Dental implants vs. dentures

Investigating the best option for replacing missing teeth often poses the question, dental implants or dentures? A person’s teeth and their smile are a fundamental part of who they are, dramatically affecting self-esteem and confidence. There is no right answer on whether to choose dentures or dental implants, so let’s talk through some of the pros and cons of each.

What exactly are dentures?

Dentures are a set of false teeth, crafted out of acrylic resin or porcelain, fitted onto a plastic-covered, metal base. Previously, dentures were the primary option for those with missing teeth. To prevent slippage, dental adhesive or paste is needed to secure the teeth into place, although this is not a concrete solution and there is a risk that the dentures will slip whilst eating or speaking. Not only can this be embarrassing, but it can also be a constant concern and cause people to avoid certain foods and social situations.

What are the benefits of dentures?

  • There have recently been advances in the making of false teeth, meaning they look more natural and are less obviously a set of dentures.
  • The upfront cost of dentures is less than implants, although they will need to be replaced every few years and may require frequent visits to the dentist.
  • Quicker to measure and fit than dental implants.

The drawbacks of dentures

  • Although progress has been made in the quality of dentures, they are not as natural looking as dental implants.
  • Ongoing replacement costs and other possible complications may result in repeat visits to the dentist.
  • They must be removed every evening to clean, in additional to your daily dental care routine.
  • They require replacing every five to ten years, and if they’re loose or ill-fitting, can cause some discomfort.
  • Whilst talking, chewing or laughing, the dentures may come loose and require adjusting.
  • May prevent you from enjoying the foods you love like steak, apples or crusty bread as food may become stuck and painful.
  • Could result in facial disfiguration due to the loss of multiple teeth, as the bone beneath the missing teeth shrinks due to lack of stimulation.
  • Partial dentures may promote decay and infection in the remaining teeth if they don’t fit properly.

What are dental implants?

A permanent solution to tooth loss, dental implants are fixed directly to the jawbone using titanium screws. Where dentures provide a façade of natural looking teeth, dental implants are an actual tooth replacement. Made from porcelain, dental implants provide a stable, secure, long-term solution that require minimal maintenance and are just the same as looking after real teeth.

Missing teeth not only affects a person’s confidence but also can physically affect someone’s facial bone structure. When a tooth is lost, the cheek muscles become weak and your jawbone can begin to recede due to lack of stimulation from the tooth’s root. Dentures will not slow down this process, however dental implants prevent the jawbone from receding, helping to maintain the structure of your face.

Benefits of dental implants

  • With dental implants, you can continue to eat the food you love without worry or concern.
  • Dentures have to be separately cleaned every evening, whereas dental implants can easily be cleaned as part of your daily oral routine.
  • They help to preserve your natural face shape.
  • A natural fit with less risk of food becoming trapped under the gumline, they are better for your oral health.
  • Dentures must be replaced every few years, whereas implants can last a lifetime with the right care.
  • They can improve your speech, and most of all, your confidence.

The cost of dental implants

Dental implants do cost more upfront than dentures, which is why many opt for dentures without researching dental implants as a viable option to replace missing teeth. When considering the additional costs included with the fitting of dentures such as adhesives, repairs, replacements and cleaning solutions, dental implants offer a better financial solution and are worth the extra upfront cost.

If you would like to know more about having dental implants fitted with us, find out more information here.