If you have lost an entire arch of teeth, you may feel that there is little hope of smiling, speaking, and eating normally again. Luckily, there are many options available to replace your teeth and each option has its own pros and cons. Traditional removable dentures are the go-to restoration when all teeth are missing. Unfortunately, many people complain about how inconvenient they are. Denture implants are gaining popularity because of how natural they look and feel. Thanks to advances in modern dentistry, patients can now choose what kind of denture they want.
Dr. Melissa Elliott of Harford County Dentistry in Fallston, MD offers traditional dentures and denture implant to patients missing all or most of their teeth. The best treatment for you will depend on your personal oral health needs and cosmetic goals. Dr. Elliott will evaluate your mouth and oral health and then discuss the option available. Below, we discuss the pros and cons for each option.
Dental Implants vs Dentures
What are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a titanium post that is surgically implanted into the jawbone. The implant will fuse with the surrounding bone creating a strong base for a dental restoration. Several of these posts will be implanted in per-determined locations along the dental arch. Collectively they will be used to attach a denture.
There are two types of denture implants: fixed implant dentures and removable implant dentures. Removable implant dentures, sometimes called snap-in dentures, involve the denture clipping onto the implants. Fixed implant dentures remain permanently attached to the implants and can only be removed by a dentist.
Pros and cons
Fixed implant dentures are the most natural and durable solution for a missing arch of teeth. This type of denture can take the full force of a bite providing the most natural bite for the patient. A removable implant denture will deliver about a 50% biting power which is still better than a traditional removable denture. Implant dentures provide stimulation to the jaw bone which is necessary to prevent bone loss. The implants will actually act as the missing tooth roots. They also will not slip around in your mouth or fall out and do not require gooey adhesive to stay in place.
Removable implant dentures will still require daily care though. They must be removed and cleaned thoroughly every day. A fixed implant denture may actually be more difficult to care for since you cannot remove them. Special instructions for cleaning under them must be followed daily for optimal oral health. A surgical procedure (sometimes two) is needed to place the implants. It also takes months to complete the entire process with many to our Fallston, MD dentist office to monitor healing. Dental implants also cost significantly more than traditional dentures.
What are Dentures?
For many years, removable dentures have been the standard teeth replacement option. They are typically made of acrylic and sit snugly over the gums relying on suction or adhesive to stay in place. In general, dentures are better than having no teeth but there are many cons to choosing them over dental implants.
Pros and cons
Traditional removable dentures will allow you to speak and eat better than before you had no teeth. They are very affordable and the entire process to have them placed takes less than six weeks. No surgery is involved in the process either.
The biggest downfall with dentures is they do not replace the tooth at the root. This will leave you susceptible to bone loss, changing the shape of your face and the fit of the dentures. This means the dentures will need to be adjusted often and eventually replaced. Many foods must be avoided including sticky and hard foods since they do not allow for much biting force. The biggest complaint with dentures is they are hard to get used to and known to slip around in the mouth, causing slurred speech and may even fall out.