Have you lost one or more of your teeth to infection or injury? For one reason or another, many people end up losing a tooth or multiple teeth at some point in their adult lives. Missing teeth can create discomfort, embarrassment, and even social anxiety.
If you have missing teeth, there are several solutions that will restore your smile, allow you to chew and speak comfortably and protect your other teeth for years to come.
You’ve likely already heard about dentures and dental implants. While both will solve a similar problem, do you know which solution could be right for you?
Below we will discuss the difference between dentures and dental implants. Remember that speaking with your dentist first will assure that you are choosing an option that is right for you, and your situation.
Dentures are removable dental appliances. Dentures replace missing teeth along with some of the surrounding gum tissue.
Partial dentures are used primarily to fill in missing teeth. Partial dentures use clasps, or precision attachments fitted onto crowns to stay in place, and need some of the surrounding natural teeth for support.
Full or complete dentures replace all of the teeth in either the upper, lower, or both jaws. They are fitted to rest directly on the gums.
Dentures are created out of porcelain to resemble your natural teeth, with a gum colored acrylic base.
Dentures need to be removed, maintained and cleaned daily with a soft toothbrush and a denture cleaner, and need to be replaced every 5-7 years for proper fit and appearance.
Dental implants are embedded into the jawbone via a titanium post and are not removable. Dental implants feel and act as a natural tooth and do not need to be removed for cleaning.
Many patients find that dental implants feel more like a natural tooth, for they do not slip, or move while chewing or talking.
Dental implants are made out of titanium, which makes them much more durable, and unlike dentures they don’t need to be replaced.
Although the right choice will vary depending on your circumstances, there are some factors to consider when deciding between dental implants vs dentures:
Dentures are typically covered by most dental insurance plans. Dental implants, however, are often classified as a cosmetic procedure and are not covered by most insurance plans.
Dentures need to be replaced every 5-7 years, while dental implants that are properly cared for can last a lifetime.
Long-term oral health:
Dentures, especially when not fitted properly can accelerate bone loss. Dental implants can reduce your risk of losing more teeth by preserving bone and preventing gum tissue from shrinking.
Dentures will need to be taken out and cleaned daily, while dental Implants can be maintained by brushing and flossing, very much like your regular teeth.
Dentures can often feel bulky and can move and shift when talking or chewing. Dental implants look, feel and act like your own teeth.
Are you considering dentures or dental implants? Contact Dr. Fred Blum & Associates for a consultation. We will review all the pros and cons with you, and help you choose the best option that fits your needs.
Our teeth are constantly exposed to temperatures that range from freezing to near boiling, they live in an environment that is filled with bacteria, plaque, and acid, and are asked to sustain forces of 120+ pounds per square inch! And if that wasn’t enough, our teeth are expected to keep on working for us throughout our lifetime. Now that is a big ask!
It’s only natural that your teeth might encounter stains, cavities, gum disease or chips and even breaks in our lifetime. Modern dentistry has gone through major advancements in the last 40 years, making sure that your teeth stay healthy, strong, sound, and last you a lifetime.
Some of those advancements focus specifically on dental crown technology, which can save weak, or compromised teeth, and dental implant technology, which replaces missing teeth.
If one, or several of your teeth have been affected by trauma or decay, a crown or an implant can be a great solution. While a dental crown is a cap that replaces the top part of the tooth, a dental implant is an artificial tooth that replaces your entire tooth.
Your dentist is always the best place to start when you want to learn which one is better for your situation, and it never hurts to understand more about dental procedures.
What is a Dental Crown?
When are Dental Crowns Used?
Dental crowns are used for a variety of purposes:
What are Dental Crowns Made Of?
Depending on your situation, your dentist may discuss different types of dental crowns:
Additional Dental Procedures Needed for a Dental Crown?
If you have major tooth decay or damage, you may require additional dental procedures before you are fitted for a dental crown:
What is a Dental Implant?
When Are Dental Implants Used?
In general, a dental implant may be the right choice for you if you:
What are Dental Implants Made of?
Additional Dental Procedures Needed for a Dental Implant?
A dental implant requires surgery and is usually performed in stages, as the process includes multiple steps with healing time between the procedures:
In conclusion, dental crowns are used for cosmetic reasons, or to strengthen a tooth after a root canal, and implants are used when the whole tooth must be removed as a result of injury, decay, or trauma.
These rules are not strictly set in stone, and the best option is to meet with your dentist and discuss which option might be best for you and your situation.
If you are missing a tooth, multiple teeth, wear dentures or even missing all of your teeth you might be a candidate for implants. People get implants for aesthetic reasons, functional ones or both. Our patients just want to improve their appearance, be more comfortable in social situations, appear more professional at work, eat the foods they choose and in general participate more confidently in life!
The benefit of dental implants is that dental implants are made of titanium and so they can never decay. Titanium is the strongest yet lightest weight metal of its kind. Titanium is completely compatible with the human body. Dental implants are one of the biggest and most successful advances in dentistry in the past half-century.
Titanium posts are surgically placed in the lower and upper jaw. These function as anchors for the replacement teeth or dental crowns. Dental crowns will be based on size, shape, color and fit, and will be designed to blend in with the other teeth in your mouth. If you are replacing more than a single tooth, custom-made bridges or dentures can be made to fit your mouth and your new implants. Customized teeth called dental crown are then attached to the posts. These dental crowns are designed to blend in with your existing teeth so no one will know they are not your actual teeth.