Dentures are removable false teeth that need to be replaced about every 7-10 years. Dentures are used to cover missing teeth and are a great option for people on a budget. However, they require some significant maintenance in terms of cleaning and care.
Partial Dentures: A false tooth or teeth is attached to a metal framework to fill gaps in your teeth. Partial dentures are for patients who have one or a few missing teeth.
Full Dentures: Full dentures are a bit more involved than partial dentures because they require the extraction of your remaining healthy teeth to get a proper fit. This is why full dentures are reserved for people who are missing a significant amount of teeth and need an entire upper or lower arch or even both arches of teeth replaced.
Dental implants are false teeth that are attached to an implant that is made into the jaw bone. While they are more costly upfront and require a significant amount of time to complete the procedure (up to 10 months), they are a long-term solution for replacing missing teeth.
The process takes multiple appointments spanning months to ensure full healing and osseointegration, which means that the implant fuses with the jaw bone. The advantage of this is that the stimulation of the jaw bone prevents further bone loss.
Single-Tooth: A single-tooth titanium dental implant is implanted into your gum and jaw tissue. Once osseointegration has been completed, it will be restored with a dental crown. If you have multiple missing teeth, you can have multiple single-tooth implants, but they will be implanted individually.
Full Arch: Similar to full-arch dentures, full arch dental implants require the extraction of your remaining healthy teeth. 4-6 titanium rods will be implanted into the jaw bone to restore an entire arch of teeth. Attached to these titanium posts are implant-supported dentures which attach to the implants.
Full arch dental implants combine the best aspects of dentures and dental implants into one procedure. Unlike regular dentures, denture-supported implants strengthen your jaw bone and prevent further bone loss. They are also not subject to moving or shifting around which is a big complaint with traditional dentures.
A Full Comparison
Dentures are convenient, affordable, and present a natural appearance that blends in with your natural teeth. However, they are not a long-term solution, because they need to be replaced and require extensive cleaning and aftercare to keep them in good condition.
Common complaints about dentures include their tendency to shift around when someone is talking or eating, the risk of them falling out, and the fact that they contribute to further bone loss.
Dental implants are a more permanent solution, lasting anywhere from 25 years to a lifetime with proper oral hygiene. The implant process stimulates the jaw bone, which strengthens the jaw bone and prevents further bone loss. They also appear and function just like normal teeth.
However, the biggest complaint about dental implants involves their cost and how lengthy the whole process is. It can take about a year for the entire dental implant procedure to be completed.
A middle-ground option would be full-arch dentures, which combine dental implants and dentures into one oral device. This is an option that would be reserved for someone who has significant tooth loss and would like the natural appearance that dentures offer with the function of dental implants.
Interested in Dentures or Dental Implants?
Do you have missing teeth and are wondering if dentures or dental implants are a better option for you? Contact us at Shine Dental to schedule a consultation with Dr. Katelyn Miller. After examining your teeth and taking impressions of your mouth, we can come up with the best treatment plan for you.