If you have missing teeth and are looking for the best form of replacement, it’s good to know that you have several options open to you. Choices include both conventional dentures and dental implants, but which one is best for you?
In this post, we’re going to explore dentures vs implants and take a closer look at the pros and cons in terms of cost, comfort, and convenience.
Dental Implants vs Dentures – The Costs Involved
There is no getting away from the fact that dental implants cost more initially than dentures. This is for several reasons. Firstly, placing a dental implant incorporates a comfortable surgical procedure that equates to anchoring a titanium screw down into the jawbone. Typically, this involves a mixture of high-technology and surgical skill – all of which come at a price.
Secondly, while a dental implant may look like a simple bolt or screw, quality dental implants are in fact precision-made dental appliances fashioned from titanium. This type of metal is lightweight for comfort; yet remains incredibly durable. This material is also non-toxic so it will cause no harm or allergic reaction when placed in the mouth. It’s also one of the few materials that bone tissue can fuse to – a process vital for dental implant stability. However, as ideal as this material is, mining is a complex and time-consuming process which all adds to the value.
Finally, there’s the dental implant crown. This is the visible tooth part that sits on top of the implant and resembles your natural teeth. Just like regular contemporary crowns used to treat and protect a variety of tooth problems, they are made from dental porcelain which helps them to look and feel just like your natural teeth. Inevitably quality restorations don’t come cheap.
Alternatively, while dentures are also precision appliances custom-made to fit your mouth, they don’t require a surgical procedure to fit and aren’t made from highly expensive materials such as titanium. So while they are more fragile than implants and do not last for a lifetime, dentures may suit those patients who can’t or won’t for whatever reason undergo surgery.
Dentures vs Implants – Comfort
Naturally, when considering your missing tooth replacement options, comfort should play a big part in your final choice of dental implants vs dentures. Of course, a well-fitting denture is designed to hug the contours of your mouth for an exact fit initially. However, problems can arise some months or years down the line as the jaw bone shrinks and changes shape.
Suddenly those once snug-fitting dentures are prone to movement. When dentures move in the mouth, they can cause both embarrassment and discomfort and will need replacing.
On the contrary, because dental implants are anchored firmly into the jawbone, they maintain total stability. Moreover, bone shrinkage – the natural process that occurs when teeth are missing – is halted altogether with a dental implant restoration, so no more jaw shrinkage.
What About the Surgical Aspect of Dental Implants?
Of course, you could argue that placing a dental implant in the first place involves a surgical procedure which by its very nature is going to be less comfortable when compared to the non-surgical procedure of fitting conventional dentures. And you would be right!
However, with the invention of digitized computer-guided technology, much of the dental implant process is planned virtually. This means that the actual surgical procedure itself is quick and comfortable. In fact, in most cases, a dental implant can be placed in just 10-20 minutes.
Moreover, because the latest digital implant technology involves a keyhole flapless surgery technique (meaning that the gum doesn’t need to be cut) the patient benefits from a less invasive and suture-free procedure with minimal downtime.
Dentures vs Implants – The Convenience Factor
It’s understandable when you have multiple missing teeth, that you might want a quick fix solution. For this reason, conventional dentures fit the bill perfectly. In most cases within 3-5 weeks and several visits, patients will have a fully functioning, aesthetically pleasing set of teeth.
On the contrary, conventional dental implants typically take somewhere between 5-9 months to complete. This is because time is needed for the bone to fuse with the dental implant in order to create the stability necessary to support a crown or bridge. How long this takes depends heavily upon the healing properties of the individual and/or their lifestyle choices.
You would think then that if time happened to be a deciding factor in your decision to get dental implants vs dentures. It’s a no brainer. However, it isn’t as simple as that…
Firstly, in certain circumstances, dental implants and dental crowns can be placed on the same day in a process known as All-on-4® dental implants. This means that an entire arch of fixed replacement teeth can be supported by just 4-6 dental implants for total dental rehabilitation. This process has proven predictability with highly successful outcomes.
Secondly, and like other dental implant procedures, this is a permanent procedure that will keep you smiling for many years. While the longevity of a conventional denture is somewhere between 5 –10 years, dental implants (if cared for correctly) can comfortably last for several decades or more. As a result, to all intent and purpose, a dental implant is a one-time-only missing tooth replacement. Alternatively, you may need to replace conventional dentures several times during your lifetime. This is something to bear in mind when considering long-term solutions.
So there you have it…
There are indeed pros and cons when considering dental implants vs dentures. However, when you consider the long-term advantages, it’s fair to say that implant-based restorations win on pretty much every level.
If you’d like to seek further advice on dentures vs implants, contact the team at the Digital Dental Implants Institute. We’re a highly skilled team of Sydney dentists who use the latest technology to place implants that are safer, faster, and more convenient for patients.
Book a consultation or call us on (02) 8294 5812 today.