Dentures and Implants: Comprehensive Comparison for Better Oral HealthBarotz Dental | December 23, 2023
Tooth loss can significantly impact a person's quality of life. It can affect one's ability to speak and eat, and it can also have psychological implications, such as diminished self-esteem due to an altered appearance. This is where restorative dentistry, specifically dentures and dental implants, come into play. Both serve the same purpose—to replace missing teeth—but they do so in different ways.
Dentures represent one of the most common solutions to tooth loss. They are prosthetic devices designed to replace missing teeth and are typically removable. Dentures can either be complete, replacing all teeth, or partial, replacing some teeth while allowing the others to remain in place. They are made from a durable plastic resin and can even include additional elements like porcelain or metal for structural support.
The way dentures function is fairly straightforward. They fit snugly over the gums and are held in place either through suction or with the help of an oral adhesive. While dentures can take some time to get used to, over time, patients can speak and eat normally. However, they do need to be removed and cleaned daily to maintain oral hygiene and the health of remaining natural teeth and gums.
Dentures have come a long way over the years. Today's dentures are designed to look like natural teeth, with attention paid to the details of the tooth shape, color, and alignment. They are also made to be comfortable and functional, preserving the mouth's natural structure and preventing further tooth loss.
Dental Implants and How They Function
Dental implants, on the other hand, are a more permanent solution to tooth loss. They involve a surgical procedure where a titanium post is implanted into the jawbone, serving as an artificial root. This post securely holds a dental crown, which is custom-made to match your natural teeth. Unlike dentures, dental implants are not removable, and they function just like natural teeth.
The surgical process of getting dental implants involves several stages and can take anywhere from a few months to over a year, depending on the individual's healing process. Once healed, the titanium post fuses with the bone, providing a stable base for the artificial tooth. This fusion also helps prevent bone loss, which is a common issue with missing teeth.
One of the main advantages of dental implants is their functionality. They allow you to eat, speak, and smile with confidence, knowing that your teeth are secure. They also require no special cleaning procedures; regular brushing and flossing are enough to keep them in good shape.
A Comprehensive Comparison: Dentures vs. Dental Implants
When comparing dentures and dental implants, there are several factors to consider. Firstly, dental implants are generally more durable and longer-lasting. They can last for many years, even a lifetime, with proper care. Dentures, however, will need to be replaced every 5-10 years due to wear and tear and changes in your mouth's shape.
Secondly, in terms of functionality, dental implants offer a more natural feel. They function like your original teeth, allowing you to eat all the foods you love without fear of the dentures slipping or causing discomfort. On the other hand, with dentures, there might be some restrictions on what you can eat, and they may take some time to get used to.
However, it's not all in favor of dental implants. Dentures have their own advantages. They are less invasive, require no surgery, and are generally more affordable. Plus, they can be made relatively quickly, providing a faster solution to missing teeth.
Role of a Dentist in Determining the Best Option
The role of a dentist is crucial in determining the best option between dentures and dental implants. A dentist will assess your oral health, consider your lifestyle, budget, and personal preferences, and discuss the pros and cons of each option. They will also explain the procedures involved in detail and answer any questions you may have.
A dentist will also examine your bone health, which is critical when considering dental implants. Adequate bone density is necessary to support the implant. If you lack sufficient bone, you may need a bone graft, which can add to the time and cost of the procedure. On the other hand, dentures do not require bone density and can be a suitable option for those with bone loss.
Making the Best Decision for Your Oral Health
Both dentures and dental implants offer viable solutions to tooth loss, each with its own set of advantages and considerations. The best option will vary from person to person, depending on various factors such as oral health, lifestyle, budget, and personal preferences.
To learn more on dentures and implants or to determine which is the right option for your oral health, visit Barotz Dental in our Fort Collins, Colorado office. Please call (970) 401-7900 to schedule an appointment today.