Dental implants versus dentures: Which is right for you?

Oct 07, 2019
There are several ways to restore missing teeth. Source: Getty (model posed for picture)

Losing a tooth can be quite distressing, as it can affect your smile and tooth function. But the good news, however, is that there are several ways to replace missing teeth.

Dental implants and dentures are the most common options for tooth replacement. A dental implant is made up of a titanium screw topped by an artificial tooth whereas dentures are removable false teeth. If you’re having trouble deciding, the following guide is a comparison of the two treatments.

What are dentures?

If your teeth are missing or damaged, false teeth are a great way to restore your smile. There are two main types of dentures: complete and partial dentures. Complete dentures replace all your teeth and rest directly on the gums, while partial dentures replace some teeth.

There have been significant improvements over the years in the materials used for dentures and the adhesives to hold them in place. Dentures can take a bit of getting used to at first, but once your mouth adjusts, they can help make eating and speaking easier for most people.

What are the pros and cons of dentures?

Cost is a major benefit, as dentures are one of the most affordable ways to replace missing teeth. They’re also a great option for patients whose gums are not suited to implants. The best part is, no surgery is required and unlike implants, they can be inserted immediately after an extraction.

But as mentioned previously, it can take a while for the mouth to get used to new dentures, and for some, it will temporarily impact speech. The good news is speech typically improves quickly and practicing will ensure people are back to speaking normal in no time. The only real downside of getting dentures are that they don’t look or feel as natural as dental implants, and they don’t last as long, as they need to be replaced every five to eight years.

What are dental implants?

If you have one or more teeth that are missing and have healthy gums, a dental implant may be the better option for you. According to comparison website Finder, the dental implant consists of three major parts: a titanium implant, this is a screw-like device that is drilled into the jawbone, a small metal post, which is inserted into the implant, and the artificial tooth crown. Over time, the dental implant naturally fuses to the jawbone, holding it in place.

What are the pros and cons of implants?

The biggest advantages are that dental implants look and feel like your own teeth and with proper care they can last a lifetime. Unlike dentures, they don’t affect speech and you can eat any food including things that are sticky and crunchy.

However, dental implants come at a hefty price – a single implant can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $7,000 in Australia. It’s also important to note, dental implants aren’t a quick fix, as the entire process can take a few months between multiple appointments. The lengthy process also includes a minor operation to have the dental implant put in your jawbone.

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Do you have dentures or dental implants? What are your thoughts on this?

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