Both dentures and dental implants are popular methods of replacing missing teeth. But how do you know which one is right for you? Dr. Paul Bowersox discusses the positives and negatives of both Westminster, MD dental implants and dentures.
Dentures: What to Know
Most people know of dentures to replace an entire arch of missing teeth, but partial dentures are also an option. They’re made of a metal and resin base that supports plastic or ceramic teeth. Some of the best benefits of dentures include that they’re cheaper upfront and you don’t have to wait as long for your final restoration, as there’s no surgical element.
However, dentures do come with many downsides. While they’re cheaper upfront, you’re likely to incur more costs with time. When you’re missing a tooth, the jawbone in that area starts to deteriorate. Because dentures don’t replace the tooth root, it’ll continue to deteriorate even with the restoration. This means that your denture will become uncomfortable and eventually unusable as the fit changes. You’ll need readjustments or a replacement denture.
Dentures also only give you back 30-40% of your bite function. They require adhesive to stay in your mouth, which means you risk them slipping or falling out when you’re speaking or eating. You have to change your diet to foods that your dentures are capable of breaking down. Due to the adhesive, they have to be removed each evening and cleaned and/or soaked properly.
All About Dental Implants
Dental implants are often known as the gold standard of tooth replacement. They’re made up of three separate parts. First, a titanium implant post is placed in the jawbone. Next, a piece called an abutment is attached to connect the post to the final restoration. The final restoration is usually a dental crown, but implants can also support a fixed bridge or denture.
One of the biggest downsides to dental implants is the upfront cost. However, you won’t incur other costs down the line like you would with dentures. Implants are the only option that replaces the tooth root. This prevents further jawbone deterioration from occurring and can even help reverse some of the deterioration that’s already been done.
Implants do have a surgical element, so they take a bit longer. After the posts are placed, it’s a period of about 3-6 months for them to heal before you move forward. But this is what gives implants the stability they’re known for. You get back 100% of your bite function with implants. You don’t have to change your diet or worry about the restoration slipping or falling out.
While dentistry has come a long way, dentures are still bulky and feel unnatural in your mouth. They take time to get used to. Meanwhile, implants — particularly with a dental crown as the final restoration — both look and feel the most natural in your mouth. They don’t require extra maintenance either. Just brush, floss, and visit the dentist as normal!
Getting Dental Implants in Westminster, Maryland
We traditionally recommend dental implants for replacing missing teeth. Are they a good fit for you? Call us or schedule a consultation online to learn more.