Dentures vs. Dental Implants
The two primary solutions for those looking to replace teeth are dentures and dental implants. The primary distinction between dentures and dental implants is their permanence. Dentures are removable appliances that need to be taken out when eating, brushing, and sleeping. Dentures are fragile and may need to be updated. Meanwhile, dental implants are permanent appliances, surgically placed in your mouth. Dental implants can last a lifetime. Feel free to ask us here at O'Sullivan, DeLuca & Ressel Dental Care whether you are a better candidate for dentures or implants.
What are Dentures?
Dentures may replace a single tooth or a whole mouth full of teeth. Dentures are typically made from acrylic and use a suction, metal clasps, or an oral adhesive to stick in your mouth, depending on the patient’s individual situation. Dentures are very affordable and require no formal procedure for the patient to begin wearing.
The downside though is that dentures may be uncomfortable, and it is not uncommon for patients to experience irritation from dentures. Although we are good at working to make dentures a good experience, they still can sometimes be a lot on the patient. Dentures require regular cleanings. You cannot dry them out, or they may become misshapen. Finally, dentures are very fragile and will often break if dropped or mishandled. It is not at all uncommon to need to return for a new set of dentures every so often.
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The other primary option for replacing teeth is dental implants. Dental implants are implanted directly into the jawbone. This procedure does require minor surgery and several weeks to fully recover from. If the jawbone is especially damaged, bone grafting will be required before the artificial tooth can be implanted.
Despite a more complicated procedure, there are several benefits to dental implants. An implant is made from titanium, a biocompatible material. The implant can bond with your jaw through a process called osseointegration. Your body will respond to the dental implant as if it is a natural tooth. Your gum area where the tooth was missing will be stimulated again, meaning your jaw will regain strength rather than deteriorate, as is the natural process when a tooth is lost.
Dental implants are extremely comfortable. Most patients forget they even have an artificial tooth in their mouth. After the initial healing period, dental implants are very easy to take care of. Just like regular teeth, they do need to be brushed and flossed, but assuming the implant is successful, it will last the rest of your life. This is a huge advantage over dentures, so if you are able to get the surgery, we generally recommend dental implants.
Which is Right for You?
Both dentures and dental implants have their benefits and drawbacks. We regularly recommend both dentures and dental implants, depending on the patient’s oral health history and current cosmetic needs. Be sure to tell us all relevant health information during a consultation. If you have more questions about dentures, dental implants, or other solutions for missing teeth, do not hesitate to contact us here at O'Sullivan, DeLuca & Ressel Dental Care at (352) 666-9898.