According to stats from the CDC, over 25% of Americans between the ages of 20 – 45 live with untreated dental issues. As a result, it could lead to them losing teeth in the future.
Losing teeth is something that no one wants to experience. You may lose some confidence in your smile, and your overall dental health could get affected.
However, you have the option of getting implants or dentures to replace your missing teeth. But aren’t they the same thing?
No, they aren’t, and that’s a common misconception for those looking at treatment options. In today’s article, we’ll break down the difference between dental implants and dentures. Read on to learn more.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are three-part instruments that come together to replace your tooth. An implant consists of:
- A screw
- An abutment
- The crown
The screw is what replaces your natural tooth and helps anchor the tooth to your jaw. Dentists prefer implants when replacing teeth because they can replicate natural teeth very well and support overall jawbone health.
Depending on your jaw health and the number of teeth you’re missing, various types of implants are available to you. There are endosteal, subperiosteal, and transosteal implants.
Endosteal implants get embedded in the upper or lower jawbone and bond with the bone over a period of three to six months. However, your jawbone health is vital to the success of this procedure.
Your dentist will only recommend endosteal implants if you have sufficient bone density. It will make it easier for bonding to take place.
Instead of getting placed inside your jawbone, subperiosteal implants are attached to it instead. Then, the denture gets held in place by the posts sticking through the gum’s soft tissue.
Subperiosteal implants are rarely used today. However, if you have low jawbone density, these may be the implants your dentist suggests.
Transosteal implants are only helpful in the lower jaw because this procedure involves drilling holes in that area. A metal plate gets attached to the underside of your jaw, then screws are placed through those holes and tightened into the metal plate.
These types of implants may result in some scarring. But your dentist will only use this method if they feel like the other implants wouldn’t have much success.
Dental Implant Procedcure
When a person opts for a dental implant, it’s usually a two-step procedure; placing the implant and fitting the prosthetic tooth.
Typically you’ll get placed under a local anesthetic, which would numb your mouth. However, if you’re having multiple implants done, you may get sedated.
Step 1: Placing the Implant
The dentist starts by making an incision in your gum, exposing the targeted area in your jaw bone. Next, an incision gets made in the bone so that it can house the implant.
Afterward, the implant gets screwed into the bone, and the gum is closed back up with stitches. As mentioned above, it will take three to six months for your jawbone to fully integrate with the implant.
Step 2: Fitting the Prosthetic Tooth
Once your dentist decides the implant has integrated with your jawbone, they will move on to the next part of the surgery. An incision gets made in your jawbone, exposing the implant.
Next, you’ll get a ‘healing cap’ to promote soft-tissue growth around your implant. It gets sown into your gum and is left to heal for a certain period.
Once it’s finished healing, the cap gets removed and leaves a hole that will support the prosthetic tooth. An abutment gets threaded into the implant and is fastened to the area. It results in a platform where the crown is permanently attached.
What Are Dentures?
Dentures are false, removable teeth that you can fit to your gum no matter how much bone density you have. Some dentures get designed to replace a few missing teeth, while others replace all your teeth.
The primary function of dentures is to help you talk and eat normally while also keeping your facial profile intact. As you begin to lose teeth, your facial muscles will start to sag.
Depending on how many teeth you’re missing, there are various types of dentures you can choose from. Common types include complete, partial removable, and partial fixed dentures.
Complete dentures are removable replacements for a person’s entire set of teeth. They get customized and made to restore the natural look and feel of teeth.
You’ll also be able to grind and chew food normally again. However, when you receive complete dentures, you may develop a speech impediment such as a lisp. It’s due to the thickness of the material covering your palate.
Unfortunately, it cannot be thinned, but you can quickly adapt to the speech changes. Complete dentures should be a last resort if all other tooth restoration options have failed.
Removable Partial Dentures (RPD)
Unlike complete dentures, removable partial dentures only replace a few missing teeth. The false teeth get placed onto a gum-colored plastic base, which then goes into your mouth.
They restore all functions of your teeth and have a natural look like complete dentures. However, there are two types of RPDs that you are available, which include:
- Cast partial dentures
- Acrylic partial dentures
Cast partial dentures are made out of replacement teeth, gum-colored acrylic, and a metal framework to ensure the materials are held together. Dentists recommend these dentures when one or more natural teeth are in your upper or lower jaw.
Acrylic partial dentures are also known as “flippers” because they are temporary removable retainers that can mimic every function of your teeth. However, using them long-term can lead to gum recession.
Fixed Partial Dentures (FPD)
Fixed partial dentures, also known as implant support bridges, take advantage of existing teeth by using them as abutments. They are primarily used to replace one or two missing teeth in a row.
