Dentures and dental implants are both popular choices to replace missing teeth. But which one is the best option for you? Dr. Ken Schweifler, a dentist in Los Altos, CA, discusses the highlights and downfalls of both options.
All About Dentures
Removable dentures are most commonly used when a whole arch of missing teeth needs to be replaced, but partial dentures are also an option. They’re made up of a base that’s resin and metal, supporting porcelain or plastic teeth. Two of the pros of dentures are that they’re cheaper upfront and you can get them quickly because they don’t have a surgical component.
However, there are many downsides to dentures as well. While you don’t have to pay much upfront, you can expect to incur more costs down the road. Because dentures don’t replace the tooth root, your jawbone continues to deteriorate even with your restoration. This means that the fit of the dentures will slowly change and you’ll need to get them readjusted or replaced to make sure they still function correctly.
Dentures also require adhesive to stay in your mouth. They can slip or fall out when you’re eating or speaking. And you only get back around 30-40% of your bite function, so certain foods will have to be removed from your diet. Because of the adhesive, you have to remove the dentures at the end of the day and soak them to make sure they’re cleaned properly.
The Benefits of Dental Implants
There are many reasons why dental implants are often called the gold standard of tooth replacement. Implants are 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. While the final restoration is typically a dental crown, implants can also support a fixed bridge or denture.
One of the people’s biggest qualms about implants is their price. But while they do cost more upfront, you don’t have any surprise costs down the line. Implants are the only replacement option that also replaces the tooth root. This stops your jawbone from deteriorating any further, and can even help to restore some of the damage that’s already occurred.
Implants also take longer for you to get your restoration. This is because after the implant post is surgically placed in your jawbone, it requires around 3-6 months to heal and fuse with the jawbone. This process 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.
Even after years of advancement in dentistry, dentures are still bulky and hard to get used to. Implants feel the most like your natural teeth, particularly when they’re topped with a dental crown. They don’t require any extra maintenance, either. Simply brush, floss, and visit your dentist as you would normally.
Tooth Replacement at Your Los Altos, California Dentist
Are one of these tooth replacement solutions the right choice for you? Call us or schedule an appointment online.