Dentures vs. Dental Implants: Which is better?

When a person is missing some of his or her natural teeth, the two most popular dental prosthetics used to address the issue are dentures and implants. The former is generally the most affordable way to replace missing chompers, while the latter offers the most benefits to the wearer.

When it comes down to which prosthetic is better, it typically comes down to each situation.

For decades, traditional dentures were the most common way to replace missing teeth, but implants are becoming increasingly popular nowadays. Let us explore how these distinct dental prosthetics work to understand better what each offers.

1. Dentures

Dentures are prosthetics that are molded to fit inside the wearer's mouth. These devices typically consist of two parts. A base that keeps the device secure in the patient's mouth, and artificial teeth that serve as a replacement for the missing natural teeth.

Dentures are typically kept in place via suction forces or dental adhesives. One of the significant drawbacks of dentures is the fact these devices have rigorous maintenance requirements. The prosthetic has to be removed every night, cleaned, then soaked in denture solution. Dentures can also take some time to get used to, and these devices tend to shift inside the patient's mouth.

Some people do like having the ability to remove dental prosthetics as they please, but that can lead to the jaw becoming weakened since it is not getting stimulated enough by the artificial teeth.

Dentures do not address the bone loss that is associated with missing teeth, but patients can get around that with implants supported dentures. A denture set typically lasts for around five years when properly maintained.

2. Implants

A dental implant is the most effective way to replace missing teeth. These devices mimic the behavior of the wearer's natural teeth and roots. That is a significant difference from dentures since those do not address the bone tissue loss associated with lost teeth.

During the installation, the dentist will insert a metal screw into the patient's jawbone. The screw is typically made from titanium, but other materials like zirconium can also be used. The implant is then given time to fuse with the person's jawbone. This process is called osseointegration.

Once the implant has fully fused with the person's jawbone, a crown is attached to the external-facing end. Implants look and function just like natural teeth, so taking care of them is just like taking care of real teeth.

3. Implant supported dentures

Here is an excellent solution for those who want the best of both worlds. Implant supported dentures are a cheaper alternative to implants, but the wearer also gets most of the benefits associated with them.

During the installation, four to six implants are surgically inserted into the patient's jawbone. A specialized set of dentures is then attached to the implant once it has fully fused with the patient's jawbone. Once it is installed, it cannot be removed without the assistance of a dentist.

Wondering which one of these prosthetics is best for you? Schedule a consultation with one of our dentists today!

Request a dental appointment here: https://www.northtampadentistry.com or call North Tampa Dentistry at (813) 430-0933 for an appointment in our Tampa dental office.

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