Unlike the other types of dentures, FPDs aren’t removable. Once they get fastened to your gums, it will be hard to replace them. However, your oral health will improve drastically.
How Dentures Get Made
Since dentures are tailor-made for your mouth, you’ll need to go through a series of appointments before the final product is finished. Making dentures requires a ten-step process.
Step 1: Making a Model
During one of your first appointments, your dentist will take impressions and measurements of your jaw and teeth. Using these measurements, the dentist will create a plastic model, usually made of wax.
They will have you try the model several times to get the right fit, shape, and color.
Step 2: Placing the Model in an Articulator
Once the model gets made, it gets placed in an articulator. The articulator is a device that represents your jaw.
During this process, the technician attaches false teeth with wax to the denture model.
Step 3: Carving the Wax
After the teeth get attached, the technician carves the wax so it looks like your gums. They will use this wax base for your finished dentures.
Step 4: Dentures Placed in a Flask
Once the dentures have been shaped and carved, they get placed in a flask. It’s a holding device where more plaster gets poured onto the denture to maintain its shape.
Then the flask gets placed in hot water so that it can melt away any excess wax. Leftover wax can disrupt the shape of your dentures.
Step 5: Injecting Acrylic
When the hot water removes the wax, adds a liquid separator to the flask. It’s necessary to do this before filling it with acrylic.
Without it, the acrylic will stick to the plaster. But once it’s filled with the liquid separator, acrylic gets injected into the flask.
Step 6: Removing the Plaster
Next, the lab technician removes the plaster mold from the denture. Special tools need to be used to ensure the mold is safely removed.
Step 7: Trimming the Dentures
Sometimes there may be excess plaster stuck on your dentures. In such cases, your dentist will trim the dentures.
After trimming, the dentures will get polished. This polish is necessary because it helps prevent unnecessary plaque build-up.
Step 8: Recieve Your Dentures
Once your dentures are trimmed and polished, they get sent back to your dentist. Upon reception, your dentist will contact you to come in for a fitting.
If any adjustments need to get made, they will be noted, and your dentures will get sent back to the dental technician.
Contact EVO Dental now for best dental implants that make your smile beautiful.
Factors To Consider Before Choosing Implants or Dentures
Making a decision about your dental future can be challenging. However, it would be best to consult with a dentist before choosing between implants or dentures.
However, there are a few other factors that you should consider, such as:
Since dental implants are more permanent solutions, they will be the better option for individuals 60 years or younger. You’ll still be able to enjoy multiple decades with these false teeth.
However, if you’re an older adult missing multiple teeth, dentures may be the better option for you. Dentures are also better for those older adults who don’t want to go through invasive procedures like you would for implants.
As stated above, dental implants require a certain amount of bone density to be effective. If you don’t have the necessary jawbone strength, you may not be a good candidate for implants.
However, dentures don’t require a minimum amount of bone density. Since some types of dentures are suctioned to your mouth by your gums, you’ll be able to enjoy having teeth without needing any screws to hold materials in place.
Function and Feel
When looking at replacement teeth, function and feel is a necessary component for your decision. Although dentures provide you with replacements for multiple teeth, they can still be slightly uncomfortable because of their function.
On the other hand, implants are embedded into your teeth, giving the feeling that they are yours. However, according to a recent study, more people preferred a hybrid mix of implants and dentures called overdentures.
Maintaining dental implants is like standard oral hygiene; you need to ensure that you’re brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing, and scheduling regular checkups.
Dentures, on the other hand, require a lot more daily maintenance. To keep their polished look, you’ll need to clean them each time after you’re done eating.
You’ll also need to ensure you don’t wear them overnight. Instead, have them soaking in water or a special solution. By keeping your dentures moist, they will still retain their shape even after years of use.
Depending on your location and the denture you want, the average cost can range between $300 – $3,000. Low-quality dentures will cost between $300 – $500 per row, while mid to high-quality dentures can cost $1,500 – $3,000.
Dental implants will cost roughly the same as high-quality dentures. However, by selecting the best dental insurance plans, you can reduce the price of these procedures.
If you’re looking for an affordable dentist that can help you with your decision, visit Smile Solutions. This dentist has payment packages and takes insurance, so you’ll be able to afford any procedure you need.
Are You Going To Get Implants or Dentures?
After today’s article, we hope you have a clearer understanding of cosmetic dentistry. When deciding between implants or dentures, ensure you consider the dentist’s advice. You’ll be able to get your smile back in no time.
Are you interested in learning about more dental procedures or other oral hygiene tips? If so, visit our blog to find related content. Visit The Point Dental for more assistance with all-on-4.