For those with one or more missing teeth, there are a few options available for remedying this situation. Two options that are similar in a few general ways, but also very different in some other major areas, are the use of dental implants and the use of dentures.
At North End Dental, we’re proud to offer both dental implants and implant-supported dentures to patients who might be in need of these services. What are the broad similarities between these two, but more importantly, how do they differ and which is likely right for you? There are a number of factors to evaluate here, which we’ll do in this two-part blog series.
The primary area where dental implants and dentures are similar is in their broad purpose. Both are meant to:
- Help with chewing of foods that might not otherwise be possible
- Support facial muscles
- Improve speech
- Improve self-esteem and confidence with smile upgrades
Beyond this, however, dental implants and dentures are very different. Here are several basic areas where they separate from one another.
The procedure for how these two options are placed in the mouth is one of the major areas where they differ:
- Dental implants: Implants first involve the extraction of the damaged tooth and/or root. A metal implant is then placed into the jawbone to serve as a replacement for the tooth. Lastly, an artificial tooth (crown) is attached to this implant post. The top of this post will be fitted with a crown once the bone has begun to grow around the post, securing it in place — there is typically a delay of between a week and multiple months for this to happen.
- Dentures: Dentures, on the other hand, refer to removable prosthetic teeth that are fitted to the mouth regardless of the amount of bone present. The only requirement is that there be enough gum tissue present to hold the dentures in place. Dentures, too, are typically created by taking impressions of the mouth and sending these off to a lab where they are then crafted into custom-fitted teeth.
Maintenance is another key area where these products differ. In most ways, dental implants are identical to normal teeth for standard care, requiring regular brushing, flossing and dental checkups.
Dentures, on the other hand, require more in-depth care and regular replacement in order to remain effective. With dentures, brushing is typically fine but care must also be taken with how they are cleaned. In most cases, a cleaner will be used specifically made for the type of material dentures are made from.
While prices will vary depending on the area of the mouth, the number of teeth being replaced and more, dental implants tend to be slightly more expensive than dentures on a per-tooth basis. However, if they’re a true need, insurance and programs like Medicare or Medicaid will often cover some or all of these costs, so this area alone should not solely influence your decision.
In part two of our series, we’ll go over the specific factors to consider when choosing between dental implants and dentures for your dental needs. For more on this or any of our other orthodontics or implant services, contact the staff at North End Dental today.