According to statistics, more than 120 million American adults are missing one or more teeth. This dental condition can lead to a variety of oral and overall health issues. The good news is that you have options to replace your missing tooth.
At Calm Dental in Los Angeles, CA, we offer several options, including dentures and dental implants. In this article, we'll explain the differences between dentures and dental implants to help you determine which one is best for you.
Both dentures and dental implants are viable solutions for patients who are missing one or more teeth.
For many years, dentures were the "go-to" solution for patients who were missing most or all of their teeth. If the patient still had some natural teeth remaining, partial dentures would be recommended. If the patient was missing all of their teeth or their remaining teeth were not salvageable, the remaining would be extracted and a full denture would be recommended.
While dentures were an effective solution, they also came with many disadvantages, which we will discuss later. Dental implants were first introduced in 1965 and quickly became known as the "gold standard" in tooth restorations.
Dental implants are made up of 3 parts:
the implant, the abutment, and the crown.
The implant is inserted into the jawbone, acting as a tooth root. The abutment is attached to it and the crown, or prosthetic tooth, is attached to the abutment. Since it is implanted into the jawbone, it looks, feels, and functions more like a natural tooth.
The two most popular tooth restoration solutions at Calm Dental are dentures and dental implants. Below, we'll take a closer look at the advantages and limitations of each.
Dentures are budget-friendly compared to other tooth restoration treatments. On average, dentures range in cost from a few hundred dollars to $4,000+.
Typically, dental insurance will cover up to 50% of the cost, and you will pay the balance out-of-pocket.
There are several factors involved in determining the cost of your dentures including the size of the dentures, the material the dentures are made of, the location of the dentist, and other treatments required (extractions, implants, etc).
Dentures are easy to take care of. Simply remove and rinse them after you eat, brush them daily with a soft-bristled brush and non-abrasive toothpaste, and soak them overnight in a denture solution. This will ensure they last as long as possible.
There are a lot of oral health issues associated with missing teeth. Dentures can help reduce your risk of developing issues such as gum disease.
Missing teeth can cause issues with chewing and speaking. Dentures restore the ability to do both, though it does take some time to get adjusted to having them in.
Dental implants are inserted into the jawbone, which means they offer more durability and stability than other options. The jawbone heals around and fuses with the implant, making it a permanent part of your jaw.
Since dental implants are placed in the jawbone, they look, feel, and function more like your natural teeth. You can speak, chew, smile, and laugh confidently because you don't have to worry about the restoration slipping or falling out.
Your jawbone relies on stimulation from your tooth roots to stay healthy. When you are missing teeth, the jawbone no longer has that stimulation and begins to deteriorate. Dental implants restore that stimulation, which prevents jawbone loss.
According to experts, with proper care and maintenance, dental implants will last a lifetime. This includes oral hygiene habits, lifestyle habits, and dental visits.
Dentures sit on top of your gums, which can be uncomfortable at times. In some cases, dentures may even cause sore spots on your gums.
When you are missing teeth, your jawbone will begin to deteriorate. This means that your dentures will become loose and require relines and adjustments.
Dentures tend to slip and slide around in your mouth. This means that they may fall out when you are talking, laughing, eating, or smiling.
Dental implants are more expensive than other tooth restoration options. On average, a single dental implant costs $4,800. Full-mouth dental implants typically cost around $43,000. Some dental insurance plans will cover a portion of this procedure, while others classify it as cosmetic and will not cover anything.
In order to get dental implants, you must undergo oral surgery.
The process of getting dental implants can take several months to a year or more. This is because there are several steps involved and, in most cases, you must heal between each one.
There are a few things you need to know about the differences between the cost and maintenance of dentures vs. dental implants.
The cost of dentures starts at around $300 per arch for the bottom tier and can go up to around $4,000 per arch for the premium. The good news is dental insurance will typically cover up to 50% of the cost.
The average cost of dental implants on the other hand is around $4,800 for a single tooth and can cost as much as $43,000 for full-mouth implants. This only covers the cost of the implant and the surgery, it does not include additional procedures such as extractions, bone grafts, sedation, etc. Some dental insurance plans will pay for a portion of this procedure, while others will not.
