tooth roots, which transfer the beneficial pressure to your jawbone in ways that stimulate growth of bone tissue. Dentures sit on top of your gums, so they do not stimulate bone growth.

To create a sturdy anchor with dental implants, you’ll need strong jawbones. You can get dentures even if you have already lost a significant amount of bone mass.

Takeaway:

  • Dentures may be right for you if you have already lost bone mass
  • Dental implant may be the best choice if you want to preserve bone mass

Dental implants cost

It costs more to have dental implants placed, but it is a one-time investment in teeth replacements that last a lifetime. Dentures cost much less, but last only for 7 to 10 years.

Takeaway:

While affordable dental implants require a significant one-time investment, you’ll need to reinvest in dentures several times throughout your life.

Care

Taking care of dental implants is just like caring for your natural teeth – brush twice a day and floss once daily. To take care of your dentures, rinse them after every meal and soak them at night.

Takeaway:

Dental implants in Bolingbrook are easier to care for than are dentures.

Where can I find dental implants near me?

For more information on dental implants and dentures, or for help determining which might be right for you, make an appointment to visit 311 Dental. Our Bolingbrook dentist can assess the health of your jawbone, review your needs and preferences, and help you decide which tooth replacement strategy best fits your needs. Contact our dentist for dental implants today.