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How Do Dental Implants Compare to Dentures?

Dental implants and dentures are two options for replacing missing teeth 一 both of which are available here at Carnegie Dental Wellness. As experts in restorative dentistry, we know that there’s a time and place for each of these options, which is why we always start with a thorough consultation. 

In the meantime, learn more about these restorative options and how dental implants compare to dentures, courtesy of Constantina Bacopoulou, DDS.

Learn more about dentures

Dental implants and dentures are both prosthetics that can replace teeth, but they do so differently. Dentures 一 the concept of which is millennia old with the earliest form of dentures dating back 2500 BC 一 are removable prosthetic teeth that replace full rows of missing teeth. Although, thanks to modern dentistry, dentures have advanced tremendously over the years. The latest advancements have made dentures more comfortable and more customizable. Dentures can now replace full rows of teeth or just some of your teeth.

Traditional dentures consist of two parts:

  • A base that is often pink and resembles your gums 
  • The artificial teeth

The dentures simply sit on top of your gums. Denture adhesive isn’t required (since the dentures can form a seal and suction onto your gums), but many people find they have an easier, more confident time eating with the adhesive.

Dentures don’t require any surgery, and the entire process is customized to fit your needs. Your dentures are created by molds (impressions) of your mouth. Maintenance is a little different than taking care of your natural teeth. Dentures are removed at bedtime and soaked overnight in a special solution. You’ll still need to brush your gums and tongue with a normal toothbrush and toothpaste.

Learn more about dental implants

On the other hand, dental implants are not removable. They are surgically implanted into your  jawbone to create a strong and permanent replacement tooth. Dental implants consist of three parts:

  • A prosthetic tooth (the crown)
  • An abutment that connects the crown to the post
  • The titanium post that acts as prosthetic tooth roots

The post is surgically implanted into your jaw while it fuses with your jawbone. Because of this, dental implants are designed to be permanent. Like dentures, dental implants are also customizable. They can replace a single tooth or support a full row of teeth. These are sometimes called snap-on dentures or implant-supported dentures. Dental implants can also support a dental bridge.

Implants are easy to care for as there's no soaking required. You simply brush your implants as you would your natural teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste. 

One distinct difference is that dental implants, unlike dentures, help prevent jawbone atrophy. Jawbone atrophy refers to the jawbone loss that occurs when your teeth are missing. Your tooth roots stimulate your jaw bone, but if you’re missing teeth, your jaw bone loses that stimulation. This can lead to jaw bone atrophy and a sunken appearance. Because the post of a dental implant is surgically implanted into your jaw, it continues to stimulate your jawbone.

Which one is right for you?

There isn’t one answer to this question as dentures may be right for some people while others may benefit from implants. There are many factors at play that can help you determine which restoration is right for you. This includes your overall oral health, the quantity and quality of jawbone (you need a healthy jawbone to support an implant), how many teeth you’re replacing, your budget, and your overall preferences. 

In general, dentures may be right for you if you don’t want implant surgery, you have full rows of missing teeth, or you don’t have enough jawbone to support an implant. You might consider an implant if you need to replace a single tooth, you like the convenience of not having to soak dentures, you’re qualified for implant surgery, and you’re committed to the implant process.

Regardless of whether you replace your missing teeth with dental implants or dentures, remember that both options are aesthetically pleasing, restore the appearance of your mouth, and restore functionality so you can eat, speak, and smile with confidence.

To learn more about your tooth replacement options and find out which option is better for you, book a consultation at our Midtown West Manhattan office. You can reach us at 646-453-4770 or through our online booking system.