Both dentures and dental implants are commonly used to replace missing teeth. But how do you know which option is the right option for you? Dr. Joyce Kim of Loyalsock Dental Associates, a dentist in Williamsport, PA, discusses the pros and cons of both.
Dentures are made up of metal and resin for the base and dental ceramic or plastic for the teeth. They’re typically used to replace an entire arch of missing teeth. Some of the biggest pros for dentures are that they’re cheaper to get upfront and it’s a quicker process to get your final restoration.
However, dentures do come with a variety of drawbacks. While they cost less to get upfront, you’ll usually incur more costs down the line. When you lose teeth your jawbone starts to deteriorate. Dentures don’t assist with this problem, so the jawbone will continue to deteriorate. The fit of your dentures will change and you’ll need to get them readjusted or replaced. Ill-fitting dentures can irritate and cause pain to your gums.
Dentures also give you about 30-40% of your bite functionality back. You’ll have to remove certain foods from your diet because dentures aren’t able to chew them successfully. Dentures can slip and shift doing simple tasks like eating or talking. An adhesive is required to keep them in your mouth, but it may take some time to find the one that’s best for you.
Lastly, dentures require a bit of extra maintenance. Since they’re removable, you take them out each evening to make sure they’re cleaned properly. Soaks and other techniques are used to make sure that they stay clean and at their best for you.
The Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants are made up of three parts. The titanium post is what’s actually placed in your jawbone. Then, an abutment is attached to connect the post to the final restoration. Typically, the final restoration is a dental crown, but implants can also support a dental bridge or fixed denture.
While implants cost more upfront, you shouldn’t incur any other costs with them over time. Dental implants are the only option that replaces your tooth root, stimulating jawbone regeneration. The posts fuse with the jawbone for stability, which helps prevent further bone deterioration from missing teeth.
Implants also take longer for you to get your final restoration. Once the posts are placed in the jaw, it requires about 3-6 months for them to fully heal and fuse with the jawbone. This wait time is essential to getting the stability that dental implants provide. With implants, you don’t have to worry about adhesives or slippage in your mouth.
Lastly, implants give you back 100% of your bite functionality. You don’t have to eliminate anything from your diet. They both look and feel natural, while dentures can be bulky and take some getting used to. You can follow a normal oral healthcare routine with implants and don’t have to take on any extra maintenance.
Tooth Replacement at Your Williamsport, Pennsylvania Dentist
At Loyalsock Dental Associates, we recommend dental implants whenever possible. Dr. Kim can do an evaluation to see if you’re eligible for dental implants. Call us or schedule an appointment online.