We put our teeth through a lot on a daily basis, so it’s not surprising that many people lose a tooth at some point in their lives. Tooth loss can occur for a variety of reasons such as accidents and poor oral hygiene leading to gum disease and tooth decay. Losing a tooth can be upsetting especially if it is in a prominent position.
Luckily, there are many solutions available for people missing teeth. Depending on the position of the missing tooth/teeth, your dentist may suggest either dentures or dental implants. However, many people often wonder what the best option is when considering the pros and cons of dentures vs. dental implants.
Many people think dentures are for older people whose teeth have fallen out. While complete dentures are available, many patients benefit from partial dentures when they are missing one or more teeth.
Dentures are removable and consist of a false tooth or teeth attached to a plate which can be clipped into place. Once in place, the dentures help to support the gum and facial muscles which might not work correctly when teeth are missing.
A newer solution is dental implants which involve placing a titanium ‘root’ into the jawbone and then placing a crown on top of it. The root can be used to anchor one or more teeth and are a good option if the jawbone and gum are otherwise healthy.
Factors to Consider
Which option is best will depend on several factors such as:
- Cost and Insurance Coverage
- General Health
- The Extent of the Damage
During your initial visit, your dentist will do a full investigation, which may require x-rays, and then make suggestions on the best treatment options. It is essential to ask your dentist questions about the available options because some treatments might not be suitable for some patients.
Dentures vs. Dental Implants
If both procedures are suitable for you, then it is useful to consider the following factors:
- Look and Feel
Look and Feel
Dentures have a bit of stigma attached to them, but they are made from more natural looking materials these days and can offer excellent support to the gum and surrounding tissues. However, they take some getting used to and may slip out of position when eating and talking, creating a little bit of embarrassment.
On the other hand, dental implants have a much more natural look and feel, and once they are in, they should last for well over twenty years, without any significant changes to your oral hygiene routine.
Dentures are a non-invasive form of treatment which can be easily fitted, while dental implants will require surgery. How long it takes to complete the procedure varies from patient to patient, so the time involved is certainly something to consider.
The more natural looking dental implants come at a price, as they are significantly more expensive than dentures. However, many patients consider this an investment and are far more satisfied with them than patients who have dentures.