If you’re missing a tooth or several teeth, you may be considering tooth-replacement options like dental implants or dentures. Both serve the same purpose – to help you chew easier, speak clearer, support facial muscles, and more.
However, that’s where their comparison ends. Dentures and dental implants are different via the procedure itself, cost, maintenance, and more. Allow us to explain:
All About Dental Implants
Dental implants act as a natural tooth by replicating the root and crown function. A screw – called an abutment – is drilled into your jawbone to act as the root. Over a period of several months, your jawbone will fuse to the screw, and it will be ready for the crown. Once placed, it functions as a natural, permanent tooth!
The dental implant process requires more time than dentures, as your oral surgeon must determine if your jawbone has enough quality and quantity to fuse to the screw. If not, bone grafting may be necessary. Months will pass before the crown is placed. However, what you sacrifice in time during the initial process, you gain in ease of maintenance. You do not have to remove dental implants like you would dentures, as you treat them like natural teeth (brush and floss as normal).
The cost of dental implants depends on the oral surgery center you choose, but they are more expensive than dentures. You can have a single tooth replaced by dental implants or several teeth, depending on your needs.
Dentures are removable, prosthetic teeth that can fit your mouth both regardless of jawbone quality and quantity. You can choose to have partial dentures covering either your upper or lower teeth, or you can have full dentures which provides coverings for both the upper and lower teeth. It depends on your overall goal and where your teeth are missing.
During the process, your dentist will make an impression of your gums and will study your current bite to determine how your dentures should be made. The impression is sent to a lab, the preliminary dentures are sent back to your dentist, and your dentist will place them in your mouth to see if any adjustments should be made before receiving your final set of dentures.
The cost of dentures is less than dental implants but there is greater maintenance to be done. Although they act as natural teeth, you’ll have to remove them every night before bed, clean them after every meal, and possibly get them re-fitted over time.