Dentures or Implants?

There are many different options to consider when replacing missing teeth; however dentures and dental implants are the two most popular choices. They differ in longevity, comfort, the confidence they inspire, and overall cost.

Dental implants are permanent dental replacements that are both natural looking and very functional, offering the same biting force as natural teeth; they also help to stimulate bone growth. If you are a non-smoker with good oral hygiene dental implants should last for a lifetime.

However, not everyone will be a good candidate for dental implants. There are several medical risk factors against providing dental implants. The most common of these are smoking and diabetes. This does not mean implants cannot be provided to these patients, but the risks of failure are higher and patients need to have this pointed out. Heavy drinkers may also be refused implants until they have dramatically reduced their drinking levels.

For example, the process of osseointegration (the establishing of a connection between implant and bone) can be drastically slowed if you smoke, and may not even work at all.

Dentures today bear no resemblance to the flat false teeth of yesteryear. Providing they are not mass produced and are made specifically for the individual, they can look as natural as your own teeth. Unlike implants, dentures do take some getting used to. All first time denture wearers say it feels strange when they are first fitted, but quickly get used to them.

Wearing dentures will cause your gums and bone to shrink over time, which will leave a space between the denture base and your gums. Most people find their dentures last between 4 and 5 years before they need replacing. How long they last depends on several things: the care that is taken of them, changes that occur in the denture wearer’s jaw and wear and deterioration of the denture materials.