Many of us associate dentures and dental implants exclusively with old age.  However, there are many other people that benefit from them as well!  So, the question is, are they still a worthwhile investment?  Are dentures better than implants, or vice versa?

It’s hard to definitively say which ones are “better,” perse, but I do think I can offer you some information on both of them.  That way, you can be an educated patient when you go to your orthodontist specialist.  I find that often helps me when I am faced with a difficult decision like what to do with my teeth, so stick around if that interests you!

What are Dentures?

If you didn’t know, there are two types of dentures out there.  These are partial and whole.  They are just about what the names suggest – a partial set will replace some of your teeth, and a whole set can work for your entire mouth.  They are quite popular still but have fallen by the wayside to an extent given new developments in dentistry.

The complete denture sets are used when all of the natural teeth are gone.  They replace both the teeth and the tissues surrounding them – namely, the gums.  So, they can provide a fairly natural appearance, though it is not perfect.

For the complete ones, there are two options you could take.  The first is a conventional set.  Generally speaking, they will take several weeks (up to twelve) before they are ready to be worn. 

Immediate ones are made prior to the teeth pulling and can be worn much sooner.  Really, it is up to your own discretion about which option you would prefer.  There are pros and cons to each, so if you are uncertain, consult with your dentist.  They should be able to provide some guidance.

When it comes to partial dentures, there two styles here as well.  Removable ones are usually attached via a bridge that is cemented within the mouth, but they can be taken out still.  Precision ones are made to fit more precisely and can help keep other teeth steadier within the mouth.  Again, talk to your orthodontist to determine what is the right fit for you.

What I would like to highlight is that they do not require you to have a specific amount of bone left over, in either variety.  That is one of the main things that sets them apart from other solutions.  The way they are made is by taking impressions of your mouth beforehand, then they are cast based on that.

What are Dental Implants?

While many may think they are the same things as dentures, they are in fact quite distinct.  If you are curious about the differences, you can learn more here to find out further.  There are a few similarities I will cover first, though.

Both are intended for the same essential function.  That being to assist in the chewing of foods, the support of face muscles, to improve self-esteem levels, and to improve speech patterns.  Dentures and implants can both successfully achieve these things, just in different ways.

Implants can be used when there are sufficient amounts of bone that they can be screwed into.  You see, that is how they are installed within a person’s mouth.  It sounds intimidating and painful, but it really is not in practice. 

A cap or crown is then placed over the screw to give a more natural appearance.  There are a few different mediums in which this could be done.  The most popular is probably porcelain, as it mimics the natural appearance of the teeth better than some others.  However, metals such as gold were popular for a long time as well.

The procedure for one is fairly simple.  First, the dentist will remove the root that is damaged.  Then, they will install the replacement root (the screw).  After that it is covered with the crown of whatever material you have chosen.

Some can be made instantly on the same day, though not all.  It depends on your provider and the services they can offer.  I would say if you were worried about it, be sure to talk to them.  Explore the options that are available to you and select accordingly.

Is one Better than the Other?

As you can probably guess, there is no definitive answer to this.  That being said, I’ll try to give you some pros and cons to each so that you have a good idea of what you are getting into.  Always talk to a professional orthodontist though, as this article is not medical advice.

The first thing I’ll discuss is cost.  Dentures are probably the more budget-friendly option in most cases.  A full set on average is about sixteen-hundred dollars, while each implant can cost about fourteen-hundred dollars on average.  So, that will largely depend on what your budget will be and what insurance can cover.

Next is maintenance, which is another slightly subjective category.  Essentially, it will depend upon what you have the capacity to do in regard to maintenance.  With an implant, care is relatively similar to natural teeth.  So, you still need to brush and floss diligently, ideally more than once a day.

Dentures need to be removed and cleaned every day.  Usually, they should soak in water for awhile to sterilize them, as well.  So, in the long term, they take a bit more effort.  You do need to brush them and potentially remove any adhesive left over in your mouth as well.

That being said, both require fairly regular check-ups with your dentist to check for fit and longevity.  So, they have an even playing field in that manner.  Like I said, there is no right answer between them. My recommendation is to talk with your orthodontist.  They should be able to guide you through the selection process and help to navigate insurance policies as well, if you are uncertain about it.  Both are solid options for your oral health!