When you lose teeth, it is only natural to want them replaced as promptly as possible. Generally speaking, there are two methods to replace lost teeth: with dental implants or with dentures. The question is, which of these treatments is the best for you?
Dentures and implants vary in price, feel, convenience, and aesthetics. As such, there is not necessarily one “right” answer. Instead, we encourage our patients to learn more about both options for teeth restoration before making a final decision.
Dentures: An Overview
Dentures are removable appliances, which may be used to replace both lost teeth and eroded gum tissue. Most dentures are made with a pink-colored acrylic base, which supports a set of artificial teeth. In some cases, dentures may also include a lightweight metal frame, which helps to secure the dentures in the mouth.
Some patients require complete dentures, which may replace all of the teeth on the top row or on the bottom row. Other patients may require just partial dentures, which can be used to fill in the gaps when just a few teeth are missing. Complete dentures adhere to the gums, while partial dentures are often clipped onto the existing teeth.
Dental Implants: An Overview
A dental implant, on the other hand, is a small titanium post that is surgically attached to the jaw, where it bonds with the underlying bone. The implant serves as an “artificial root,” and your dentist can affix a custom-made, artificial crown to the top of it, simulating both the look and function of your natural teeth.
A single implant may support one or more replacement teeth. In some cases, implants may even be used to support dentures.
Choosing Between Dentures and Dental Implants
Both options have their advantages. Consider some of the pros of choosing dentures:
- Dentures tend to be less expensive than dental implants.
- Dentures are easy to use, even among patients who have experienced bone or gum loss.
- Being fitted for dentures does not require any drilling into the bone, nor any surgical invasion.
- Dentures can be made and fitted fairly quickly, requiring just three or four dental visits.
By contrast, here are some of the benefits of choosing dental implants:
- Dental implants are long-lasting (they usually last a lifetime).
- Implants can help prevent bone loss and the appearance of a “sunken” face.
- Dental implants are very easy to care for. In fact, you care for them just as you would your natural teeth.
- While dental implants can often require a lot of time and multiple dental procedures, same-day implants are an option for some
- Dental implants look and feel indistinguishable from natural teeth.
Note that dental implants are more expensive, and they are also not always an option for patients who have experienced substantial bone loss.
We Can Help You Make the Right Choice for You
Both dentures and dental implants can be effective ways to restore your smile. The way to determine which option is right for you is to meet with one of our doctors from Coastal Virginia Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery. We welcome you to contact us directly to set up an appointment.