Are Dental Implants Better Than Dentures?

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Traditional dentures and dental implants are both viable options for restoring lost teeth. Traditional dentures are a less expensive choice, but they have several drawbacks and might cause long term discomfort, aggravation and difficulty speaking, eating and tasting. While implants are the best  option for replacing natural teeth, their high cost may not be affordable for everyone.

If you are missing teeth or need teeth extracted and replaced, the essential thing to remember is that you should get them replaced with an experienced dental implant specialist. Missing or failing teeth can have harmful consequences for your oral and general health. Having these procedures done by an experienced specialist, is also extremely important.

Any denture solution is preferable to no treatment at all, as this will enable you to continue chewing and eating a wide range of meals. From traditional denture to snap-in dentures to full fixed implant-retained dentures, these denture modalities have the potential to resemble natural teeth. However, not everyone has the luxury to choose. Anatomy, bone loss, expense, and other factors, can play a role. Dentures aren't suitable for everyone, either. It can be challenging to build a seal to keep dentures in place if they do not sit on a ridge of bone in the jaw or the remaining teeth.

Due to huge advances in dental technology, many people can now get dental implants and implant-retained dentures. As a patient, it’s important to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of all options and determine which option is best for you.

Traditional dentures are far less expensive than implant-retained dentures, however, they don't address the issue of bone degradation. When your body recognizes a missing tooth, it begins to absorb minerals from your jaw and utilize them elsewhere. The jaw area where the tooth root used to be, weakens and deteriorate. Teeth on each side of the gap will begin to shift toward the open space. The patient may eventually undergo facial collapse, which affects the structure of the face and makes wearing dentures problematic.

Asking your dentist if you're a candidate for dental implants is the best method to prevent further tooth loss and bone damage. Dental implants are recommended whenever possible to help patients avoid long-term health problems caused by losing teeth.

The Pros And Cons Of Traditional dentures vs. Implants and Implant-retained dentures

Advantages of Dental Implants

Convenience: You can treat dental implants like you would your natural teeth once they are in place. Dental implants do not require nor can they be taken out and soaked overnight as traditional dentures need. Because dental implants look and feel like natural teeth, they restore patients’ self confidence.

The Jawbone Is Stimulated: A titanium screw embedded in the jawbone holds dental implants in place. The screw functions similarly to the root of a natural tooth, providing purpose for the jawbone and preventing bone loss. The form of the face is maintained by having a robust and healthy jawbone.

Aesthetics: In comparison to all other artificial options, dental implants are the most natural-looking and feeling.

The Drawbacks of Dental Implants

Time and Cost: Traditional dentures are a quick and timely option. On the other hand, dental implants and implant-retained dentures require more time. It is important to allow the dental implant time to integrate with the jaw bone. Dental implants require more appointments as well as surgery. As the osseointegration process continues, a temporary restoration can be worn.

Additionally, some people require bone grafting or sinus augmentation to support an implant, which can add to the time and cost.

Advantages of Dentures

Cost: Traditional dentures are a less expensive alternative to implant-retained dentures, especially when multiple teeth or an entire arch are needed. Some retirees on a limited budget may opt for traditional dentures to save money.

Traditional dentures do not require surgery.  They can be created and placed very quickly. 

Disadvantages:

Comfort: Even while traditional dentures have improved over time, they can still cause denture sores. Ill-fitting dentures frequently cause painful sores. If this happens, patients should visit their dentist or prosthodontist for a checkup and potentially to have their dentures altered or refitted so that they don't hurt their gums. No matter how minor, any denture breakage should be repaired and the dentures relined as soon as possible to avoid gum discomfort.

Dietary Changes: Most people will opt for a soft food diet while adjusting to dentures, but some will stick to a reduced diet indefinitely—sores on the gums where the dentures rub can be caused by biting and eating certain food. Saliva is required to prevent friction between the gums and dentures, and some meals reduce saliva flow. One of the biggest reasons is salty snack food. However, extra fluids can counteract the salty food effect.

Bone Degeneration: Dentures, unlike dental implants, do not help to protect the jawbone. The jawbone keeps our natural teeth in place. When teeth are missing, the body perceives the jawbone as having lost its function, and bone resorption can follow. In the first 12 months after losing multiple teeth, up to 25% of the jawbone can disintegrate. The shape of the face might change as a result of bone resorption.

Implant Supported Dentures

Dentures that are held in place by several dental implants are known as implant retained dentures. Usually, four or more dental implants are placed in each arch. When implant retained dentures are attached to implants, they are maintained in place. Before the dentures can be attached to the implants, however, the dental implants must first be surgically implanted into the patient's jawbone and allowed to integrate. This can take several months.

