Many circumstances can cause tooth loss. Some of the most common include aging, accidents or injury, and oral health issues such as gum disease or cavities. Regardless of the reason why you have missing teeth, there are compelling motives to address the loss beyond cosmetic reasons.
- Dentures and dental implants are two popular options to replace missing teeth.
- Dentures are generally less expensive than dental implants for replacing a full arch of teeth, but last only 7-10 years.
- Dentures require daily maintenance and provide less function than permanent dental implants.
- Dental implants can last for decades and provide function similar to your natural teeth.
- Dental implants look and feel like natural teeth and naturally preserve the underlying bone structure of your jaw.
- While dental implants are more expensive than dentures, they last many times longer than a single set of dentures and don’t require daily cleaning or adhesives to keep them in place.
Regardless of the option you choose, there are serious consequences of not addressing tooth loss.
When looking for solutions to tooth loss, dental implants and dentures are two of the most common solutions available. Before deciding which is the best alternative consider the key differences between the two:
Dental Implants vs. Dentures: How Long Will They Last?
Dentures typically last seven to 10 years. The time between replacements depends on several factors, including the rate of bone loss, jawbone shifts, and how you care for the appliance.
Dental implants can easily last the rest of your life because the procedure includes a replacement tooth and support for the jawbone. The combination reduces bone loss, can prevent gum disease, and keeps the jawbone healthy to prevent shifting.
What Care Do They Require?
Care protocols for dentures include the following:
- Removing and rinsing after eating
- Brush clean daily
- Soak overnight in cleaning solution
- Maintaining a clean mouth
- Handling dentures carefully to prevent damage
- Regular dentist visits for cleaning and necessary adjustments
Dental implant care protocols are easier than dentures because implants are not removed. Like your natural teeth, you should brush and floss daily. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings are also essential because the hygienist uses special tools to keep your crowns looking their best.
Proper care for your teeth can extend the life of both dentures and implants.
How It Impacts Your Daily Life
Dentures often require you to change your diet. Eating foods that can dislodge, damage, or apply uneven pressure to the denture should be avoided.Dr. Hogan recommends abstaining from the following: nuts, corn on the cob, popcorn, carrot sticks (or other hard raw vegetables), apples (fruits that require you to bite and pull), and meats that are difficult to chew.
Dental implants do not have any food restrictions. The implant includes a prosthetic root embedded in the jawbone to secure your teeth in place, allowing you to enjoy your favorite foods without limitations.
How Does it Affect Speaking and Laughing?
Dentures can affect your speech and have been known to dislodge while laughing or coughing. Any movement of the dentures can create a lisp when speaking, causing you to be more self-conscious in public settings.
On the other hand, dental implants look, feel, and act like your natural teeth. Due to the root and crown, everyone will generally assume you have all your natural teeth. The titanium post inserted in your jawbone holds the crown firmly in place, allowing you to speak, laugh, and eat your favorite foods without concern.
To learn more, read our blog on 10 Benefits of Dental Implants (internal link)
Do You Qualify for Dental Implants?
While dental implants are a superior choice for most people, they are not always the best solution. You must meet specific criteria to qualify. Dr. Hogan specializes in dental implants but will only recommend them if it is the right solution for your needs.
If you want to explore your options to replace a missing or damaged tooth, Dr. Hogan can evaluate your situation and determine whether dental implants or dentures are the best routes based on your goals and medical needs.
Are dental implants the best tooth replacement option?
Dental implant technology is superior to alternative treatments because it includes a replacement for the root and the tooth, giving you a permanent solution to tooth loss.
Are Dental Implants as Strong as Real Teeth?
Advances in dental implants, and the components and materials used in dental implants, continue to improve the strength and durability of this popular tooth replacement option. In general, the bite strength of a dental implant is roughly 80-90% of the strength of your natural teeth, allowing patients to the return of their normal biting and chewing function.
How much does a single dental implant cost in 2022?
The cost of a single dental implant can range from $3,000 to $6,000 depending on several different factors. The price of the dental implant includes the surgical and anesthesia costs, the implant post, a custom abutment, a porcelain implant crown, and all dental lab costs.
Does insurance cover the cost of dental implants?
Dental implants are considered an elective, cosmetic dental procedure, and therefore, are not covered under most dental or medical insurance plans. However, some dental plans may cover some portion of the procedure such as a tooth extraction or a portion of the cost of a dental bridge when an implant is used to support the bridge.
Are dental implants worth it?
Dental implants provide more than just an aesthetic outcome from tooth loss. Dental implants support the adjacent teeth, supporting a healthy bite. Implants also decrease bone loss, preserving the underlying jawbone and further preserving facial aesthetics.
Call for an Appointment
If you are ready to explore ways to rejuvenate your smile, or you just need a cleaning and x-rays, call today for a free consultation or to schedule an appointment. Dr. Kevin Hogan graduated from the Indiana University School of Dentistry and has over 40 years of experience. He completed continuing education at the prestigious Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies, a world-renowned comprehensive and aesthetic dentistry center. He has also finished extensive coursework with the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation and lectured at both North Carolina and Emory University.
He is known for his artistic skill, professionalism, and ability to find the right solution for an array of dental challenges. Dr. Kevin Hogan is a cosmetic and restorative dentist serving patients in Mt. Pleasant South Carolina and the greater Charleston, SC areas.