There is more effort required for maintaining dentures. You must rinse them after every meal and brush them daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste. Additionally, you must soak them every night in a denture solution.
However, taking care of your dental implants is much like taking care of your natural teeth. Simply brush twice daily and floss before bed. This will help ensure that they last as long as possible.
There are several factors involved in determining the price of tooth restoration.
Type of restoration
Materials used for restoration
Location of the dental clinic
Additional procedures required
Below, we will explain the process of getting dentures vs. dental implants. Both options start with a consultation appointment. This will help us determine your current condition, as well as discuss your goals for treatment. If you require any prep procedures, such as gum disease treatment or extractions, those will be done first. From there, the procedures are different:
We will take impressions of your mouth/bite and send them to the lab for the creation of your custom dentures. This takes a few weeks, so you will be given a set of temporary dentures to wear in the meantime.
First, we make an incision in the gum and drill a hole in the jawbone for the implant to be placed. Once placed, the incision will be closed and you will be sent home to heal, which may take up to 6 months. During this time, the jawbone will be healing around and fusing with the implant.
After you have healed, we will open the incision again and place the abutments. This is the piece that attaches the crown to the implant. Impressions will be made of your mouth and sent to the lab for the creation of your prosthesis, which typically takes about 2 weeks.
If you need extractions prior to getting dentures, you'll want to keep your temporary denture in place for at least 24 hours- even when sleeping- to limit swelling and bleeding. After that, you can remove it twice daily and rinse your mouth with saltwater and your denture with saltwater or a denture cleanser.
The process of getting dental implants requires several surgeries with several recovery periods. Recovery from having the implants placed takes the longest because you are allowing osseointegration
to take place, which is the process of the jawbone healing around and fusing to the implants. You will have a second recovery period after the abutments are placed, which usually only takes about 2 weeks.
There are several things you'll want to consider when choosing between dentures and dental implants to replace your missing teeth, including:
One of the biggest factors in tooth restoration is cost. Dentures are cheaper up-front but may need to be replaced every 5 to 10 years, depending on how well you take care of them. Dental implants, on the other hand, cost more upfront but, with proper care and maintenance, will last a lifetime.
Dental implants act as artificial tooth roots, so they feel, look, and function more naturally than dentures. This makes them a more comfortable solution.
Most dentures only last for about 5 to 10 years. They may last up to 15 with excellent care and maintenance. Dental implants, on the other hand, are designed to last a lifetime. The prosthetic may require replacement after about 15 years, but with proper care and maintenance, may also last a lifetime.
Make sure that you take the time to discuss your options with the team at Calm Dental when making your decision. We have the experience and expertise to evaluate your condition as well as your goals for treatment to help you determine the best option.
Millions of Americans suffer from tooth loss, which can lead to a variety of oral, mental/emotional, and overall health issues. The good news is, you have many tooth restoration options, based on your condition and your goals for treatment. Two of the most popular options at Calm Dental are dentures and dental implants.
Both are viable options for tooth replacement, and both have advantages and disadvantages.
If you are missing most or all of your teeth, schedule a consultation with the team at Calm Dental today. We will be happy to discuss your needs and options to help you determine the best solution.
When you are missing teeth, it can be easy to become overwhelmed by the various options. The team at Calm Dental is happy to address your questions and concerns about these options. Here are some of the most common questions we are asked:
We believe that dental implants are a much better option than traditional dentures due to all of the benefits they provide.
Patients are given local anesthesia during the procedure, so no pain is felt. Some discomfort may be felt as the anesthesia wears off, which can usually be controlled with OTC pain relievers. Over the next few days, you may have some discomfort as the surgical site heals. However, if the pain is severe and if it lasts for more than 7 days, contact the clinic so that we can determine the cause.
Yes, teeth implants are well worth the investment because they are a permanent solution for your tooth loss. Implants have been proven to last a lifetime, whereas traditional dentures may only last for 5 to 10 years before needing to be relined or replaced.