The advantages of implant-supported dentures:

The fact that implant-supported dentures rely on dental implants that are surgically implanted into a patient's jawbone means that the jawbone is once again stimulated, critical for a patient's oral health. This means that patients who choose this option can eat anything they want, drink whatever they want, laugh loudly, and chat freely without fear of their dentures slipping out of their mouth. It gives the patient back 80-90% of their chewing function.

What are the options for replacing missing teeth?

There are several modalities for replacing missing teeth. There is the traditional palatal coverage of tradition denture. As an alternative, there are snap-in overdentures that are attached to dental implants and can come in and out of the mouth. This option requires fewer dental implants be placed in the jaw bone, and allows for removal of the denture for cleaning purposes. The third option for missing teeth in a full arch is an implant-retained denture. This type of denture is not removable and acts as your natural teeth. Based on your dental health, bone density, and the number of missing teeth, your dentist and dental specialist will help you navigate your tooth replacement options. Together, you and your dental specialist team will be able to make the best choice for your smile.

Dental Implants:

Dental implants are the most common and effective denture replacement option. Dental implants are titanium screws or posts that are surgically implanted into your jawbone to hold your new teeth in place. 

Many people prefer dental implants since they are a more long-term and durable choice. If properly cared for and maintained, dental implants can last a lifetime. Dental implants, unlike dentures, are not detachable, making them exceptionally comfortable for daily activities such as eating and speaking. You must have healthy gums and sufficient supporting bone to be eligible for dental implants.

Overdentures:

If a patient has lost most of their teeth, then overdentures are often employed. Overdentures, unlike dentures, are held in place by dental implants or natural teeth, making them far more solid and secure. Overdentures are far more comfortable and appealing for missing teeth than traditional dentures because they don't slide around while talking or chewing as dentures do. Furthermore, because the overdentures are securely maintained in place, they stimulate the jawbone, slowing or possibly preventing additional bone loss.

Dental Bridges:

A dental bridge can be a great alternative to dentures as you would not have to worry about a tooth bridge slipping while you chew, talk or smile as you do with dentures. It is a prosthetic tooth that is firmly held in place on either side of the crowns or dental implants. There are disadvantages to bridges, however, as they do not hold spave inside of your bone and this could lead to resorption. Another disadvantage is cleanliness. It is more difficult to clean bridges.

Snap-on Dentures: What are the pros and cons?

Pros

• Uses dental implants for retention and prevents bone degeneration

• Assists in the re-establishment of correct speaking and eating abilities

• Snap-on dentures are more stable than traditional dentures

• Aesthetics are superior to a traditional denture

• When compared to fixed implant-supported dentures, they require fewer implants and is therefore a less expensive option

Cons

• Depending on your budget, it can be expensive

• Surgery is involved.

• When compared to traditional dentures, the recuperation process is longer

• Not as good an option as full fixed implant-retained denture

• Parts need to be replaced more often by your general dentist of prosthodontist

Which Procedure causes more pain: Dental Extraction Or A Dental Implant

One of the most common inquiries oral surgeons and dental surgeons receive from patients considering dental implants for the first time is how much pain they will endure during the treatment. Patients frequently ask if implant placement is more painful than a tooth extraction. Everyone feels pain differently and therapies are highly individualized so it is hard to say. Many people tolerate the pain of an extraction very easily. Another deciding factor is pain management, both during and after the procedure.

Dental implant procedures are surgical procedures, and all surgical operations can be painful. Anesthesia or other forms of oral or IV sedation can be administered during implant procedures. Most patients experience relatively minor discomfort. Patients who require bone transplants or other therapies may find the process more complicated than those who merely need a primary implant. Certain surgical procedures can be more painful than others. Dental surgeons are mindful of this and will do everything possible to alleviate discomfort.

Is It Better To Have An Implant Or A Bridge?

Pros of dental bridges

• a good chance of being covered by insurance

• It does not necessitate the use of bone grafts or invasive surgery

• less expensive than dental implants

• Less visits to the dentist are required, spaced out over a few weeks

Disadvantages of dental bridges

• It needs to be replaced every 5 to 7 years (although it can last more than ten years)

• As time passes, it loses its natural appearance.

• Difficult to clean and can create spaces for cavities and decay

• Bridges can cause more harm to the surrounding teeth

A dentist can help you choose the most suitable tooth replacement for your needs. Determining factors are: your budget, your oral and overall health and the number of missing or failing teeth.

Cost

A dental bridge is more likely to be covered under dental insurance than an implant. Insurance might cover the cost of a dental implant, however, and you should check with your insurance to understand the details of your policy coverage

Overall health

People with medical conditions that hinder healing, such as diabetes, cancer, or other auto-immune disorders, may not be good candidates for dental implants.The ideal candidates for dental implants are generally in good health and have healthy jaw bone density that can sustain the implant.

Time

The fitting of a dental bridge can be accomplished in two visits to your dentist. A dental implant, on the other hand, can take months to complete.

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