Both dental implants and dentures are common choices to replace missing teeth. But which one is the best choice for you? Dr. Andrew C. Cobb, a dentist in Washington DC, explores the benefits and drawbacks of both options.
Dentures: What to Know
Removable dentures are usually used to replace an entire arch of missing teeth, but partial dentures are also available. They’re made of a resin and metal base that supports teeth made of ceramic or plastic. Some of the main benefits of dentures include that they’re cheaper to obtain upfront and you can get them more quickly since they don’t require a surgical element.
However, they also come with quite a few drawbacks. While you don’t have many upfront costs, you incur more down the line. When you’re missing teeth, the jawbone in those areas starts to deteriorate. Since dentures don’t replace the tooth root, it continues to deteriorate even with the restoration. You’ll have to get dentures refitted or replaced so they can still be functional.
Dentures also only give you back around 30-40% of your bite capability. Certain foods will have to be removed from your diet because the dentures can’t handle them. An adhesive is necessary to keep dentures in your mouth and they’re in danger of slipping or falling out when you eat or speak. Because of the adhesive, they’ll need to be removed and thoroughly cleaned at night.
All About Dental Implants
Dental implants are made up of three different parts. First, a titanium post is placed in your jawbone. Then, a piece called an abutment is attached to the post to attach it to the final restoration. The final restoration is most typically a dental crown, but implants are also able to support a fixed bridge or denture.
One of the biggest qualms people have about implants is their cost. While they’re more upfront than dentures, you don’t incur more costs down the line. Dental implants are the only restoration that replaces the tooth root. This stops further bone deterioration and can help reverse some that’s already occurred. You don’t have to worry about replacing or adjusting implants.
Implants also give you back 100% of your bite function. While they have a surgical element that costs months to heal, it’s what gives implants their stability. The 3-6 months of healing that’s required is when the implant posts are fusing with the jawbone. You won’t have to worry about adhesive or your restoration slipping or falling out.
Even with advancements in modern dentistry, dentures are still bulky and require a learning curve to use. They don’t feel natural. Implants, especially if their final restoration is a dental crown, both look and feel like natural teeth. You don’t have to do any extra maintenance, either. Just brush, floss, and visit the dentist regularly!
Tooth Replacement at Your Washington DC Dentist
Make sure you’re getting the best option to replace your missing teeth. Call us or schedule an appointment online.