Replacing missing teeth can be one of the best decisions you can make. Not only will restoring dental functionality improve your daily life but replacing missing teeth can also restore and even enhance your looks. However, choosing the right dental solution, perhaps dentures or maybe dental implants, can be difficult. When it comes to full arch replacement, patients face two broad choices:
- Choose traditional dentures, or
- Choose a dental implant based solution.
Dentures vs. Dental Implants
Dentures or dental implants?
The answer to that question may be harder than you imagine. Sure, dentures over the years have been the traditional standard when it comes to replacing lost teeth. But while they're affordable and require no surgical interventions to anchor in place, they also come with significant drawbacks when comparing to more advanced solutions.
Dentures have historically been the low-tech teeth replacement system of choice. You’ve probably seen them before, at a dental clinic or floating in a cup of warm water at in your grandparents home. The concept is quite simple. New teeth, typically fabricated from a monolithic block of acrylic, are placed on the gums to replace lost teeth.
While this old-school solution addresses the problem of functionality and aesthetics, the results are imperfect at best.
- Dentures move around in the mouth.
- They can fall out without warning
- Dentures also may cause irritation to the gums resulting in sores.
- Dentures must be routinely replaced.
- Perhaps most importantly, dentures don’t particularly feel natural in the mouth.
More importantly, traditional dentures do nothing to address the problem of bone resorption.
What is bone resorption?
Dental bone resorption is the wasting away of bone in the jaw and face as a result of lack of adequate stimulation. Natural human teeth transfer bite forces through their roots into the underlying bones of the face and jaw which tells the body to maintain the density and depth of those bones. When bite forces are eliminated, such as due to edentulism or tooth loss, the body actively begins to reabsorb and reduce the bone until very little bone structure remains. The result of resorption is visible facial aging, brittle and weak jaws, and making it much more challenging to receive dental implants in the future (without extensive bone grafting).
Dental implants, in comparison, come with significant advantages and comparably fewer drawbacks.
The primary disadvantages of dental implants lay in upfront investment costs, and in surgery and post-operative recovery time. Conventional individual dental implants can cost much more than dentures. However, implant-supported denture procedures, such as All-on-4® dental implants, have brought the benefits of dental implants to many patients at much more affordable prices.
Why are dental implants preferred by doctors and patients alike over traditional dentures?
The advantages are many and not insignificant.
When To Choose Dentures
- Cost is a concern
- Health is a concern
- Surgery is not desired
- Bone grafting procedure is not possible
- Jawbone depth is inadequate for conventional individual implants
When it comes down to it. Dentures are a tried and true, if somewhat archaic solution to the problem of tooth loss and toothlessness. If you just want something cheap and cheerful, yet functional enough and aesthetic, dentures might be for you.
However, it should be noted that opting for dentures comes with considerable drawbacks as detailed above. When possible and within budget, most dentists, prosthodontists, and oral surgeons recommend dental implants for superior, longer-lasting results.
When To Choose Dental Implants
Aesthetics and functionality are a priority
Maintaining jaw bone health is a priority
Superior longevity and resilience are important
Excellent mouthfeel is important
Superior stability is important
Better, natural features are a concern
Cost is less of a concern
Surgery is acceptable
Dental implants allow patients to live as they did before the loss their teeth. Implant crowns and the implants itself act as functional replacements to natural teeth. The crown replaces the visible portion of the teeth while the implant serves as its roots.
Get Picture Perfect Teeth Today from The Leading Dentist In Concord
Your smile is your best and most visible asset. It's worth the investment.
Dr. Khazaie will be glad to answer any of questions you have about dentures, dental implants, All-On-4 implants, or full mouth reconstruction. He will also share with you the benefits of each procedure, listen and address your concerns, and cover costs.